The Glover Landscapes Review is encouraging and has been enthusiastically received by the Cotswolds Conservation Board
This month, Julian Glover published his Landscapes Review, which examined England’s National Parks and AONBs and was commissioned by the government in May 2018. The report is very encouraging, with many positive recommendations that chime with the Cotswolds Conservation Board’s submission to Glover at the end of last year – including that consideration be given to the Cotswolds as a future National Park.
Other recommendations include bringing National Parks and AONBs together as a National Landscapes Service, bringing the National Trails into such a service, making Parks and AONBs priorities for the new Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS), and encouraging everyone – young and old, and from all backgrounds – to access and enjoy national landscapes more.
Panel members visited the Cotswolds AONB and the Conservation Board in August 2018. Overall, they visited every English National Park and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), as well as National Parks in Scotland and unprotected landscapes.
The Cotswolds Conservation Board is pleased that the review proposes consideration be given to designating new National Parks, having responded to the call for evidence requested by Glover and his panel, and putting forward a strong case for the Cotswolds becoming England’s next National Park. There would be many benefits for the Cotswolds, not least a unified approach to management and conservation and greater awareness by the public of what makes the area so very special.
Martin Lane, Director of the Cotswolds Conservation Board, said, “We are very pleased that Julian Glover and his panel have observed that it is time for a great deal of positive change in relation to England’s most outstanding landscapes. It’s encouraging that the review recommends the Cotswolds be considered as a candidate for joining the family of National Parks. Julian Glover and his advisers recognise that the Cotswolds is world famous for its natural beauty, hugely popular with visitors from around the world, and that its landscape and villages are one of the emblems of England. There’s nowhere quite like the Cotswolds – it is considered by many to be the walking and exploring capital of England, it has a fascinating human history, it’s home to numerous wildlife and reserves; and above all, is a living, breathing farming landscape. The benefits of National Park status for both residents and visitors in the Cotswolds are plentiful – and we look forward to participating in discussions as government considers the review’s proposals.”
Notes to editors:
- The full Landscapes Review can be found online here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/833163/landscapes-review-final-report.pdf
- 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