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A new plan for the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Places by Adam No Comments »

A new plan has been published setting out policies and goals for the management of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, (AONB). The AONB covers 790 square miles and is the second largest protected landscape in England, stretching from south Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north, through Gloucestershire and parts of west Oxfordshire, down to west Wiltshire and the area surrounding Bath in the south. Read the rest of this entry »

A Place in my Country – In Search of a Rural Dream – by Ian Walthew

Events, Features by Tony No Comments »

Thursday 1st May 2008 Cotswold Author Ian Walthew’s highly acclaimed first book is being re-issued in paperback.
A Place in My Country is part memoir, dealing with issues of personal identity, sense of place, loss and memory, but equally it is about a small Cotswold village in the early 21st Century.

“Funny, touching and ultimately very moving..a beautiful, unsentimental account of a personal loss that is reflected in the rapidly changing texture of life in rural England” Sunday Telegraph

Read the rest of this entry »

Learn how to help repair historic Cotswold drystone walls

Features by Adam No Comments »

People are being offered the opportunity to learn the traditional rural art of drystone walling in the beautiful surroundings of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). For the sixth year running the Cotswolds Conservation Board, the organisation that exists to conserve and enhance the AONB, is providing walling courses at locations across the 790 square mile protected landscape. Read the rest of this entry »

Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society is looking for some Competitors

Features, Food and Produce by Tony No Comments »

The Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society (GRFGS) has just issued its Annual Schedule of Competitions for 2008. The object of the Society is to encourage the improvement of all forms of agricultural practices and products and the 2008 Competitions are a Farm Championship, Livestock Championship, Arable Championship, Forage Championship and Special Awards. Read the rest of this entry »

Cotswold Farm Walks invite you to take “A Dawn Chorus” walk

Events, Features by Tony No Comments »

Saturday 3rd May 04.00-04.30 Manor Farm, Bourton-on-the-Hill, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 9AQ.

Ornithologist Arthur Ball will identify bird song at a beautiful site in the Cotswolds Read the rest of this entry »

Cotswold Farm Walks at Bourton-on-the-Hill – and they are free!

Features, Places by Tony No Comments »

Robin Dale at Manor Farm, Bourton-on-the-Hill, near Moreton-in-Marsh in the Cotswolds is offering free Cotswold Farm Walks as part of the DEFRA Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) Conservation Scheme. Read the rest of this entry »

Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society – Results and Annual Report 2007

Events, Features, Food and Produce by Tony No Comments »

Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society logoThursday 24th January 18.30 The Annual General Meeting will be held at their HQ Bisley House

The Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society (GRFGS) was established in 1863 and its aim is to encourage the improvement of all forms of agricultural practices and products. Its Patron is The Prince of Wales.

Annual Report 2007 – President’s Report

“Possibly the strangest year on record for agriculture with the confusion of Foot & Mouth and Blue Tongue restriction zones compounded by flooding in July!

Bearing in mind that many people had their houses flooded and their summer totally disrupted, the cancellation of the Tillage Event cannot be viewed as a disaster but this certainly dampened the spirits of members this year.

Throughout these trials and tribulations however, our members have remained buoyant and resilient and this has paid off to some extent with increased optimism in the arable and dairy sectors.”

Annual Report 2007 – Competitions Officer’s Report

“This year we reciprocated the Championship Judging with the Banbury Agricultural Society; another area of which few of us had any great knowledge or experience. As in past years the opportunity to visit and examine the farming in a new territory was much enjoyed by the judges from both Societies.

The flooding on 10th July had disasterous consequences on many farms whether stock or arable, and disrupted our judging schedule somewhat as can be imagined. The only casualty for the Competitions was the Arable Championship which was not finally judged, a big disappointment for those who had entered some excellent crops.”

However, after prolonged scrutiny of the results the Premier Award for the most points won in the Competitions was a tie between Springhill Estate, Seven Wells, Moreton-in-Marsh and Ponsonby Farms, Lechlade.

Boddington Estates, Boddington, Cheltenham won The Farm Championship and for the second year running Springhill Estate won the The Livestock Championship. A new class this year, Oilseed Rape Establishment, was won by Ponsonby Farms and the Kingston brothers from South Farm, Wootton-under-Edge and Tresham Farm, Tresham won The Best Dairy Herd, Best Managed Grassland and Clamped Silage Classes between them.

A full list of 2007 Trophy Winners is included in the Annual Report but our local farm (local to this website) R & J Baldwyn, High Crest, Hidcote Boyce, Chipping Campden had a good year getting equal 5th place for most points scored in the Competitions with the following results;

Arable Championship – Cotswolds Region – 3rd Place (with a 1st Place in the Barley section), Profitable Wheat Class – 4th Place, Malting Barley Class – 2nd Place, Bagged Silage Class -4th Place, Fodder Beet Class – 2nd Place and Best Managed Grassland – 2nd Place. Well done.

Gloucestershire Root, Fruit and Grain Society
BK
Bisley House
Green Farm Business Park
Bristol Road
Gloucester
GL2 4LY
Telephone 01452 880101
www.grfgs.com

Fly-tipping crackdown is hailed a success

Features by Adam No Comments »

Stop and search in the CotswoldsA major operation in the Cotswolds targeting fly-tippers and other offenders has been hailed a resounding success.

More than 80 vehicles were stopped and checked in today’s (Friday, 18th January 2008) multi-agency exercise at Seven Springs, which was organised by Cotswold District Council and involved Gloucestershire Police, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), the Environment Agency and Gloucestershire County Council’s Trading Standards’ Road Traffic Enforcement and Rogue Trader teams.

“It went really well and showed that a joined-up approach can be much more effective than agencies working independently of each other,” said Cllr Mark Tufnell, Cotswold District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment. “As a Council we are very grateful to the other agencies for their support.

“Today’s operation will serve as a warning to those traders who charge people to take their waste away but then dump it illegally in the District. There is also a lot of ignorance about the legislation and several drivers were informed about their responsibilities with respect to the carrying of waste.”

Everyone has a duty of care to ensure their rubbish is disposed of properly. People who carry waste illegally face fines of up to £5,000 while fly-tipping carries a maximum fine of £50,000 and/or up to six months in prison.

During today’s operation, the Environment Agency served notices on six drivers to produce a Waste Carrier’s Licence within seven days and one case is being pursued against a driver who was suspected of having committed a waste carrying offence.

The police issued a fixed penalty notice to the driver of an overweight lorry who was then ordered to unload 100 bricks from the back of his vehicle before being allowed to drive on.

Several other drivers were interviewed by VOSA officials for working outside their allowed hours. One of them had been working for 12 days in a row and was subsequently ordered to park up for 45 hours.

Cllr Tufnell added: “This is the second time we have staged this sort of exercise and we will be looking to do more of them in the future as part of our efforts to crack down on environmental crime in the Cotswolds.”

Chief Inspector Bridget Woodhall, of Gloucestershire Constabulary’s Cotswold and Stroud Division, said: “Multi-agency operations such as this one are extremely effective in tackling a wide range of issues for the benefit of local communities.

“We are always pleased to work with our partner agencies on listening to and responding to the concerns of local people, as this operation demonstrates.”

Anyone who is in doubt about the company taking away their waste should contact the Environment Agency on 08708 506506.

Source: Cotswold District Council

Related articles:
A blot on the landscape – flytipping

Big Garden Birdwatch 2008- Lets do it in the Cotswolds

Events, Features by Tony 2 Comments »

Saturday 26th January & Sunday 27th January 2008 – organised by RSPB

The Big Garden Birdwatch is the world’s biggest bird survey. It is organised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and has been a regular event since 1979 when they asked their junior membership to count the birds in their garden – over the same weekend. In 2001 the event was officially opened up to everyone and more than 55,000 people took part. In 2007 more than 400,000 participants took part by counting the birds in their garden for an hour. Together they spotted 6 million birds across 236,000 gardens.

With so many people taking part the RSPB are able to gather imprtant data which helps them to understand more about the population trends of UK garden birds.

Over the years the survey has recorded the huge declines in some of our most familiar birds. Since 1979 the number of house sparrows counted has fallen by 52%, the number of starlings by 76% and the number of blackbirds by 44%. However chaffinchs and great tits have both seen their numbers increase by 36% and 52% respectively. 

Take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch 2008 on 26th & 27th January. Simply spend an hour counting the birds in your garden or local park on either day.

Full details of how to take part are explained on the RSPB website www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch and you can download a counting sheet to help you keep track of how many birds you’ve seen. You submit your results online using an online form which will be open from 26th January for you to enter your counts. The results will be published by the RSPB in March 2008.

Go on – give it a go – it only takes an hour!

Source – Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

Moreton-in-Marsh is one of Britain’s top 10 country towns

Features, Places by Tony No Comments »

Weekend Telegraph Property Section – Caroline McGhie seeks out the best small market towns in Britain. Moreton-in-Marsh is in the top ten

Moreton-in-Marsh has made it into the top ten beating near neighbours like Stow-on-the-Wold, Chipping Norton and Shipston-on-Stour.

“Small market towns are becoming increasing desirable, as much for their natural beauty as their shops and schools” Britain’s finest country towns sparkle like precious stones in the property market; beacons of prosperity, enterprise and asperation. They are the setting for some of our most unusual shops, our greatest novels, our agricultural highs and lows. They are the heartbeat of the countryside.”

“Moreton-in-Marsh is a Cotswold beauty with a glorious main street of golden stone houses with back lanes running off. Strategically placed between Stratford-upon-Avon, Evesham, Bath and Oxford, it once thrived as a coaching stop, but now attracts commuters who use the local station for the 90 minute journey into London.”

“It is Heythrop Hunt country and the town has its very own horse and agricultural show in September. In the summer it fills with opera buffs flocking to the Longborough Festival, the Cotswolds’  answer to Glyndebourne. It is accessible to everywhere, a crossing point that is set in beautiful countryside and the Tuesday market, where you can buy everything from slippers to saucissons, is protected by a Royal Charter granted by King Charles I.”

Other local towns in the list of top 50 towns to delight were:
Cheltenham
Cirencester
Stow-on-the-Wold
Stratford-upon-Avon

Come and stay at Little Gidding and spend some time in these five top 50 local towns. All five towns are within a 1/2 hour drive through the lovely local countryside.

Also visit other local country towns like Chipping Norton, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwick, Tewkesbury and Winchcombe which didn’t make it to the top fifty but which have lots of character and charm and many supporters. Let us have your views and comments.       

Source: Daily Telegraph Weekend Property Section 

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