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WANTED: Archaeological Reconstruction Illustrators

22 January 2019

Beacons of the Past

beacons_logoHLF long

The CCB wishes to commission attractive and accurate graphic illustrations of Chilterns hillforts!


21 January 2019

Exciting news: we've been awarded a £2 million National Lottery grant to run the largest conservation project in the Central Chilterns.


Chilterns Buildings Design Award 2019 is now open - apply before March 1st 2019

15 January 2019

The biennial Building Design Awards are now open for submissions - an excellent opportunity to showcase exceptional projects.

Swire Ridgeway Arts Prize - Now open for entrants

08 January 2019

Following the announcement of the Swire Ridgeway Arts Prize 2019, Friends of the Ridgeway are pleased to issue the Rules and Entry Form.

Beacons of the Past - Our Winter 2018/19 e-Newsletter

02 January 2019

Download our Winter 2018/19 Beacons of the Past newsletter, with information about new volunteering opportunities

New Year - New You? The Chilterns has a wealth of groups and activities to help you achieve your fitness goals

18 December 2018

Some of us only contemplate fitness activities roundabout January 1st each year - when our trousers no longer fit! For other people exercise is a welcome break but one that is difficult to incorporate into a busy routine. Whatever your situation, it is universally recognised that keeping fit has to be fun and rewarding or otherwise we drop it. So read on for a few ideas about how to find enjoyable solutions right here in the Chilterns - whether you're an expert or a beginner.

Let's start with some motivators; events you can build up to:

The Ibstone Circle is a challenging off-road 5km or 10km run around the stunning Wormsley Estate. It takes place on Sunday 14th April 2019 - so there's plenty of time to get ready! If that sounds like your particular version of a nightmare, remember there are rewards including finishers' medals, bacon rolls and even cake! The race is open to anyone over the age of 11; please follow the link for further details on entry fees and timing.

The Downley 5k this year is on Sunday 24th June.  The course offers amazing views of Hughenden and 'Blue Bell' wood, before incorporating more challenging hills in the latter stages. All funds raised will go to the Downley School and The Downley Day Committee who offer grants to local organisations. 


The Chilterns Chase starts in Ewelme on 9th June. You can choose to run 5k, 10k or 15k. This multi terrain course starts and finishes on the village Common and takes in footpaths, bridleways, woodland and some road sections. There are runs open to anyone from 13 years of age and over depending on the distance, and fees vary per race length and the age of the runner.

If you feel you need longer to prepare - or you want a follow up race later in the year - have a look at the 10k Bradenham Bolt, organised in October by the National Trust. Run the trail through hills, thrills and obstacles in the beautiful Chilterns countryside near West Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. You can even bring your dog!

And now for the regular training...

If you'll need to put in some weekly hours in readiness for one of those challenging runs, or you just want regular exercise, think about joining a running club, walking association or walking group. Tring Running Club caters for all levels of ability and fitness and organises the Tring Ridgeway run every October.

For those interested in walking, The Ramblers Association has a number of local walking groups across the Chilterns which cater for different age-groups. Although people of all ages are welcome, Weekend Walkers aims particularly at 40s - 50s and Chiltern Young Walkers at 20s - 30s. There are weekly walks throughout the year and mid-week walks during the summer. Both groups offer social events as well as walks. Annual membership is around £35 but please view the websites for more details. The Ramblers Association also runs a 'Walking for Health' programme which is one of the most successful fully independent WfH groups in the country. Within the Chilterns The Goring Gap Health Walks meet in the Rectory Garden next to Goring Village Hall. Their Timetable covers mid week and weekend walks and welcomes all levels of walkers for free.

The Chiltern Society arranges 3 organised walks per week as well as social activities. For an annual membership of around £20, all events are discounted. In addition the Chiltern Society, ChilternsAONB and Visit Chilterns organise the bi-annual Chilterns Walking Festival which takes place next Spring from 18th May - 2nd June and again in the Autumn.

Ridgeway Walk


Other Chilterns groups organising regular health walks include: Hertfordshire Health Walks; Simply Walk Bucks; Bedfordshire Health Walks; Sonning Common Health Walks and Chalgrove Health Walks.

If you're a complete beginner...

So you're a beginner - no problem. The NHS provides an on-line week by week programme, designed to guide you through a 10 week training course that will take you from 'Couch to 5K'.  Of course, the programme is designed to be followed anywhere in the country, but luckily for you Chilterns AONB website has its own interactive map, which means you can find short stile-free walks all round the beautiful Chilterns. For example, there is a fantastic level and scenic walk along the River Thames between the picturesque town of Henley and the village of Lower Shiplake. The Thames Path offers gentle walking for
all abilities, with wonderful views of the river winding its way through green meadows. Download the free guide for this and many other Chilterns walks and you'll not only reach your 5k goal, you'll also benefit from fresh air and wonderful scenery.


Seasonal fun indoors and out

04 December 2018

Discover What's On in the Chilterns over the Christmas holiday period. 

A tribute to Sir John Johnson KCMG (1930 – 2018)

12 November 2018

Sir John, as he was always called, both out of courtesy and affection, was a passionate champion of the Chiltern Hills. Home, after a career in the diplomatic service, was Old Amersham, the ideal base from which to explore the Chilterns of which there was no part he did not know intimately. 

He was the first chairman of the Chilterns Conservation Board (2004 -2010) having been chairman of its precursor, the so-called Shadow Board from 2001. Prior to that he had been vice chairman of the Chilterns Conference since 1995. All the while he had been a Vice President of The Chiltern Society. Nobody was more involved in the conservation of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or more enthusiastic about encouraging local people and visitors to enjoy it. We could not have wished for a better champion, leader, mentor and friend.

Sir John Nov 02
Sir John Johnson KCMG (1930 – 2018)

Sir John hailed from Manchester where he attended the Grammar School and then went up to Keble College, Oxford. A long and distinguished career followed as a diplomat including appointments as High Commissioner in Zambia and his beloved Kenya, for which he was knighted. As a lifelong walker who completed all the Munros he was an ideal choice as chairman of the Countryside Commission (1991 -1995). It was during his tenure that he took a direct interest in the well-being of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty then considered forgotten Cinderella's to the better-known National Parks. Stemming from that time all AONBs now have staff, overseeing organisations and much enhanced funding; it’s little wonder he was held in such high esteem across the country by all those who knew what a difference he had made.

He always found time for his Chilterns’ duties despite holding a raft of honorary positions which included President of the Long Distance Walker’s Association and The Friends of the Lake District, vice president of the Youth Hostels Association and, most importantly to him, The Chiltern Society.  

He will be sadly missed but his legacy is enormous and will be long lasting for which we, residents, visitors and lovers of The Chiltern Hills, will remember him fondly and with enormous gratitude.

Steve Rodrick
Ret’d Chief Officer (1994- 2015)
Chilterns Conservation Board

Chilterns AONB Photography Competition - Finalists revealed

08 November 2018

Now's the chance to vote for your favourite images - just follow the link to the online poll.

A review of the Chilterns AONB Management Plan 2019-24

23 October 2018

Have your say on the future of the Chilterns AONB as we publish the AONB Draft Management Plan 2019-2024 for consultation. 

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