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Countryside management projects

We manage the countryside to develop nature conservation and so people can enjoy it for many leisure activities and appreciate it’s natural beauty.

​We work with a wide range of partners to achieve this including major businesses and landowners. There are many public rights of way, over ten Local Nature Reserves and many hectares of public open spaces. The value of good countryside management is that it helps to ensure that our area remains a rich tapestry of natural landscapes, coast, inland waterways and urban elegance, enjoyed by residents and people who work in the area.

We are blessed with some wonderful landscapes and habitats which are designated for their national importance. These include the Severn Estuary and the Cotswolds Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The Cotswold Conservation Board helps to manage the Cotswolds AONB producing a five year management plan for the area, which includes towns and villages like Marshfield and Hawkesbury Upton.

The Avon Wildlife Trust andGloucestershire Wildlife Trust both manage reserves in the area, Willsbridge Mill near Bitton and Lower Woods near Wickwar. There are a number of local nature reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest you can visit for their wildlife or geological value including Bickley Woods near Hanham.

We support local community groups and organisations that help look after the countryside in a variety of ways. These include surveying public rights of way, carrying out practical improvements to footpaths & bridleways, doing visitor surveys, managing open access areas, managing wild flower rich road verges and sites of importance for nature conservation.

Natural England is responsible for the agri-environment schemes which use European funds to keep land in good environmental condition. These schemes award payments for a variety of management work from maintaining species-rich hedgerows to unimproved limestone grassland.

Specialist landscape, archaeological and ecological officers advise on development schemes to maximise opportunities to protect landscape views and encourage good management of heritage sites.

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