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Latest news from the Chilterns AONB

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Chilterns AONB newsletter.

As always we have a packed newsletter for you incuding the launch of our extremely popular Walking Festival (tickets are going like hotcakes, so don't delay) plus the return of the Chilterns Building Design Awards and an exclusive reader competition.

With the easing of some lockdown rules we're seeing increasing numbers of visitors to the countryside, so to make sure everyone has an enjoyable time and our hardworking farmers are not negatively affected we're asking everyone to follow the updated Countryside Code. You can find more information on that below.  

As aways take care and stay safe,

Vicki Pearce
Communications Officer



F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R F O L L O W on T W I T T E R
F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M
V I S I T our W E B S I T E V I S I T our W E B S I T E
E M A I L the T E A M E M A I L the T E A M

Booking now open for the spring 2021 Chilterns Walking Festival

The spring Chilterns Walking Festival will take place 21 May to 6 June 2021! The programme includes over 70 guided countryside walks, activities and events including routes centred around nature reserves, iron age hillforts, farms, churches and filming locations.

Booking is easy, simply head over to to find your perfect walk. From bushcraft, wildflowers and wellness to archaeology, farms and local food producers. There's something for everyone to enjoy, no matter what age, interest or ability.

The booking system is now live, what are you waiting for?

View the full programme and book!

Concerns about impacts of HS2’s tunnelling operations on Chilterns aquifer and chalk streams

Along with Buckinghamshire Council, we have raised serious concerns about the impacts of HS2’s tunnelling operations on the chalk aquifer and chalk streams in the Chilterns AONB.

These concerns relate to pollution resulting from tunnelling operations and increasing abstraction of water from our chalk streams, such as the River Misbourne. Our joint Position Statement sets out our concerns and a series of questions that we will continue to seek answers to. The impact of tunnelling and drilling on the chalk aquifer is of huge public interest and we are also seeking full disclosure of information and a public consultation. 
Read the position statement

The Chilterns Building Design Awards are back!

We are thrilled to announce that the 2021 Chilterns Building Design Awards is now open for entries!

Organised in partnership with the Chiltern Society, this prestigious award is designed to recognise and celebrate the Chilterns' best sustainable buildings and structures from the last three years.

Entries are welcome from architects, builders, planners and the public, so if you've be involved with (or know of) a successful building project, enter by the 31st July and be in with a chance of winning this fantastic award.

Read more

Our response to refusal of the Glynswood housing development project

The Chilterns Conservation Board is delighted with Buckinghamshire Council’s decision to reject an application for the construction of 50 homes on land to the rear of Glynswood, High Wycombe. The site lies within the designated Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which means it is protected from major development, unless there is an overriding public need for the development that cannot be met elsewhere.

The principle of some development on this site was set through the Wycombe Local Plan, however the plan also placed strict requirements on any development proposal, including that their design must be ‘landscape-led’. The rejected proposal claimed to have taken such an approach by grouping taller buildings in the middle of the site and including trees and some open space, however they did not draw on the principles of the Chilterns Buildings Design Guide. This approach is not sufficient to justify development of this scale in an AONB.

The image above shows a council drawn map of how the proposed site would look
Read more

News from Chalkscapes

New Contract Opportunity

We are seeking a community development and engagement professional to help deliver our stage 2 National Lottery Heritage Fund bid for 'Chalkscapes', the North Chilterns Community Landscape Initiative.

This piece of work will ensure that the project is co-created with local communities and that inclusive community engagement is a central strand interwoven throughout the project. It will also help create positive and lasting change for landscape and for people.


Read more & apply >>

A new addition to the Chalkscapes Team

We're delighted to announce that Luke Burgess has joined the Chalkscapes team to support Project Manager, Jennifer Ponsford, develop this stage 2 National Lottery Heritage Fund bid.

Luke's background is in ecological consultancy. A licensed hazel dormouse and great crested newt surveyor, he's also experienced in badger and reptile surveys. 

Respect, protect, enjoy: updated Countryside Code published

Together with countryside organisations, we are urging people to follow the Countryside Code, which has just been refreshed after extensive consultation on people’s experiences during the Covid pandemic.

Based around the themes of “Respect, Protect, Enjoy” the revamped Code aims to inform and educate visitors and residents alike so everyone can enjoy the great outdoors.   

We’ve put together a guide with some ideas to help people avoid the busiest areas while still enjoying the best that the Chilterns has to offer. 

Enjoy the Chilterns safely

Exclusive reader competition!

The River Meadow at the Pile of Stones, by acclaimed Chesham-based photographer Matt Writtle is a stunning series of photographs exploring the relationship between humanity and the environment in the English hinterland. These are also on display alongside a section of the River Chess as it passes through Chesham.

Author Matt Writtle hopes his study will educate and inspire. He says: "By illustrating the history, geography and sociology of Chesham through photography, I want people to pursue their own creative adventures, develop a sense of pride in their community and be mindful of their impact on the environment during their daily lives."

We're giving three lucky readers the chance to win a copy of this stunning book. To enter, click the button below or email Winners will be announced in next months' newsletter and will be contacted via email to arrange delivery. 
Enter the competition!

A new Chair and Deputy Chair for the  Board

The Chilterns Conservation Board is delighted to announce that, following the retirement of its Chair and Deputy Chair, Cllr Ian Reay and Professor Ray Payne, respectively, its new Chair will be Paul Mainds, BEM, (above left) who will be assisted by Deputy Chair, John Nicholls (right).

Paul says “I am delighted to have been appointed Chair of the Conservation Board at this exciting time for the Chilterns. During the Covid-19 pandemic we have all realised the enormous value of fresh air and exercise, as well as the subtler benefits for mental health of nature in its widest sense and the unique joys of the Chilterns in particular. With the end of lockdown in sight and the summer sun in prospect it seems a perfect moment to take up the role..."

Read more

New opportunity: Communications Assistant

We're seeking a part-time (22hrs) communications assistant to join our team at a very exciting time. The post would suit a versatile and resourceful individual with broad communications and marketing experience, in particular a strong ability to produce and manage website content using a Content Management System (specifically Wordpress) with confidence.

The successful candidate will be a confident and capable communicator who is able to write in an engaging manner for a variety of audiences and is comfortable working both independently and as part of a team. Knowledge of the Chilterns and experience in the conservation or tourism sector would be advantageous, but not essential.

Deadline: 18 May 2021 at 5pm.

View the job pack and apply
Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. You can also keep up to date with the latest news and information on our website or by following us on social media.
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