Category: News

Cotswolds AONB Management Plan 2018-2023 update

The final draft of the Cotswolds AONB Management Plan 2018-2023 is out for consultation from 10th July to 14th August 2018.

The associated Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Environmental Report and Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) Screening Report are also out for consultation during this period.

Although this consultation is targeted at the 15 local authorities that overlap with the Cotswolds AONB and the three statutory environmental bodies (Natural England, Historic England, and the Environment Agency), other stakeholders are welcome to provide a consultation response.  Please see the Management Plan page of our website for more details.


Job Vacancy: Finance & Administration Officer

A superb opportunity to be part of a team working to conserve and enhance the natural beauty and increase the understanding and enjoyment of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

We are seeking an experienced finance officer to provide and manage accountancy and financial services to the Board.  You will be a fully or partly qualified accountant with experience in payroll, grant funding and VAT accounting.

In addition, you will be the Board’s office manager, ensuring the smooth day to day running of the Conservation Board’s offices in Northleach.

The closing date for applications is noon on Monday 2nd July and interviews are scheduled for Wednesday 11th July.

Application forms should be emailed to Alexander Witcomb, info@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk 

Click here to read more


Cotswolds AONB Voluntary Wardens Given Queen’s Award

Photo shows Rebecca Jones, John Shaw, and Jean Booth at Buckingham Palace. 

The team of Voluntary Wardens who support the work of the Cotswolds Conservation Board has recently been given The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK – to recognise outstanding work done in their own communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of The Queen’s coronation. It is the MBE for volunteer groups.

Any group doing volunteer work that provides a social, economic or environmental service to the local community can be nominated for the award. Each group is assessed on the benefit it brings to the local community and its standing within that community.

Local assessment panels look at all the nominations and decide which to send to the National Award Committee, which then makes recommendations to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and sends a final list to The Queen for her approval. Our Head Warden, John Shaw, and our Volunteering Coordinator, Rebecca Jones, both attended The Queen’s Garden Party on 31st May in celebration of all 2018 award winners.

Martin Lane, Director of the Cotswolds Conservation Board, said, “The Cotswolds Voluntary Wardens put in over 48,000 hours of work this year, across a diverse range of projects – so this award and the garden party were a wonderful recognition of their dedication to this beautiful region. We look forward to seeing what they achieve over the next 12 months!”

John Shaw, Head Warden, said, “This award recognises 50 years of commitment and achievement in making the Cotswolds a great place to be, thanks to the passion, creativity and drive of our Voluntary Wardens. For half this time we have truly appreciated the tireless guidance, support & encouragement of our Coordinator Becky Jones“

2018 is the 50th anniversary of the Volunteer Wardens in the Cotswolds AONB, and the celebratory theme is education, and reaching the next generation to care for the Cotswolds. The Wardens have been working in education for over 10 years, and this year the Cotswolds Conservation Board has funded a free activities folder with more fantastic opportunities than ever for schools to access the Cotswolds. In 2017-18, over 1,400 pupils participated in education activities run with the Wardens. In addition, the Board is working with an artist to go into 10 schools or groups to produce artwork based on the pupils’ experiences of the Cotswolds.

For more information about The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Work: https://qavs.direct.gov.uk/ or https://twitter.com/QueensAwardVS


England’s Protected Landscapes to be reconsidered under new review

Environment secretary Michael Gove announced over the weekend that Julian Glover will lead a review panel which will reconsider England’s protected landscapes, including Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). The review will consider the potential for extending existing protected landscapes, or creating new ones. It is likely to consider whether any current AONBs could join the list of National Parks. The review will report in 2019 (the 70th Anniversary of the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act).

The Cotswolds Conservation Board welcomes the announcement of this review and looks forward to welcoming Julian Glover and his review panel to the Cotswolds in due course.

Currently, the Cotswolds is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is managed and maintained by the Cotswolds Conservation Board. The Conservation Board has begun contacting farmers, landowners, national and local interest groups, MPs, and local authorities, within the Cotswolds AONB border to explore the case for the Cotswolds becoming a National Park. Local MPs Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and David Drew have both previously signalled their strong interest in considering whether the Cotswolds should become a National Park.

Liz Eyre, Chairman of the Cotswolds Conservation Board, said, “We are looking forward to talking to people and exploring the cases for and against the Cotswolds as a National Park with those who live and work here. In April, we took the first steps towards this process by writing to Natural England and requesting that consideration be given to making the Cotswolds a National Park.”


Vacancies at the Board

Job Vacancy: Finance & Administration Officer

A superb opportunity to be part of a team working to conserve and enhance the natural beauty and increase the understanding and enjoyment of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

We are seeking an experienced finance officer to provide and manage accountancy and financial services to the Board.  You will be a fully or partly qualified accountant with experience in payroll, grant funding and VAT accounting.

In addition, you will be the Board’s office manager, ensuring the smooth day to day running of the Conservation Board’s offices in Northleach.

The closing date for applications is noon on Wednesday 30th May and interviews are scheduled for Tuesday 5th June.

Application forms should be emailed to Alexander Witcomb, info@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk 

Click here to read more


Hare Trail News…

This ‘eye catching’ Hare is about to spring into action!

130 Hares of various sizes are starting their steady march across the Cotswolds, for the launch of the new 2018 Cotswolds AONB Hare Trail on 22nd May 2018.

The Trail Passport ready to download from the Cotswolds Hair Trail website from Tuesday 22 May – www.cotswoldsharetrail.org.uk


Vacancies at the Board

Recruitment of 6 new Secretary of State members

The Secretary of State, Michael Gove, and Lord Gardiner are seeking to appoint six passionate and committed members to the Cotswolds Conservation Board.

Lord Gardiner states “As a Secretary of State appointed member, you will have the opportunity to help conserve and enhance our most treasured landscapes now and for future generations. I welcome applications from people who have a clear understanding of land management, rural communities, as well as protection and enhancement of the environment.”

UPDATE: The closing date for applications has been extended, and is now noon on 16th April.

Click here to read more

 


VOTE NOW for your favourite National Trail…

Restored Stone File on Cotswold Way

A battle between the 15 National Trails has commenced!

Our 15 National Trails across England and Wales, including the Cotswold Way, offer a choice of scenery, physical challenge, wildlife, local culture and more. Following on from ITV’s recent television programme ‘Britain’s Favourite Walks: Top 100’ it would be great to hear which Trails attract the most public affection currently. You have until the end of March to cast your vote in the Facebook poll!

To cast your vote visit https://poll.fbapp.io/which-is-your-favourite-national-trail – then just click on the photo of your favourite trail (Cotswold Way of course), and click on the green confirm button at the bottom of the page.


Cotswolds Farming Forum

Successful Cotswolds Farming Forum

The Cotswolds Conservation Board held its annual Cotswolds Farming Forum on Tuesday 6th March. Chaired by James Cox, Deputy Chairman, Gloucestershire NFU, over 80 farmers, land managers and advisors from across the Cotswolds attended the event held at the Royal Agricultural University.

Hot on the heels of the Government’s 25 year plan to improve the environment and   the recently published consultation seeking comments on the future shape of the post-Brexit agricultural policy and environmental scheme, the Forum explored the goods and services Cotswold farmers could be selling to the public in place of the current Basic Payment Scheme and Environmental Stewardship Scheme as we move towards the post-Brexit era.

Paul Silcock, Managing Director of Cumulus Consultants gave an overview of the goods and services Cotswold farms provide for private and public markets. Two services were then explored in more detail.

Jo Old, Environment Agency Catchment Co-ordinator for the Evenlode and Ock and Vaughan Lewis, Windrush AEC Ltd spoke about flood management in the Evenlode and Sarah Olney, Thames Water Agricultural Catchment Adviser on whose soil is it anyway?

The presentations, available below, were followed by a lively discussion.


Vacancies at the Board

Job Vacancy: Communications Officer

An opportunity to join a multi-disciplinary team working in one of the country’s finest landscapes, the Cotswolds Conservation Board is seeking a highly motivated communications officer.

You will raise awareness of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty designation and increase the understanding and enjoyment of this special landscape as well as raise the profile of the work of the Board among its diverse audiences.

You will be the first point of contact for the Board’s communications activity, oversee the interpretation and visitor facilities at the Cotswolds Discovery Centre, Northleach and work with industry and public sector partners to lead a series of sustainable tourism initiatives.

Click here to read more


Recruitment of an Executive Group Member for the Cotswolds LEADER Local Action Group

A superb opportunity to contribute to the operation of the Cotswolds LEADER programme.

The Cotswolds Conservation Board and its partners are operating a £2 million LEADER programme, with the programme due to operate through to March 2020.

The LEADER priorities of generating jobs and growth cover: micro-enterprises and farm diversification, rural tourism, culture and heritage, rural services, increasing farm productivity and increasing forestry productivity.

Click here to read more