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New social-distance friendly walks launched in the Chilterns

05 July 2020

SD_walk_ near_Ivinghoe Beacon(Ian_Rolfe)The Chilterns Conservation Board and Chiltern Society have developed a series of 23 walks across the Chilterns which are social-distance friendly, avoiding crowded ‘honey-pot’ locations and narrow paths where possible. Between 2 and 6 miles long, the walks start in market towns or villages, with good public transport links or parking facilities, and are being launched to coincide with the re-opening of many pubs and cafes.

The Chilterns has some outstanding food and drink producers and these walks highlight the many farm shops nearby that are open for business and selling Chilterns local specialities to enjoy on a picnic, or to take home- everything from local honey, beer, cheeses, charcuterie, grass fed lamb and much more. The walks were developed by 18 volunteers, all experienced walk leaders who are passionate about the Chilterns and keen to share some of their favourite walks away from the crowds. 

SD_Ballinger_Lee_village_greenAll the routes take in the beautiful rolling landscapes of the Chilterns, picturesque villages, and plenty of historic interest too, from old drovers routes to iron age hillforts. Discover places with wonderful names like Nanfan Wood, Lilley Hoe and Cobblershill. And some walks start on commons or at recreation grounds with lots of open space, so ideal for families or friends to combine with a picnic and for kids to run around safely.

SD_walk_near_Ivinghoe_Beacon_FAmily(Ian_Rolfe)Annette Venters of the Chilterns Conservation Board said “During Lockdown the Chilterns countryside has been used and enjoyed as never before, bringing comfort and joy to many. The well-used honey-pot sites can get very crowded, making social distancing difficult and putting pressure on the landscape. Luckily, the Chilterns has over 2,000km of footpaths, so there are plenty of quiet places to enjoy. We hope these walks will encourage people to explore the Chilterns and discover new places”.

Many of the walks are stile-free and most are under 4 miles long, making them accessible to many. Whilst we want more people to enjoy the benefits of walking in the Chilterns, we ask them to do this safely and responsibly by, for example, taking litter home, not lighting fires and barbeques, and keeping dogs under control. See here for further guidance 

SEE HERE to view and download the walks

Chilterns Conservation Board appoints new Planner

29 June 2020

The Chilterns Conservation Board today announced that Dr Matt Thomson has been appointed as the new Planner for the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Public asked to save water to protect supplies and the environment as demand rises to unprecedented levels

25 June 2020

Affinity Water is appealing to its customers to save water as it is predicting a significant increase in the demand for water this week with more people being at home and the hot weather.

Fun in the Sun- easy sun print kit!

25 June 2020

Emily was inspired to take a new approach to her school art project- something you can try easily at home too!

HS2 Updates

23 June 2020

Extinction Rebellion walk along the HS2 PHASE 1 route 20-27 June

Extinction Rebellion and local communities will be walking 125 miles along Phase 1 of the HS2 route, coming through the Chilterns on the 24th and 25th June. 

Click here to read our position on HS2

Chiltern Society HS2 Photo Diary

The construction of the HS2 high speed railway line will have a major impact on the Central Chilterns. Chiltern Society member Keith Hoffmeister has been taking photographs at a number of locations since plans were first announced in 2010. The photos cover the phase before construction as well as early Enabling Works. 

Keith has been joined in this work by fellow members Jim Conboy, Bob Smith and Neil Lynch and cover the construction phase through to completion, when trains will start to run anytime between 2028 and 2031.

Click here to view the photo diary 

It's that time again- let's get making Elderflower cordial!

16 June 2020

Emily is back again with another lockdown cooking adventure!

Burnham Beeches archaeology excavation results revealed.

15 June 2020

The final excavation report from our September 2019 dig near Seven Ways Plain, Burnham Beeches is complete! Read on to see what we did, what we found, and what it all might mean!

Woodlanders' Lives uncover another amazing story of the Chilterns!

13 June 2020

Historian Chris Wedge uncovers stories from his own family history and shares them in 'Hannah's Tale'....

What will the British landscape look like in 20 years?

10 June 2020

A brand-new initiative has been launched to help make lives and landscapes greener, healthier, more beautiful and wilder: Prize to Transform the Future is calling for optimists to help visualise a hopeful and possible future for the London City Region.

Bucks in 100 Objects –“The Chilterns”

09 June 2020

Bucks_100_objects_The_Country_Now_Clare_Leighton_1938

What object would you choose to symbolise Buckinghamshire and the Chilterns?  Buckinghamshire Culture has launched a public, county-wide search for the 100 Objects that best define Buckinghamshire and celebrate its story. There is such a rich collection of artefacts dating back over 300,000 years held in Museums, stores, archives, National Trust properties, stately homes, landscapes and gardens across the county. We are spoilt for choice!  

Chilterns Conservation Board member Paul Mainds has nominated “The Chilterns” as his Object for inclusion in the Bucks 100, symbolised by an iconic London Transport poster “The country now”. This evocative poster was designed by Buckinghamshire based artist and illustrator Clare Leighton in 1938 to promote weekend walks in the Chilterns. It is appealing from an artistic point of view and, characteristic of Leighton’s work, it captures rural life and working scenes at a time when the world around her was becoming increasingly urban. 

But it is also representative of the Chilterns’ relationship with Buckinghamshire. More than half the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is within the County.

 

bucks_100_beechwoods

The distinctive landscape of rolling hills and beechwoods defines the southern part of the County and its timeless beauty is one of the key attractions both for residents and visitors. Yet it is much more than a leisure amenity. The working woodmen remind us of the historic importance of the beech woods, which supplied the wood for the once-flourishing furniture making industry in High Wycombe, the largest in the country. This was, and still is, a working landscape, as well as one enjoyed and cherished by many for a range of leisure pursuits!

 

Bucks_100_CWF

The Chess Valley is specifically named in the poster. Just half an hour from London on the Metropolitan line, it was then, as it is now, a popular destination for leisure walks along the River Chess with its lush green meadows, flanked by wooded hills and dotted with historic villages and country houses.  Yet how many people know that these chalk streams are a globally rare habitat, home to some of our most threatened plants and animals, such as the water vole and brown trout? These fragile habitats face multiple pressures from climate change to over-abstraction. We face a struggle to preserve and restore them and to convey their specialness.

Paul's choice was inspired by a childhood move to the Chilterns:

“I have lived in The Chilterns for over sixty years coming here as a small boy when my father began a new job in London and therefore commuting from the “Metroland” that is the Amersham area. Ever since the Chilterns have been a constant backdrop for my life and an unfailing source of joy and inspiration”.

The commissioning of this and similar posters by the Metropolitan Line is significant. It is a reminder that the Chilterns is on London’s doorstep and provides a landscape of great beauty for relaxation and recreation just a short journey away. A place to unwind and re-charge body and soul. But this accessibility brings its own pressures too, requiring careful management and protection to safeguard it for future generations.

 

For further information about the Bucks in 100 Objects see here 

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