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Covid-19 Update 18/5/20

Following the government’s review of the Covid-19 situation on 11/5/20, we would like to offer an update from the Cotswolds Conservation Board. The government has said that we should all still try to stay at home as much as possible, but that we can also now enjoy more outdoor exercise (with members of our own households), and we may travel to open spaces. This is good news – it’s good for our bodies and our minds to get outside and connect with nature.

With this in mind, we’d like to remind those who are looking to enjoy the countryside on their doorstep of the following:

  1. We must still all observe social distancing guidelines, even outdoors and in the countryside.
    If a walking path is narrow, wait for others to pass. Be patient.
  2. Respect those who live here.
    Many of our countryside residents and landowners are older and fit into the ‘vulnerable’ category of those at risk from coronavirus. Help protect their health by remembering good hygiene around gates and stiles, being considerate about where you park, and looking out for and adhering to any route diversions (which may be in place to protect those on farms, for example asking walkers not to go through the yard, or not to go past the house etc).
  3. Plan your visit – try to avoid the honeypot locations (towns and countryside); research where you’re going to park; and check if the locations and car parks you’re heading to are open. Download self-guided walking routes.
  4. Remember the Countryside Code. Stick to it. If you don’t know it, learn it here.
  5. Tread carefully – remember that during lockdown, nature has reclaimed space!
    Please be very careful not to disturb wildlife. This might include ground-nesting birds, wildflowers, or animals that may have moved into areas unexpectedly during lockdown.
  6. Please use your common sense – keep dogs on leads and pick up their mess, don’t release sky lanterns, don’t have barbecues or bonfires, don’t drop any litter.
  7. Many local businesses are still closed – plan ahead, and bring food and drink with you…but please take your litter home!
  8. Many toilet facilities will be closed – please check before visiting.

Take your time, and breathe – these are strange times, but we can take this opportunity to slow down, understand, enjoy and appreciate our surroundings more. Nature has a wonderful ability to help us to heal, and we should make the most of that, and be grateful for it.


Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.

At the time of writing this, the government is still urging us all to stay at home this Easter. Our collective effort is crucial – we must all continue to follow advice and guidance on how to slow the spread of Covid-19 and look after our NHS, and one another.

If you are able to access outdoor green spaces, there’s no doubt that being outside and having the opportunity to connect with nature is good for us. Many of our colleagues and friends in other nature and conservation organisations have been posting up lots of ideas of how to do this. We’ve put together a little collection of these. From wildlife surveying and identifying, to building bug hotels, to going on virtual safaris, we hope you manage to enjoy some of what nature has to offer from the comfort of your home.

It’s vital that we do that in line with government advice though, so if you need a reminder on the guidelines, please click here for the official advice on accessing green spaces.

And remember: stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.

  • Create a haven for butterflies in your garden – and learn to identify visitors
  • Count pollinators in your garden. All you need is 10 mins to watch insects. To Learn how, and see where to send your results
  • Become a back garden bird watcher! RSPB have a fantastic online bird identification tool. See how many different birds you can spot! Or, if you can hear the birds but not see them – use their birdsong identifier instead!
  • Get the buzz! Bumblebee Conservation has a great learning zone online with absolutely loads of fun activities and games for children and families.
  • Do you love whales and dolphins? Head over to ORCA’s at-home interactive lessons, Q&A sessions, and activities.
  • See what you can do at home to help nature and wildlife with NatureHood’s online guide 
  • Is the night sky really dark where you live? If it is, and the weather is clear, can you see the stars? Wrap up warm, take a hot drink into the garden, and learn more about planets, stars, and constellations, and how to identify them here.
  • Want to sit down to watch or listen to something? There are plenty of episodes of BBC Radio 4’s Costing the Earth available on the iplayer – across a huge range of subjects!
  • Listen to the nation’s favourite, Sir David Attenborough, read us The Peregrine by JA Baker. A masterpiece of nature writing.
  • Go on a three hour safari without leaving the house! Wild Earth has posted a brilliant safari experience on YouTube
  • Wildlife Watch on You Tube – Wednesday sessions for kids to learn about identifying bird song, fun crafts, wildlife gardening & lots more
  • Stay wild at home with great ideas from Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust 
  • Become a Nature Doctor and turn your back garden into an Insect A&E with Dr Amir Khan
  • Help Butterfly Conservation with their ongoing mission to help butterflies and moths in the UK by letting them know what you’ve seen in your garden! They’ve even developed an app to make surveying easier!

Image shown by Simon Smith.


Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives. 

It’s a simple message, and we should all be following the guidelines set out by the Government. If you don’t know them yet, or you aren’t clear, have another look here.

Under normal circumstances, we would be encouraging everybody to get outside, get some fresh air, get walking, start exploring. But these aren’t normal circumstances. At the moment, we would urge everyone to do the opposite: stay at home, don’t drive unless it’s essential, do your part. There have been a number of reports locally and nationally of people driving to enjoy beauty spots or to access their exercise, or gathering in groups in parks or areas of countryside. Please don’t do this. Please stay in your local area to get out in the fresh air, or to go for a walk/run/cycle. Please be responsible.

When all this is over, the national landscapes of the UK, our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, will be throwing their arms wide open to welcome visitors back. But for now, we are all asking everyone to

Stay at Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.


COVID-19: Update 24/3/20

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s address to the nation last night (23/3/20) we have now amended our working practices further.

In line with the latest guidance from UK government, the Cotswolds Conservation Board team will now be working from home until further notice. The office will not be open, but it will be staffed by one team member from 10am – 3pm, Mondays to Thursdays.

Please bear with us as we adapt to these new working practices, and as we try to keep up with phone calls. If you are able to email the colleague you need and exchange direct phone numbers, that would be very helpful. All available email addresses are here.

As this situation progresses, we will aim to post all our updates on the Latest News page of our website, and on Facebook and Twitter.


COVID-19 – office update

Following the latest guidance from UK government, the Cotswolds Conservation Board team will now largely be working from home. We will have alternating skeleton crews in the office from Monday 23rd March. All employees will work from home on Fridays until further notice.

Please bear with us as we adapt to these new working practices, and as we try to keep up with phone calls. If you are able to email the colleague you need and exchange direct phone numbers, that would be very helpful. All available email addresses are here.

As this situation progresses, we will aim to post all our updates on the Latest News page of our website, and on Facebook and Twitter.


COVID-19 – Guided Walks Postponed from March 19th Until Further Notice

Cotswolds Conservation Board is closely monitoring the situation with regards to the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes close attention to the latest guidance from the WHO (World Health Organisation), as well as from UK authorities.

In light of Government guidance for the Covid-19 pandemic to avoid non-essential social contact, we have taken steps to cancel the Cotswold Wardens walks programme from end of the day on Thursday March 19 until further notice.

Please check the website for updates, but subject to any changing advice, please try out one of our many self-guided walks that can be found at https://www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk/visiting-and-exploring/walking/self-guided-walks/