With such a large area as the Cotswolds, and a remit that covers the protection and enhancement of its heritage and environment, our projects can and do vary considerably. Read on to learn more about our current projects.

Developing the Old Prison

Our work at the Old Prison is definitely a long-term project.

We bought the 18th century Grade 2* listed building in 2013 to ensure it remained open to the public to visit and enjoy. In 2017/2018 we closed our doors to carry out the most significant developments of the Old Prison since the female cell block was built in 1844!

Today the Old Prison is open for visitors to look around. we welcome people to learn about its history and our plans to develop the site in the future.

When visiting the Old Prison you will be able to learn about the building’s fascinating history, as well as find out more about rural life during the lifetime of the Old Prison. Click here to find out more.

Our thanks to the EU for the Rural Development Fund Grant that supported our renovation work in 2017/18, and the Notgrove Trust for their grant in 2021 to deliver interpretation and education materials at the Old Prison.

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The Cotswold Craft Apprenticeship Scheme

Protecting the heritage of the Cotswolds is a natural step for us. Our research has shown a strong need for rural heritage-skills apprenticeships here in the Cotswolds. With significant gaps in the heritage skills sector, and a real need for these skills to maintain the heritage of the area, we are working to bridge this gap. What’s more, this project will also provide an opportunity for local people to gain both qualifications and employment.

Two Saddlery apprentices have already completed their apprenticeship course and both are now working in the industry. Currently on the Cotswold Craft Apprenticeship Scheme are two Stone Mason apprentices, both are completed a foundation degree in Applied Historic Building Conservation and Repair at Gloucester Cathedral. Find out more about their work here.

In addition, we have teamed up with CPRE Gloucestershire and will be supporting two apprentices in Hedgerow restoration in the new year. This project will deliver the hedge-restoration work where it is most needed, with two newly recruited apprentices joining our Cotswold Craft Apprenticeship Scheme. The project will bring in CPRE volunteers, community members, school children and Cotswold Wardens (from Cotswold National Landscape) to help with the project on specific days. They will not only restore hedgerows but also benefit from the practical and commercial skills necessary to be able to be employed as a hedge layer once they complete their training.

We are continuing to fundraise for this project to ensure we can work with as many apprentices and craft employers as possible. If you would like to help you can donate here.

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Hedges – Call for Volunteers!

We have teamed up with the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group and CPRE Gloucestershire to plant new hedges in Gloucestershire to enhance the landscape and help improve biodiversity, capture carbon, and contribute to improved water.

The existing project is being supported nationally through the Government’s Farming in Protected Landscapes programme and by a CPRE sponsor.

Working with local farmers, the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group is recruiting volunteers offering the opportunity to join them on five separate days over the winter where you will learn about hedges and be involved in planting, led by an instructor from the group.

These “Experience Days” will be fun and informative.

To register your interest, please contact:

You will be advised of the planting dates and locations in due course.

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Tell Us Your Story – The History of the Old Prison

As part of our work to protect and enhance the heritage of the Cotswolds, we are collecting people’s stories and memories of the Old Prison from its time as a House of Correction, Petty Sessional Court and Police Station.  By the 1930s the main cell blocks were no longer in use. Some 40 years later the Petty Sessional Court and Police Station also closed. An important part of preserving the history of this heritage building for future generations is to capture any stories or memories you may have. We would love to hear from you.

You can tell us your story about anything related to the Old Prison in Northleach by email to We’ll be happy to contact you to check facts and obtain more information if needed. We hope that in collecting these memories we will be better able to tell the story of the Old Prison.

Thank you.

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You can support our projects, click here to find out more