Caring for the Cotswolds helps to conserve, preserve and protect the Cotswolds – and you can be a part of it

The Cotswolds National Landscape won’t stay an area of outstanding natural beauty unless we help to protect the Cotswolds.

Did you know, when you buy a ticket for a Go Cotswolds tour, you can add a voluntary donation to the Caring for the Cotswolds visitor giving scheme? In 2023, we raised £967 for this scheme – and we’re delighted to say we’ve raised over £3500 in total since we joined the scheme in 2017.

Read on to find out more about Caring for the Cotswolds, Go Cotswolds’ role in the scheme, and how you can help.

What is Caring for the Cotswolds?

When you book a ticket for one of our tours, you can add a voluntary donation to the Caring for the Cotswolds scheme. Together with donations from other scheme members, these donations are pooled into a fund, which is managed by the Cotswolds National Landscape’s Grants Panel.

Local groups and organisations can apply for grants from this fund. Grants are awarded for projects focusing on four key themes:

  • Conservation of habitats and species
  • Heritage and landscape
  • Improving access
  • Education and interpretation

In short, this money helps to preserve, conserve and protect the Cotswolds National Landscape. This means that residents and visitors can continue to enjoy it for years to come.

How does the scheme protect the Cotswolds?

Tree planting volunteers protect the Cotswolds in Chalford © ChalCAN Biodiversity Action

In 2023, Caring for the Cotswolds grants totalling almost £20,000 were assigned to 11 fantastic projects across the Cotswolds. The new projects include initiatives to increase the rare, native black poplar tree, and restore ponds and ancient orchards. Other projects will improve footpath networks for residents and visitors, and support minority groups in their local community by offering gardening education sessions to adults with learning disabilities.

This year, for the first time, young people got to have their say about how the funds were distributed. The Caring for the Cotswolds Youth Panel is made up of 10 young people aged 13-25 from the Gloucestershire Youth Climate Group (GYCG) and the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s Youth Advisory Group. Tasked with reviewing and scoring each project application, the Youth Panel’s recommendations were then sent to the Cotswolds National Landscape Grants Panel for them to consider and help inform their decision.

Go Cotswolds has raised over £3500 to protect the Cotswolds since the scheme began

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As a tourism company, we think it’s our responsibility and duty to protect the Cotswolds. Therefore, our involvement in the Caring for the Cotswolds scheme is one way to help ensure that our business is as ethical and environmentally sustainable as possible. We match-fund all donations made by our generous tour guests, because we think it’s important to show our personal commitment to the scheme.

In 2022, donations made by our tour guests increased by over 400% on the previous year (which was, of course, heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic). So, in 2022, with our match funding, we contributed a record £781 to Caring for the Cotswolds.

We recently totted up our contributions for last year and I’m delighted to say 2023 was even better! Together with our tour guests, we contributed a whopping £967 to Caring for the Cotswolds. This was thanks, in part, to a new booking system on our website, which now makes it much clearer and easier for our guests to make a donation. Of course, visitor numbers were up on 2022 as well.

A HUGE thank you to all of our tour guests who have donated to the Caring for the Cotswolds scheme. Together, Go Cotswolds has raised over £3500 since the scheme began in 2017.

How to protect the Cotswolds by supporting Caring for the Cotswolds

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As a visitor, you can help to protect the Cotswolds by supporting Caring for the Cotswolds business members.

If you book a tour direct on the Go Cotswolds website, you can add a voluntary donation to the price of your ticket. You can also support the scheme when you visit Cotswold Farm Park or The Cotswolds Distillery; book a bike tour with VBT or a walking tour with Country Walkers; stay at Heath Farm, or a StayCotswold property; take a Cotswolds Discovery Trail, or purchase from Cotswold Photographer.

You can support the Caring for the Cotswolds scheme as a business too. For more information, check out the Cotswolds National Landscape website here.

To apply for funding, learn more here. There’s an open call for funding applications right now! (Closing date 15th March 2024.)

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