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Grants given to help conservation efforts of the Cotswolds' natural environment

By Michael_Yong  |  Posted: January 07, 2014

Trevor Cramphorn, Cotswolds River Trust (left) with Simon Smith, Cotswolds Conservation Board at the River Coln near Bibury.

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Efforts to help save the natural environment in the Cotswolds have been given a boost.

Two conservation charities, the Cotswolds Rivers Trust and the World Land Trusts, have been given £500 grants each for the work.

It is the first payouts from the Cotswolds Visitor Giving Scheme awards, which was launched last year.

The grant has allowed the Cotswolds Rivers Trust to install flow deflectors in the River Coln at Winson, near Bibury.

It will help vary the depth in the riverbed, enabling river plants, such as water-crowfoot, to thrive and provides habitat for invertebrates and fish, including the brown trout, an iconic species to the Cotswolds.

Trevor Cramphorn, from the Trust, said: “This has been an important piece of river habitat restoration work that we haven’t been able to do until now.

“We are hugely grateful to the Conservation Board for their help and the generosity of all the businesses which are a part of this very worthwhile scheme.”

The scheme was created by the Cotswold Conservation Board to raise funds through voluntary donations collected from visitors through tourism businesses.

Any grants go towards a range of landscape and environmental projects across the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Another charity to benefit was the World Land Trust, to carry out coppicing work at the Kites Hill nature reserve near Painswick Beacon.

Woodland management through coppicing at the reserve encourages new woodland growth, providing many benefits for a variety of plants, insects and birds.

Four new interpretation boards have also been installed along the woodland trail as part of the project to raise awareness to the importance of the site.

Manor Cottages in Burford was first tourism company in the Cotswold to participate in the scheme.

Chris Grimes of Manor Cottages said: “It is excellent news to hear that funds which have been raised through our customers are already being put to such good use and helping to look after these special places in the Cotswolds AONB.

“We know this beautiful area attracts millions of visitors each year.

“However, these large numbers can impact on the environment on which the tourism industry relies so heavily.

“I am very pleased to be participating in the visitor giving scheme and therefore able to support these very worthwhile projects with a matched figure to funds donated directly from our cottage bookings.

“This support shows our commitment to supporting conservation and tourism in the Cotswolds to ensure that the region is maintained to retain its beauty and appeal for all people visiting the Cotswolds.”

A spokesman for the Conservation Board said: “These projects are delivered by the many committed organisations who are working hard to look after the things that make the Cotswolds special.”

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