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Friday, February 15th 2013

A day in the life of Robert Talbot

I look out the window and gaze over the valley at the sheep grazing with their new born lambs, the gentle glow of the Cotswold stone buildings with hundreds of years of history locked away and feel blessed to live here.

 

Having moved to the Cotswolds 19 years ago, I have never looked back from the day I arrived. The quality of life here is astonishing with a great community spirit combined with an unhurried pace. Go in the local shops and the shopkeepers will regularly chat with you, regardless of if you are local or a visitor.

 

The Cotswolds is situated in the second largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) after the Lake District and living here makes you feel you want to give something back to help maintain this unique environment.

 

In the summer I share my love and local knowledge of the area guiding walkers along the network of footpaths. Most of my spare time is devoted to volunteering by maintaining the natural environment for others to enjoy. I love installing kissing gates, footbridges over streams, stiles or building dry stonewalls and seasonal work such as hedgelaying or coppicing.

 

Every week a group of volunteers called the Cotswold AONB Voluntary Wardens meet. Each area has a work party; we work with the local authorities and go out ladened with tools and plenty of banter in carrying out all the jobs once upon a time carried out by public services.The attention the footpaths now receive ensure the Cotswolds has some of the best-maintained footpaths in the country.

 

In England and Wales we have National Trails, long distance routes for walking through the finest landscapes. The Cotswold Way is a National Trail and runs through where I live. Each month as a Cotswold Way warden I walk the same 6-mile (10 km) section looking for any problems, armed with my rucksack of tools including secateurs to cut back any vegetation or my spanner to re-hang that gate that does not close properly. Often I meet walkers walking the entire 102-mile (163 km) section in stages and we exchange thoughts that in England often ends up referring to the weather.

 

Posted by Andrew
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