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The Cotswolds AONB, which is the largest in England and Wales, stretches from the border regions of South Warwickshire and Worcestershire, through West Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, and takes in parts of Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset in the south.Gloucestershire County Council is responsible for sixty-three percent of the AONB.This feature, known as the Cotswold escarpment, or sometimes the Cotswold Edge, is a result of the uplifting (tilting) of the limestone layer, exposing its broken edge. To the southeast, the upper reaches of the Thames Valley and towns such as Lechlade, Tetbury and Fairford are often considered to mark the limit of this region.
Due to the rapid expansion of the Cotswolds in order for nearby areas to capitalize on increased house prices, well known ironstone villages, such as Hook Norton, have even been claimed by some to be in the Cotswolds despite lacking key features of Cotswolds villages such as Cotswold stone and are instead built using a deep red/orange ironstone, known locally as Horton Stone.
The official area of the Cotswolds AONB was increased to 2,038 square kilometres (787 sq mi).