Cotswold residents will soon benefit from new and improved health and leisure services in the Cotswolds following a district-wide review into leisure provision.
At a meeting on Monday 1 March, the Council’s Cabinet unanimously supported the adoption of the Cotswold Leisure Strategy – an all-new vision for leisure that will provide sustainable physical activity and sport opportunities for residents and local communities in the Cotswolds.

The Cotswold leisure Strategy has been designed with a focus on promoting healthy lifestyles and improving the wellbeing of residents.

The strategy makes many recommendations for improving health and leisure services across the district, including; improving current facilities, putting on additional activities for target groups and supporting local communities to engage with physical activity.

Cllr Jenny Forde, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “I’m thrilled to announce our new Cotswold Leisure Strategy. Helping residents, businesses and communities access the support they need to ensure a high level of health and well-being is a key priority for the Council and this strategy lays the foundation for the improvements we would like to make.

“We want to work side by side with communities to build a healthy district that encourages and supports its residents to live healthier lives through Active Travel and Active Places.

“A major part of the Council’s work to review leisure was about listening to and acting on what Cotswold residents had to say about their access to health, fitness and leisure. We were able to ask them their thoughts on leisure and exercise, before the pandemic, during lockdowns and what they intended to do afterwards.

“We had an incredible response to our public consultation which has helped us better understand attitudes towards health, fitness and their local leisure centres and facilities.”

The feedback received from the wider public consultation along with local sports clubs and public health data has collectively informed the Council’s new strategy.

Cotswold District Council received over 1066 responses from residents to the online public consultation.

When residents were asked whether they would use their local leisure facilities more or less when lockdowns were eased, 13 per cent said they would use their centre ‘more’, while equally, 13 per cent said they would ‘use it less’. As a result, the Council will be working in partnership with its leisure provider to improve visitor experience and raise customer satisfaction, while maximising accessibility and ensuring a high level of service is delivered to all users.

The majority of residents (51 per cent) stated that they travel to their place of activity by small or medium cars due to ‘ease of use’ – with just over half travelling 10 minutes or less. Based on this feedback the Council has plans to facilitate partnership work to promote the benefits of active travel for small journeys to work, volunteering or to visit your place of exercise.

For more information on Leisure Centres, Museums and Promoting health and wellbeing, visit: cotswold.gov.uk/communities-and-leisure/


Abbeyfield is a national Charity and has been established since 1960.  Their ethos is to provide comfortable and affordable supported housing for over 55 year olds whilst maintaining their independence.

We currently have several vacancies at Abbeyfield House, Stow on the Wold, each with bathroom facilities and one with a wet room and two vacancies at Alistair Robertson House, Bourton on the Water, both again with ensuite facilities.  Bourton on the Water has the additional benefit of having a lift.

The Abbeyfield schemes are purposely managed schemes whereby residents live within a large house yet have their own rooms with en-suites (several have wet rooms) and use of the communal facilities.  Each scheme consist of a maximum of 9 rooms so they are very homely and often referred to as living with a big family.

Freshly cooked meals are provided daily by the House Keeper on duty and they are served within a communal environment.  Each resident has use of their own room including a bathroom and use of the communal lounge, dining room, conservatory and garden.  Residents also have an emergency call system available out of hours for extra peace of mind.

Abbeyfield is an ideal setting for someone who needs extra support with the added security of a House Keeper being on duty during the working day.  Maintenance and repair issues are also taken care of and residents have the benefit of social interaction with each other whilst maintaining their own privacy and independence.   Care is not provided at Abbeyfield but residents can have their own care staff tend to them  if necessary.

The room charges are all inclusive of utility bills and food and as The Abbeyfield Society is a national charity they have ensured the rental charge is affordable to all.

We welcome any questions you may have and if the vacancies are of interest to anyone please contact Lyn Orders on 07710 068814.

For more information you can also visit the website www.abbeyfield.com.

Cotswold District Council to extend support for residents facing financial hardship

Cotswold District Council is extending support to working-age Council Tax payers in the District who are facing financial hardship as a result of Covid-19.

Earlier in the pandemic, Cotswold District Council set up a financial hardship support scheme to help residents financially impacted by the effects of the Covid-19 restrictions. Eligible residents could claim relief of up to £150 on their Council Tax.

At a meeting on Monday 1 March, the Council’s Cabinet agreed to extend the scheme and provide additional financial support to those residents as restrictions continue.

All those eligible who previously applied and were successful will be contacted and given additional support of up to £150 to take the total amount across the pandemic up to £300 for people with bills bigger than this.

The Council will also provide this support to new working-age claimants that qualify for Local Council Tax Support.

Residents can apply for the support scheme by completing a form on our website: cotswold.gov.uk/council-tax-and-benefits/council-tax-support/

Cllr Mike Evemy, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “The pandemic has had a massive impact on some people’s incomes and it’s vital that we ensure those on low incomes receive as much support as is available at this difficult time.

“We are working in partnership with the Stroud and Cotswold Citizens Advice Bureau and would encourage anyone who is struggling with debt or to make their mortgage or rent payments to contact them for advice and support.

“We recognise that this is a challenging economic climate and we hope this will help the finances of those most in need.”

The Citizens Advice Bureau will carry out a review of income and expenditure and will refer clients to the Council to access Council Tax Support.

For more information, please visit our website: cotswold.gov.uk/council-tax-and-benefits/




Last week we sent out an urgent press release about feeding horses that you do not own.

You may not realise but feeding a horse or pony an item from your home may be illegal and may harm a horse.

In Stow a pony owner has repeatedly asked the public not to feed their ponies from the roadside as they have special dietary requirements and are getting ill.

Today we have received news that after someone fed the pony a bowl of kitchen scraps and the pony has sadly died, leaving the elderly owner without their pet.

Please do not feed ponies or horses you don’t own, you may think what you are doing is kind, but you may kill an animal.



It has been reported to Police that members of the public are feeding horses in fields around Stow On The Wold. This has caused the horses to become ill and require the services of Vet.

Over-feeding (feeding more energy than is used by the horse) on a long-term basis leads to obesity, which can result in serious welfare problems and can affect health.

Horses are naturally grazers who eat little and often. Their natural diet is mainly grasses, which have a high roughage (fibre) content.

The quantity of concentrates fed to a horse as supplementary feed in addition to any forage should be no more than that necessary to provide the required energy for the type and quantity of exercise performed or for any required weight gain. Feeding excessive concentrates can contribute to health problems such as obesity, gastrointestinal upset and laminitis.

Stone Stiles in Gloucestershire. Could you help discover more?

Did you know in the main in Gloucestershire there are three types stone of stiles – step, squeeze and slab? Step stiles are not so common. For centuries they have provided access across field boundaries to locals walking along ancient pathways as they went about their business. Despite the historic value of these stiles scores of them have been abandoned and some lost forever.

Stone stiles are found in many areas of the county including in and around Stow-on-the-Wold. There are examples throughout Gloucestershire of the three types of stiles, however step stiles are rare. Perhaps you might spot one?

In 2020 Peter Wilson, a member of CPRE launched ‘The Stone Stile Project’. Peter has extensive knowledge of the history of stone stiles but was surprised to learn there was no comprehensive record of stiles in neither our county nor apparently elsewhere in the country. In association with CPRE and the Cotteswold Naturalists Field Club, Peter’s aim was have a record of every remaining stone stile in Gloucestershire before they were lost forever. Through support from these two groups and other keen walkers almost 450 stiles have been recorded but it’s known there are at least 100 more stiles yet to be mapped.

When you are out walking, if you spot a stone stile, or if you know of an existing stile, please photograph it, if possible from both sides. Download a Stile Recording Form by going to the CPRE website, https://www.cpreglos.org.uk/creating-a-record-of-gloucestershire-stone-stiles/  Please give as much information as possible before emailing the form to: peter.wilson@woodchestervalleyvillage.co.uk

Any ‘duplicate’ stiles are fine as you may have taken a better picture than one already on file.

With the many sightings of stiles across the county, Peter has now launched Phase 2 of the project. He is seeking help on a voluntary basis from local people with an historical knowledge of their own parish; also historians, geologists and archaeologist. The aim is to create a comprehensive record of the history of the stiles before some are ‘lost’ forever. If you can help with the next phase or have friends who can, please contact Peter.

The information received will then be made available to develop an interactive App. for the enjoyment of everyone who loves the countryside. There is no doubt this will encourage more people to explore our wonderful county adding to their enjoyment of country walks. It will also help wheelchair users and families with children in buggies to plan their walks.

If you would like to make a donation in support of The Stone Stile Project please go to the CPRE website where there is a ‘Just Giving’ page and more details on the Project.

phone receiving a scam call

Scam Call – Pretending To Be Police

Message from Gloucestershire Constabulary

We are receiving a lot of reports of people receiving phone calls from an alleged police officer.

The person asks if the caller wants to take part in a crime survey and asks for name, date of birth , address , further contact details, whether they live with anyone else, is there any CCTV at their address or neighbouring properties, their financial status and family contacts.

Police will never ask for this information over the phone and we will never ask you to provide bank or debit cards details.

Another call is where the fake officer will tell you your bank account has been targeted and the bank are in on it. They will encourage you to transfer your funds into a “safe” account. Once the funds have been transferred the money is lost.

A good way to monitor calls is to buy an answer phone and only answer trusted numbers. Scammer don’t like answer phones and when they hear the message they will hang up.

Many thanks
PC 2201 Nick Westmacott

blue and white plastic bottle

COVID-19: business update 04 February

This is the latest news from Cotswold District Council relating to Covid-19, read the full email here.