One of the wonderful aspects of cycling in the Cotswolds is that there are some truly stunning places to discover while you’re out and about on a bike.
While there are plenty of places that you may want to put on your itinerary for a self-guided cycling trip in the region, the Cotswold Water Park should also make your list. The area has recently been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The Cotswold Water Park covers some 2,000 hectares and is made up of 177 lakes. It actually spans across county borders, stretching across Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire.
Natural England will be working with all the owners and occupiers of the park to manage the area, and protect and enhance the wildlife and habitats. Among the reasons for the SSSI designation is the range of scarce bird species the park is home to.
Among them are little egrets, little ringed plovers, Cetti’s warblers, blackcaps, willow warblers and nightingales.
Chief executive of Natural England Marian Spain commented: “Places like this are ever more important in bringing people and nature together, and giving us that contact with wildlife that’s so vital for our health and wellbeing.”
As well as being a haven for wildlife, the Cotswold Water Park also has a number of cycle routes to help you explore the area on two wheels. National Cycle Route 45 passes through the protected area, while there are also a number of permissive cycle paths and bridleways that you can explore.