A brand new series of circular walking route guides has been launched to help more people enjoy and explore the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Launched to coincide and help celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this weekend, the new 14 walks have been created, designed, mapped and photographed by Cotswold Voluntary Wardens, the volunteer arm of the Cotswolds Conservation Board.
The circular walks are between 2.5 and 5 miles in length and have been especially created to avoid any stiles along the way, therefore enabling easy access to the countryside for more people. In addition to a comprehensive route map and directions, each walk is accompanied by a page of fascinating stories and facts along the way, such as sites of historical interest, areas rich in wildlife, cultural icons, archaeological treasures, quirky features and some colourful characters from the past, providing added interest and information for walkers.
All 14 routes are available to download direct from the Escape to the Cotswolds website – www.escapetothecotswolds.org.uk/jubilee, complementing the many other walking routes which have been devised by the Voluntary Wardens in previous years.
There are around 300 active voluntary wardens in the Cotswolds AONB who donate many thousands of hours each year towards achieving the aims of the Cotswolds Conservation Board.
The Cotswolds was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1966 in recognition of its rich, diverse and high quality landscape.
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 second largest protected landscape in England after the Lake District National Park 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.
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
Source: Cotswolds Conservation Board