A total of 14 wildlife and heritage projects across Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds have been awarded a share of £25,000 in grants by Cotswolds National Landscape.
The Caring for the Cotswolds Grants Panel, which is managed by Cotswolds National Landscape, allocated the funds to a variety of local projects designed to protect the unique wildlife and heritage of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Projects which have received funding include the planting of 180 trees and creation of a new guided nature trail in Chalford; installing new steps to improve accessibility at Beckford Nature Reserve in Tewkesbury; and resurfacing and extending a section of the Tetbury Trail.
Partnerships and fundraising lead at Cotswolds National Landscape, James Webb, said: ‘The 14 new projects are really well spread across the four themes of the Caring for the Cotswolds scheme: conservation, heritage and landscape, improving access, and education and interpretation.
‘It’s especially pleasing to see so many local organisations developing projects that encourage and enable people to access and enjoy the countryside. Through the pandemic, we’ve seen that people value being out in the fresh air more than ever, and these new projects are a real celebration of that idea.’
Grant applications were also reviewed by a new Youth Panel for the scheme, set up to recognise the opinions of local young people. Youth Panel member, Jessica Price, said: ‘Having the opportunity to escape our homes and look at something other than uniform buildings has been a lifeline during this pandemic, and it is why the Caring for the Cotswolds scheme is so important.
‘By restoring and conserving areas of natural beauty, this positively affects both wildlife and people. The restoration of habitats allows wildlife to flourish, which in turn provides a landscape in which people can come to relax and escape.’
All but one of the projects funded by the scheme are due to be completed in 2021.