From restoring rivers in the Cotswolds to reintroducing pine martens, our conservation projects are working to secure a brighter future for both wildlife and wild places across the county.
Click the names of the projects below to learn more about some of our other current conservation projects.
Golden valley communities for insects
The Golden Valley is famous for species-rich grasslands and butterflies, within 4km of gently rolling banks in the heart of the Cotswolds from east of Stroud Town to Sapperton. Our 10-year vision for the area is to create a nationally recognised, wildlife-rich landscape, resilient against future environmental and climate change, by targeting habitat improvements for insects. This project will deliver the first pivotal part of this vision.
Across the Cotswolds, 96% of species-rich grassland has been lost since the 1940’s. Numerous plants and insects are found nowhere else and have declined dramatically; fragile refuge populations threatened by habitat fragmentation are left isolated on well-managed nature reserves.
We will create a landscape where threatened insects can thrive by enhancing, expanding, and connecting existing GWT and RES’s wildlife-rich sits, including Daneway Banks home to the largest, critically endangered large blue butterfly population. We will work with 71% of the valley’s landowners and our local volunteer group through species-specific management across 23.8ha:
- Coppicing 1ha of woodland
- Creating scalloped edges along woodland rides
- Removing scrub from 1ha of woodland
- Cutting 0.6ha of meadows
- Installing 3.9km fencing and water supplies to enable conservation grazing
- Landscape will be enhanced and conserved by empowering landowners to make long-term changes to manage land for wildlife.
- Increased resilience of endangered and threatened insect populations, including 29 BAP species.
- Insect sightings increase for thousands of people using the extensive network of public footpaths across all project sites.
This project wouldn't be possible without our funders. The lead funder for this project is Biffa Award, with match funding from Cotswolds National Landscape (CNL) and Royal Entomological Society (RES).
The twin threats of climate change and the loss of wildlife need urgent action and the way land is managed can have a significant impact on both. In these projects we look at a long-term view, putting in place sustainable solutions to climate change and reverse the loss of wildlife.
Environmental Land Management Scheme
As part of GWT’s work trialling options with DEFRA for the new Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS) we can provide a business analysis of current incomes together with possible opportunities from future stewardship agreements, including ELMS.
You can find out more about ELMS here.
Find out more about how we are working with local communities, from bringing together communities to improve hedgehog habitat connectivity, to supporting carers and connecting them to nature.
Click the project names below to find out more about other current community projects.
Carers in nature
From March 2021 we will be running a programme of horticulture and nature activities for carers in Gloucestershire. This will give carer some much needed respite from their caring work. They will have the opportunity to attend sessions at Robinswood Hill Country Park in Gloucester, and learn about wildlife gardening, go on nature walks, and create features for their own gardens.
Supported by the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, carers will be given support to attend sessions where needed. Research carried out by Gloucestershire County Council in 2020 showed that carers are most looking forward to getting outdoors in nature and gardening following the pandemic. Carers in Nature will allow carers to do this in a safe, and guided environment. It will also demonstrate the benefits nature and green spaces can have on improving our health and wellbeing.
Ensuring that our work to conserve and restore Gloucestershire's wildlife and wild places is evidence-led. From ecological monitoring and citizen science, to policy development and scientific research, we use a holistic approach..
HabiMap is a rolling citizen science programme to carry out detailed surveys of all habitats across Gloucestershire every 10 years.
Habitat evidence is already partly available from local and national data sets including satellite mapping, but some of this is old and satellite mapping can’t determine habitat quality – for example it doesn’t separate reseeded rye grassland from wildflower pasture, or show what is growing under woodland trees.
The HabiMap programme will improve the accuracy of the data that can be used by landowners, farmers and communities to inform environmental decisions.
You can read more about the programme here.