About the AONB
The Chilterns is a landscape of remarkable beauty and distinctive character with a unique interaction of geological, ecological and cultural heritage features.
A rich natural tapestry
Ancient hedgerows, trees, orchards and parkland weaving across farmland.
Unspoilt, tranquil countryside.
One of the most accessible protected landscapes in Europe, with relative tranquillity, unspoilt countryside and dark skies on the doorstep of 10 million people.
Scarce and threatened species.
Nationally important concentrations of species-rich chalk grassland that is home to scarce and threatened species, such as Chiltern gentian, wild candytuft, pasqueflower, silver-spotted skipper and glow-worm.
One of the most wooded landscapes in England.
Over half of the woodland is ancient, including the Chilterns beech wood Special Area of Conservation (SAC, European designation). There are also significant box, juniper and beech-yew woods; veteran trees and relict wood pasture.
Nine precious chalk streams.
A globally scarce habitat and home to some of the UK’s most endangered species, such as otter, water vole, reed bunting and brown trout.
A diverse archaeological landscape.
Ancient parish boundaries, medieval field patterns, iron age hillforts, and remnants of woodland heritage like sawpits and charcoal hearths.
Ample common lands.
More than 2,000 ha of common land, heaths and greens, rich in wildlife and cultural heritage.
A network of 2,000 km of rights of way, including two national trails (the Ridgeway and Thames Path); two regional routes (the Chiltern Way and Chilterns Cycleway); and numerous ancient routes like the Icknield Way.
A rich industrial heritage.
An industrial heritage of woodworking, quarrying, brick making and food production with windmills and watercress beds.
Made from local brick, flint and clay tiles; attractive villages and notable buildings including stately homes and monuments; and a wealth of medieval churches.