Tuesday 1 December 2020
The Chilterns Conservation Board has received initial support* from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the development of Chalkscapes, an exciting new partnership project in the northern part of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to undertake landscape-scale conservation across 5 focus areas across the project area – 172 km2 of protected landscape , whilst inspiring communities to learn about, explore and take action for their local landscapes.
Development funding of £232,600 has been awarded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help the Chilterns Conservation Board and its partners to progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant at a later date.
The project will work with urban communities in Central Bedfordshire, Luton and Hertfordshire to find new and creative ways of inspiring more people to understand and care about the landscape on their doorstep.
Chalkscapes will feature a suite of complimentary projects which will connect people and communities with the landscape and nature around them:
This ambitious project has been created to give urgent support to the wildlife, heritage and communities in the North Chilterns in response to unprecedented and relentless levels of housing, infrastructure growth and environmental pressures.
In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, our connection with nature has never mattered more, and the opportunity to engage with a range of local and nearby urban communities is one which this project plans will be fully explored.
This is a time when we need green spaces and the powerful benefits of nature more than ever. An increasing awareness of climate change brings the opportunity to connect people with their local wildlife and special places, and enable them to make a difference to the local and global challenges that we all face.
Dr Elaine King, Chief Executive Officer of the Chilterns Conservation Board, said:
“We’re delighted to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players. The North Chilterns landscape is a special place – it is rich with chalk streams, ancient woodlands, wild flower meadows, and a wide range of amazing wildlife. But it is under huge pressure from road and housing development, pests, diseases and climate change. This exciting new project will enable more people, from very diverse communities and backgrounds, to enjoy and benefit from connecting with nature, while also helping to care for this special landscape on our doorsteps."
Notes to editors
About the Chilterns Conservation Board
1. The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was designated in 1965 and covers 833 sq kms (326 sq miles) stretching from Goring, in Oxfordshire, to near Hitchin, in Hertfordshire. It has a resident population of 80,000.
2. The Chilterns Conservation Board was set up following the passing of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, 2000, to conserve and enhance the natural beauty and increase awareness and understanding of the Chilterns AONB. The Board, which also aims to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities, is supported by Defra and all local authorities in the area.
About The National Lottery Heritage Fund
* National Lottery Heritage Fund grant applications over £250,000 are assessed in two rounds. The Chalkscapes project has initially been granted round one development funding of £232,600 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £2,857,500.
Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.
For further information, images and interviews please contact Vicki Pearce, Communications Officer at the Chilterns Conservation Board on 01844 355 521 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.