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‘There’s nothing better than a tree!’ says Dallas star

Features by Adam 1 Comment »

Former Dallas star Linda Gray(c) Gloucestershire 1000 and its associate partnersFormer Dallas star, Linda Gray, showed her enthusiasm for the natural environment today by backing the Gloucestershire 1000 tree planting campaign.

The actress, who played Sue Ellen Ewing in the popular TV soap, has a long history of supporting environmental campaigns and believes that planting trees is a vital investment for our future. ‘We need to consider our grandchildren and my concerns are for them,’ said Linda.

‘Trees balance out all the concrete present in our cities, provide oxygen and are beautiful. The idea of planting a thousand as part of the celebrations is divine!’

Linda, who has been appearing at The Everyman Theatre in the touring production of ‘Terms of Endearment’, has also recently starred on Broadway in the stage production of ‘The Graduate’, playing ‘Mrs. Robinson’ to sell-out audiences and rave reviews.

As a lasting legacy of the millennium celebrations, the ‘1000 Trees’ campaign is inviting individuals and companies in the county to plant or sponsor a tree with the aim of planting a total of one thousand new trees across Gloucestershire.
Gloucestershire 1000 is also pleased to be working in partnership with The Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity, to offer tree-planting advice to green fingered individuals or encourage companies to make donations toward the planting of new trees in the county.

Two ways of getting involved in the campaign make it easy to add to the grand total. Individuals can grab a spade and plant a tree in their back garden, even encouraging their children to enjoy the experience. Local businesses can also invest in a greener future by making a donation towards other community tree planting schemes taking place in Gloucestershire.

An information pack with details of how to make a donation is available on the website and includes advice for anyone wanting to grab their wellies and plant a tree themselves. Anyone wanting to know more about 1000 Trees or sponsorship options can contact Laura Fleming on 01242 714863.

Five-year Cotswolds conservation project ends

Features by Adam No Comments »

A 2.8 million pound project that has helped to ensure that the Cotswolds retains its natural beauty is nearing completion. The Caring for the Cotswolds project, which was supported by a £1.4 million Heritage Lottery Fund Grant has been tackling the key elements that make the area unique.

It is one of the first pioneering ‘landscape scale’ projects funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and has helped to ensure that the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is conserved and enhanced for future generations.

In delivering the project the Cotswolds Conservation Board paid special attention to:

  • The drystone walls that are a distinctive feature of the AONB
  • The limestone grasslands that were greatly reduced in number decades ago due to intensive farming but are now being restored by conservationists and farmers to provide a rich habitat for a diverse range of animals and plants, including up to 25 species of butterfly
  • Conserving the local distinctiveness of the field patterns, hedgerows, trees, towns, villages and buildings that make the Cotswolds unique
  • A major interpretation project aimed at helping the public understand and enjoy the Cotswolds AONB

Niel Curwen Chairman of the Cotswolds Conservation Board said:

“ When you walk or drive through the Cotswolds landscape and take time to reflect upon the characteristics that make the area unique, it is worth remembering that, although they appear to have been there for ever, the features that catch your eye may well have been carefully cared for and tended recently.

“ Very often, we see a view that pleases and find ourselves appreciating it for its timeless beauty but the satisfying balance and composition of some of the most stunning vistas in the area has very often been given a helping hand in the recent past by farmers, land managers and conservationists.”

The project, which ends this December has covered a wide spectrum of conservation work, from using conservation grazing to ensure that wildflower grassland sites in target areas flourish to providing rural skills courses to encourage more people to learn to repair drystone walls.

Another Step in the Restoration of the Cotswold Canals

Features by Adam No Comments »

Another important step in the Cotswold Canals Partnership’s restoration of the Cotswold Canals is being taken today (18th September) with construction work getting underway at Oil Mills in Ebley. This initial project covers the £1.3 million restoration of a 650-metre stretch of the Stroudwater Navigation and the restoration of Oil Mills bridge.

This initial project is part of Phase 1a of the full restoration which will cost £24.2million and is itself part of a wider regeneration funding package of £37million. Phase 1a includes the full restoration of a 6½-mile (9½-kilometre) stretch from Brimscombe Port to Stonehouse and a further 4-mile (6km) multi-user path to Saul Junction, due for completion in two years.

The work will be project managed by British Waterways and undertaken by its contractor Morrison Construction. Stroud District Council and British Waterways continue discussions to complete terms of agreement for the completion of Phase 1a of the full restoration.

The Cotswold Canals, formed by the historic waterways of the Stroudwater Navigation and the Thames & Severn Canal, once traversed the Cotswold hills and some of the UK’s most beautiful countryside in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire to link the rivers Severn and Thames.

The project represents a major boost to the area and will act as a catalyst for inward investment and regeneration.

Bruce Hall, Chairman of the Cotswold Canals Trust, says: “This is another exciting day in the long history of this incredible project. A full thirty five years after the first canal enthusiasts got together to start their campaigning and restoration work. When I look back, I heave a huge sigh of relief and think, yes it has all been worth it.”

“The commencement of work at Oil Mills is another step towards the full restoration of the Cotswold Canals,” said Cllr Nigel Studdert-Kennedy, Stroud District Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration. “Once again we are pleased to show what hard work and teamwork can deliver. We are delighted that the Canal Project will now demonstrate to its supporters that it really can happen. The Canal team has every right to be pleased with the fruits of its endeavours. This is very good news for the future of Stroud and of the District.”

It was also announced that British Waterways is going to focus on the restoration of the canals whilst the Council will lead on the restoration and development of Brimscombe Port and plans to appoint a private developer.

The project is backed by a strong community partnership made up of: British Waterways, Cotswold Canals Trust, Cotswold District Council, Cotswold Water Park Society, Environment Agency, Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire First, Gloucestershire Rural Community Council, Inland Waterways Association, Learning & Skills Council, North Wiltshire District Council, South West of England Regional Development Agency, SW Tourism, Stroud District Council, Company of Proprietors of the Stroudwater Navigation, Swindon Borough Council, The Waterways Trust and Wiltshire County Council.

The work getting underway at Oil Mills will restore a 650-metre length of the Stroudwater Navigation and build a new bridge crossing the canal to Snow Mill (aka Oil Mills). Excavation work is expected to be completed in November, following by the bridge in March 2008.

The original hump-backed bridge on the site was removed as part of a road improvement scheme. It will be replaced by a new bridge echoing original designs but able to carry modern traffic levels, using what remains of the original bridge under the road.

The Cotswold Canals Partnership expects to hear later this autumn about its £24million Big Lottery Fund bid which would take the restoration a further 4 miles (six kilometres) from The Ocean to Saul Junction.

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