Money is available to help restore dry-stone walls along the route of the pipeline
A new scheme aimed at restoring dry-stone walls in the Cotswolds has been launched.
The Cotswolds Conservation Board (CCB) and National Grid have announced a new £300,000 grant scheme available for landowners, farmers and local communities in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The scheme is aimed at restoring dry-stone walls along a 5km (3 mile) corridor centred along the route of the Wormington to Sapperton gas pipeline currently being constructed by National Grid.
The funding has been provided for the CCB to invest in conserving and enhancing the Cotswolds landscape during and after the construction period.
Farmers, tenant farmers, landowners and local communities located within the corridor are now able to apply for grants to assist with the cost of restoring dry-stone walls on their land.
Jeff West, Chairman of the Cotswolds Conservation Board said: "Conserving the landscape and special qualities of the Cotswolds is our primary aim, and dry-stone walls are an important feature of the AONB.
"We have developed a good working relationship with National Grid throughout this project and I am delighted to be able to launch this new funding scheme with them."
National Grid Senior Project Manager, Ian Sarson said: "Care for the environment and supporting the communities in which we work is very important to National Grid.
"We're delighted to be able to help the Cotswolds Conservation Board in the improvement and conservation of these important local features."
Michael Cooch of Elkstone Parish Council welcomed the news: "The launch of this new fund is very good news for local residents and our local environment.
"There are many walls in this area which are in need of repair and I am sure that this funding will be welcomed by many landowners."
Construction of the 44 km (27 mile), 900mm (35 in) diameter pipeline linking National Grid's existing installations at Wormington (near Broadway) and Sapperton (near Cirencester) began in March and is due to finish this autumn, with some reinstatement working continuing after this time.
The essential pipeline will meet the demand for reliable and economic gas supplies in the South West of England by next winter.
Further details of the grant scheme, along with an application pack, are available from the Cotswolds Conservation Board by calling 01451 862000 or by visiting the
Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty website.