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

The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty won’t stay outstandingly beautiful unless we help to protect the Cotswolds.

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 2022, we raised £781 for this scheme – and we’re delighted to say we’ve raised almost £3000 in total since we joined the scheme.

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 (formerly known as the Cotswolds Conservation Board).

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 Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 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 2022, Caring for the Cotswolds grants were used by local organisations to undertake a range of incredible projects:

  • At Westonbirt Arboretum, the largest grant ever awarded by the scheme was used by the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum to build an amazing community shelter, which will serve as an inclusive, accessible outdoor learning space.
  • In Gloucester, funding was used to supply walking equipment, maps, high-vis jackets and walking poles to facilitate a women’s walking group from The Friendship Café.
  • In Chipping Campden, the Campden Society received funding to restore and manage the traditional ‘Wolds End’ orchard.
  • In Bath, the Bath Stone Quarry Museum have restored what is thought to be the oldest surviving Stothert & Pitt crane in the world. The crane gives an insight into the Cotswolds’ industrial past, and is now on display to the public.

Go Cotswolds has raised nearly £3000 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.

As we all know, 2021 was a very difficult year for tourism, with many bookings cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions. However, despite this, we still raised £98 for the Caring for the Cotswolds scheme. We match-funded this figure, so donated £196 to the Cotswolds National Landscape for 2021.

I’m delighted to say that 2022 was much more successful! Donations made by our tour guests increased by over 400% on the previous year! So, with our match funding we contributed £781 to the funds for last year.

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 almost £3000 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 an experience with Unmissable England; stay at the Farncombe Estate, Heath Farm, or a StayCotswold property; take a Cotswolds Discovery Trail, or eat or drink at Gloucester Services or a Relish Group establishment.

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

To apply for funding, learn more here.

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