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Compton Abdale's Crocodile is restored

Compton Adbale Crocodile - ‘Before’. Copyright, Nick TurnerCompton Adbale Crocodile ‘after’. Copyright, Paul Felix

The Cotswolds Conservation Board donated funds to help get the crocodile restored.

Compton Abdale is a small typical Cotswolds village lying between Northleach and Andoversford situated in a quiet valley just off the main A40 road to Oxford.

Compton Abdale is unusual in the Cotswolds and probably in England in that the village has it's own Crocodile! The Crocodile is a stone water conduit carved in the shape of a Crocodile's head which sits at one of the main t-junctions in the village and has been channelling spring water from the limestone hills into the River Coln, a tributary of the River Thames, for over 150 years. Over the years it has become a little worse for wear, caused by water erosion, so the villagers of Compton Abdale successfully applied for a special grant from the Cotswolds Conservation Board, which is designed to help local people conserve distinctive features in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

The Board donated £2000 towards a total project cost of £6400. It made it possible for Cotswold stonemason Richard Pods to carve a brand new crocodile head complete with a lead lining inside the huge toothy mouth to prevent water erosion over time.

Spokesperson for the Cotswolds Conservation Board, Claire Cunningham said: "We are delighted to be able to fund such a fantastic project that helps to maintain the unique and distinctive qualities of the area. The Compton Abdale Crocodile symbolises man's respectful interaction with nature in the Cotswolds AONB over time. It literally demonstrates the way in which we have channelled nature for our own use over many thousands of years."

The grant was distributed as part of a five-year conservation project delivered by the Cotswolds Conservation Board and supported by a £1.4 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Caring for the Cotswolds ends in December this year.The £2.8 million project has made significant improvements and advances on a conservation level in four areas ; limestone grassland restoration, drystone walling, local distinctiveness and interpretation.

Stonemason Richard Pods

Cotswolds Conservation Board
Fosse Way
GL54 3JH
Telephone 01451 862000

The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is cared for by the Cotswolds Conservation Board - an independent organisation with 40 members, 17 nominated by local authorities, 8 by nominated parish councils and 15 appointed by Government.

The Cotswolds AONB is the largest of 40 AONBs in England and Wales and is protected to ensure that it's beauty and special character are conserved. It covers 2038 square kilometres stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the North, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.

The Government has designated AONBs and National Parks as our finest countryside and they are recognised as being of national importance.

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I saw the crocodile en route

I saw the crocodile en route to Chedworth recently, and stopped to take some photographs. I'm intrigued why a crocodile? What made someone 150 years ago decide to make the conduit a crocodile head. I would love to know.

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