Lady Ashcombe of Sudeley Castle to formally open new disabled access route around Winchcombe

PRESS RELEASE 4 June 2019

Lady Ashcombe of Sudeley Castle will be hosting the launch and formal opening ceremony of a new eight mile disabled access route around Winchcombe, at Sudeley Castle this month.

The new route will be suitable for all-terrain mobility scooters / Tramper-style vehicles, and has been developed and constructed by the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens, the volunteer arm of the Cotswolds Conservation Board. Following the opening ceremony, a group of 13 people from Disabled Ramblers and their helpers, along with Cotswold Voluntary Wardens, and representatives from local government and the National Trust, will undertake the inaugural ‘walk on wheels’.

The Cotswold Voluntary Wardens have been working on accessible paths across the Cotswolds for over 20 years, but this new route marks the introduction of longer and more challenging routes for use by off-road mobility scooters.  The project marks their 50th anniversary, and has involved hundreds of hours of volunteer work installing gates, working on surface improvements and negotiations, and working closely with the Disabled Ramblers, landowners, and the Gloucestershire County Council rights of way team.  The route is available to download using the link below

https://www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk/visiting-and-exploring/guided-walks/

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • Please contact Alana Hopkins at alana.hopkins@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk / 01451 862 003 for further information or interview opportunities.
  • Plenty of photo opportunities at the opening ceremony.
  • The Cotswold Voluntary Wardens were established in 1968 and have continued to grow into the 300-strong membership of  today.  Anyone can join, all that’s required is an enthusiasm for the Cotswolds and a willingness to offer your time and skills to help keep the Cotswolds AONB special. In 2018, they volunteered 47,674 hours of work time, and were given the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
  • The Cotswold Wardens form part of the wider Cotswolds Conservation Board and the volunteer opportunities are variable.  There is something for everyone, from walling, to walks and talks, to tree planting.
  • The Cotswolds was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1966 in recognition of its rich, diverse and high quality landscape. www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk
  • The Cotswolds AONB is looked after by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation established in 2004 which has 37 members – 15 nominated by local authorities, 8 by parish councils and 14 appointed by the Secretary of State.
  • The Cotswolds is the third largest protected landscape in England after the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks and represents 10% of the total AONB area in the UK. It covers 2,038 square kilometres (790 square miles), stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.
  • The land management position statements are for use by local authorities, government agencies, land agents, advisers, land managers, farmers and the public. They, along with the planning and transport position statements are available on the Cotswolds Conservation Board’s website.
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), along with National Parks, are considered to be the most special landscapes in the country and belong to an international family of protected areas.  There are 38 AONBs in England and Wales, and a further eight in Northern Ireland.  For further details, visit: www.landscapesforlife.org.uk. For details of the 15 National Parks in England and Wales visit: www.nationalparks.gov.uk