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The Iron Age was brought to life at the launch of our exciting Beacons of the Past project

24 September 2018

Beacons of the Past was officially launched on Saturday 15th September, with a fantastic celebration held at Desborough Castle Park, High Wycombe. The event started at 3.30pm and attracted over 100 participants including volunteers and local residents. Mayor Sarafaz Khan Raja and Councillor Mohammed Hanif were also amongst our visitors, hosted by CCB Chairman Ian Reay and Chief Officer Sue Holden. 


The Iron Age was brought to life with a variety of demonstrations that featured typical skills and methods familiar to Iron Age people. Kim Biddulph was our very own Beacons' Master Chef, presenting her cooking along with samples of bread, butter, cheese and more - all made with prehistoric techniques and ingredients, of course. Will Mills demonstrated flint tool making techniques, and David Willis taught prehistoric bushcraft using nettles and other plants to make string and rope.


Visitors witnessed the first prehistoric furnace at Desborough Castle since... well we may find out later in the project! But in the meantime, we were treated to a copper smelting demonstration by Dr Peter Hommel who also cast replica coin and brooch pieces in pewter - remarkable skills and techniques that definitely brought insight into Iron Age capability.

Steph Rodgers from Chiltern Rangers hosted a 'build-a-box' workshop which attracted lots of younger visitors to create an array of brightly decorated boxes; these will be positioned in and around Desborough Castle and Castlefield woods. There was also Iron Age 'Celtic' facepainting by Jen Quille and, as a result, a good many colourful young faces running around!


Alison Doggett, board member of CCB delivered a wonderful speech describing how the idea for Beacons of the Past first came about in early 2013, and remembering the tremendous effort and determination shown not least by Shirley Judges, previously a CCB board member herself who tragically died in 2014. Dr Wendy Morrison, our unstoppably enthusiastic archaeologist who heads up the Beacons project, welcomed local residents to their very own hillfort at Desborough Castle, and outlined the exciting opportunities ahead for volunteers and enthusiasts.

Following the speeches, two beacons were lit - one on Desborough Castle and the other on West Wycombe Hill. Once the sun had faded in the West, visitors were treated to the sight of the West Wycombe beacon from Desborough Castle.


An amazing launch but only the first of many Beacons events coming up. See you at the next one!

National Land Access Centre launches in Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve

18 September 2018

This new centre opened last week to enable visitors to trial specialist equipment for improved countryside access.

The Chiltern Woodlands Project Publishes its annual review

05 September 2018

Download the Project's latest News of the Woods newsletter and annual report

Chalk, Cherries and Chairs – the plans are complete!

03 September 2018

For more than 2 years the Chilterns Conservation Board, plus partner organisations and many others, have been working hard on plans for “Chalk, Cherries and Chairs” - A major landscape partnership scheme for the Central Chilterns.

The Chilterns Walking Festival is back

02 September 2018

Over 50 walks and activities taking place from 6th - 21st October are now available to book!

CCB awards Cyient Europe contract to produce one of the largest archaeological LiDAR surveys in the UK

30 August 2018

The Chilterns Conservation Board has awarded Cyient Europe Ltd the contract to produce a LiDAR survey of the Chilterns as part of ‘Beacons of the Past: Hillforts in the Chilterns Landscape’, a National Lottery-supported project. The LiDAR survey will enable to the 3.5-year project to uncover more about the Chilterns in the Iron Age, but also encourage and inspire people to find out more about and help protect the heritage environment. 

Do you clean your boots between visits to the countryside?

29 August 2018

Removing mud and other organic matter stuck to shoes and boots could help make a difference to the health of the countryside.

A little Chilterns Champion on an eco-mission makes a big difference!

23 July 2018

Five-year-old school girl, Isla Wood, from Studley Green in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is on a mission to help care for the environment and change the habits of her friends, family and local community.

Chalk Streams need your help as weather hots up!

06 July 2018

Misbourne_dry_2018_tmbWater companies supplying the Chilterns area have appealed to customers to save water as the heatwave drives demand to record high levels, putting pressure on water supplies and the environment.

Chilterns Conservation Board unanimously agrees to request a review to consider National Park status

28 June 2018

The Chilterns Conservation Board for the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have agreed that a request to consider National Park status is made to Natural England and consulted upon in the 2019-2024 Management Plan review.

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