Andy Parsons, chief executive of Cotswolds National Landscape, tells us more about their outreach and community work.

Community makes the world go round

If there’s one thing that’s been brought into sharp focus since 2020, it’s the importance of community and inclusion.

We all need to feel we belong somewhere, and that we’re welcome.

One of the key themes of the 2019 Landscapes Review, led by Julian Glover, was the assertion that the nation’s protected landscapes are for everyone. At CNL, we believe in this whole heartedly.

Extending the welcome

Work to encourage people to feel included in the Cotswolds, and invited to participate in looking after it, has always happened here.

And of course, there are countless community-based groups working on this too.

Recently, with our involvement in the Evenlode Catchment Partnership, we’ve been able to significantly increase our reach into schools and colleges, inspiring children and young people about river health and environmental conservation.

Meanwhile, other funding has allowed us to develop some fantastic experiences with secondary school pupils at the Cotswold School.

Now in its second year, a programme we offer to pupils there invites selected year 9 students to gain additional skills, experience, and knowledge outside the classroom.

Pupils have been taking part in outdoor learning including tractor driving, dry stone walling, hedge laying and coppicing, and woodland management skills.

The opportunity to shine beyond a purely academic setting boosts confidence, and offers a glimpse into a future career in the countryside.

The countryside is for everyone

Maintaining and building on this work is essential. Thanks to recent funding from the New to Nature programme run by Groundwork UK, we are currently looking to recruit a new Grants and Outreach Officer.

New to Nature is encouraging young people aged 18-25 to find full-time, paid placements in nature and landscape organisations across the UK, increasing diversity and enriching the sector.

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the celebrations to mark the late Queen’s platinum jubilee, this exciting programme will run until March 2024.

Our new team member will be tasked with co-leading our Caring for the Cotswolds programme – a grant scheme based on the concept of visitor giving.

They will work to find new projects for funding, and help guide people and groups through the application process.

They will also help manage the membership base, and look for new ways to expand the scheme.

Alongside this, they will lead on a variety of initiatives to improve people’s access to nature. We want to reach people and communities inside and outside the Cotswolds, and encourage them to feel welcome in the countryside.

The hope for New to Nature is that it provides stepping stones for people to enter the environmental sector.

The focus is on attracting young and diverse talent from communities currently underrepresented in environmental roles, especially young people who are from ethnically diverse backgrounds, have a disability, or are economically disadvantaged.

Help spread the word

Do you know someone who could be interested in applying to this role? Could it be the beginning of a bright new future for you?

Not only will it be fantastic for us as an organisation, but we also truly believe it’ll offer a great start to someone’s career in environmental and conservation work. We’d love to see a wave of brilliant applications rattling the letterbox for this role – so please help us spread the word!

If you’d like to find out more, visit the Vacancies page in the About Us section at