Cotswold Water Park
With over 133 lakes, covering an area of more than 40 square miles, Cotswold Water Park is a magnet for water sports enthusiasts, anglers, photographers, wildlife watchers and lovers of the great outdoors.
Cotswold Water Park Trust, a registered charity, campaigns to protect wildlife and promote understanding through an extensive programme of education, projects, talks, workshops and public events.
Visitors enjoy a variety of leisure opportunities ranging from walking and cycling to sailing, windsurfing and scuba diving – or relaxing on the largest inland bathing beach in the UK. There are some friendly tea rooms and quirky country pubs where you can relax and enjoy local Cotswold produce too.
Some of the facilities are for members only, but many are open to the public. For more information please:
- visit the Cotswold Water Park Trust website
Wildlife at the Cotswold Water Park
Cotswold Water Park houses a number of nationally important nature reserves supporting an abundance of wildlife from bats and badgers to reptiles, birds, butterflies and insects.
Explore habitats ranging from reed beds to woodlands and wetland swamps rich in orchids. You might spot an elusive otter in a stream. Endangered water voles have seen a resurgence here, thanks to the Trust’s Water Vole Recovery Project, and the area is home to a multitude of bird species including the rare bittern.
For further information please visit the following websites:
The Water Park past and present
Cotswold Water Park (CWP) was formed by the extraction of sand and gravel over fifty years. As pits came to the end of their working lives, pumps were turned off and the pits gradually filled with water to form inland lakes.
1999: Supplementary Planning Guidance
The SPG divided much of the CWP up into zones, indicating the type of development that might be appropriate in those zones.
2008: Strategic Review and Implementation Plan
In 2008 the Cotswold Water Park Joint Committee approved the Cotswold Water Park Strategic Review and Implementation Plan, otherwise known as the CWP Masterplan, which had been prepared on their behalf by consultants, Scott Wilson, in consultation with the local community and other stakeholders. The master plan helps guide the future of the CWP. Please see the documents below:
- Non-technical summary (July 2008)
- Stage III Report - Vision and Implementation Plan (July 2008)
- Stage III - Maps (July 2008)
- Stage II Report - Key Issues and Options Evaluation (July 2008)
- Stage II - Maps (July 2008)
- Stage I - Summary of Technical Reports (May 2007)
The CWP Joint Committee reviewed the Masterplan at its meeting on 10 December 2010 and agreed a review of the strategic review and implementation plan which proposed some minor amendments.
2009: Integrated Character Assessment
Parts of the Cotswold Water Park fall outside Gloucestershire, in north Wiltshire. A Landscape Character Assessment of the Cotswold Water Park and the surrounding area produced by Wiltshire Council included areas of Gloucestershire, as well as Wiltshire and Oxfordshire. For further information please download the:
2018: Local Plan 2011-2031
The Cotswold District Local Plan adopted in 2018 introduced a new policy: Cotswold Water Park Post-Mineral Extraction After Use (POLICY SP5) which can be found in chapter 12 of the plan.
Holiday home restrictions
There are a number of holiday developments within the CWP. For further information about the restrictions applied to holiday accommodation, please visit: