Visitors encouraged to ‘Respect and Enjoy’ the Cotswolds
As national restrictions ease, Cotswold District Council is putting plans in place to support local communities as visitors are expected to return to the area in the coming weeks.
From March to June lockdown restrictions are due to lift in line with the Government’s roadmap, allowing people to once again visit the Cotswolds.
As restrictions ease, the Council is putting together plans to minimise the impact on local communities as visitors return to the Cotswolds bringing a welcome economic boost to the area.
Work has already begun across the district to support businesses to reopen safely with council officers providing training and materials to local businesses, including takeaways that are already allowed to be open, to help manage queuing and enable customers to continue to follow Government guidance on social distancing.
As the stay at home guidance is lifted on 29 March and outdoor gatherings of up to six people, or two households, are allowed, the Council’s Covid Recovery Assistants will be out across the district providing guidance and encouraging people to respect the local area.
Bourton-on-the-Water saw particular issues with littering over last summer and so additional bins will be added to encourage visitors to put their rubbish in a bin. There will also be additional litter picking and increased emptying of bins around the village.
At the end of 2020, the Council set up a ‘tourism charge’ of 50p for every stay at its Rissington Road car park in Bourton-on-the-Water which will fund local improvements. The Council consulted during February on options for how to spend the fund with over 250 residents responding. The Council is now looking at those responses with plans due to be finalised shortly to further help manage visitors and help keep our residents safe.
As attractions, pubs and self-contained holiday lets are due to open on 12 April the Council will be working closely with those businesses to help them prepare and ensure customers remain safe when visiting.
Visitors to the Cotswolds and surrounding area are also being encouraged to respect and enjoy our local beauty spots by parking considerately, taking home any litter (particularly if a litter bin is full) and helping to maintain the beauty of the Cotswolds.
Councillor Tony Dale, Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “After a year of restrictions and lockdown for the past three months, people will understandably want to get outside, meet friends and family, and visit our beautiful towns and countryside.
“While we welcome visitors and the benefits they bring to our local economy, I would encourage everyone visiting the Cotswolds, including people from within the region, to think about the local people and respect our towns, villages, countryside and attractions which only maintain their beauty when people look after them.
“We will be doing all we can to help our local communities and we hope the support we will be putting in place will help us have a safe and enjoyable Spring and Summer as lockdown restrictions ease.”