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 2020, despite a challenging year, we raised £289 for this scheme – and we’re delighted to say we’ve raised over £2000 in total so far.

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?

Cotswolds National Landscape

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

Photo: © ChalCAN Biodiversity Action (used with permission)

The Caring for the Cotswolds grants panel recently awarded 14 grants, amounting to £25,000 of funding. Some examples of these projects to preserve, conserve and protect the Cotswolds are below.

  • Wiltshire Wildlife Trust received £1,326. This will help to eradicate the invasive plant Himalayan Balsam, on the river By Brook from Castle Coombe to Box.
  • The Bath Stone Museum Quarry Trust received £1,900 to help restore the Box Quarry Crane. The crane will be located in Bath and tell the story of the Cotswolds industrial heritage.
  • Beckford Nature Reserve received £1,676 towards a set of new steps to improve the safety and accessibility to the reserve.
  • Chalford Parish Council received £1,315 to create a guided walking trail of wildlife sites in the village (the photo above shows volunteers who planted 180 trees as part of this project).
  • Chipping Campden School received £2,500 towards construction of “The Well”. This straw bale roundhouse will become a space for school and community activities.

Go Cotswolds has raised over £2000 since the scheme began

Protect the Cotswolds national landscape

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, 2020 was a very difficult year for tourism, with many bookings cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions. However, despite this, we still raised a respectable £144.50 for the Caring for the Cotswolds scheme.

We match-funded this figure, so will be donating a total of £289 to the Cotswolds National Landscape for 2020.

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 £2000 since the scheme began in 2017.

How to support Caring for the Cotswolds

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, take a Cotswolds Discovery Trail, or eat or drink at 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.