HS2 Chilterns AONB Additional Projects Fund
The Secretary of State has made £3m available to support work to identify local environmental integration and enhancement measures as Additional Projects within 3km either side of the HS2 route as it passes through the AONB.
The Review Group Panel will be reviewing the projects and deciding on the allocation of funding on a periodic basis. Due to the integration nature of the projects, some are not going to be started till after construction of the train line is almost complete.
Landscape and Biodiversity Connectivity Project
Overseen by the Chilterns Conservation Board, this project seeks to work with farmers and other landowners to secure measures that reinforce landscape character and improve habitat connectivity otherwise disrupted by construction of the HS2 route.
The project is on-going but so far works have included
– re-pollarding over mature willows beside the River Misbourne at Little Missenden;
– several whole farm and hedgerow management plans to identify suitable management;
– new hedgerows planted;
– existing hedgerows rejuvenated through hedge coppicing, laying and gapping up;
– new orchards established with traditional varieties;
– new areas of woodland planted;
– areas of scrub cleared to prevent areas of wildflower rich chalk grassland being swamped;
– wildflower rich grass margins established to increase pollinator numbers;
– owl and kestrel boxes installed in a number of locations;
– new signage to help visitors recognise, enjoy and respect the farming and wildlife they see while enjoying walks across the area.
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Ridgeway Riding Route
The Ridgeway National Trail have ambitions to adapt 7 sections of the existing rights of way network, to provide links with sections of the Ridgeway National Trail already open to horse and bike riders. These sections are spaced between North Stoke (near Wallingford) and the Ashridge Estate (near Dunstable).
The first phase was launched in Dec 2019 with HS2 AP funding for a route between Pulpit Hill (near Princes Risborough) and Chivery (near Wendover). The Ridgeway National Trail team are working with landowners, the funding is enabling signage, surface improvements, cycle stands, hitching posts and benches.
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Wendover Canal Towpath Upgrade
The Wendover Arm Trust have gained support from almost 30 different national and local groups to upgrade the badly deteriorated towpath within the parishes of Wendover and Halton. In places the towpath has either halved in width, or floods, or is virtually impassable for a family with a pushchair. It has undoubtedly become dangerous. [Could not access the suggested photo]
The towpath serves Wendover residents and is in close proximity to schools, care homes. Th upgrade will provide access for walkers, runners, cyclists and those with reduced mobility and will form an important part of the ambitious Grand Union Canal Triangle between Aylesbury, Wendover and Tring – 22km of towpath linked by 6km of right of way through Weston Turville.