Laura Silverstone is the new Education and Engagement Officer, and Adrian Porter is the new Rivers Officer. They are both looking forward to working with the Chilterns Chalk Streams Project, the Chilterns Conservation Board, and other project partners.
Back in July, the Chilterns Conservation Board and The Chiltern Society secured £294,000 from the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The grant was secured in partnership with several well-established Chilterns charities and community groups, to boost the conservation and enhancement of our precious Chilterns chalk streams.
The Chalk Streams and Wetland Meadows Project comprises a suite of projects, which will include: creating essential habitats for water voles and brown trout on the River Chess; restoring the River Wye backstream at Wycombe Marsh; and enhancing sections of the Hamble and Ewelme Brooks. New interpretation boards will be created on the Chess Valley Walk, and education projects will be developed for schools and the community to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of chalk streams and their special wildlife.
Hambleden Brook – photo copyright Allen Beechey
Laura Silverstone, the Education and Engagement Officer, has worked in environmental education since graduating from the University of Sussex. Her diverse experience ranges from educating children on the banks of the River Lea to running waste and recycling workshops in London and Buckinghamshire.
Laura said, “I’m looking forward to raising the profile of Chilterns chalk streams, engaging with local communities and increasing awareness of the importance of this rare habitat for nature and peoples’ lives.”
Rivers Officer, Adrian Porter, has a background in flooding and risk management and as a volunteer and community activist – which eventually led him to take up a Masters Degree in Water and Environment Management at Queen Mary’s University of London. While he was there, Adrian gained insight and inspiration from Dr Kate Heppell, who has joined the Chilterns Chalk Streams project on secondment.
“When this role came up, I just had to give it my best shot,” Adrian said, adding that he sees this role as an opportunity to make a real difference to nature and wildlife in the Chilterns.
A warm welcome to the new recruits, who are clearly passionate and experienced in their fields. We’re excited to see the project progress and to share more stories soon.
Read more about the Green Recovery Challenge Fund grant.