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Latest news from the Chilterns AONB

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

Spring is definitely in the air and we’re seeing lots of snowdrops and daffodils as well as changes in the soundscape of the Chilterns – with lots more birdsong and the bleating of the first few newborn lambs.

We’re looking forward to lockdown easing, and being able to meet other people outdoors again, pencilled in for 29th March – don’t forget to have a look at our selection of social-distance friendly walks before heading out.

I'm pleased to announce that our ever-popular Walking Festival has got the go-ahead for May/June and we’ll be sharing dates, details and how to sign up very soon. 

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this newsletter, do get in touch with your feedback and ideas for items to include in future newsletters.  

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 T W I T T E R
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
E M A I L the T E A M

An update on HS2 

The Chilterns Conservation Board remains of the view that HS2 will cause lasting and irreparable damage to the wildlife, landscape and communities of the Chilterns AONB. Now that construction work has begun, we are monitoring a range of works in the Chilterns AONB and responding to concerns and questions brought to our attention by members of the public, local community groups, parish councils and others. We are also liaising closely with key partners including Buckinghamshire Council, Natural England, the Chiltern Society and Thames Valley Police.
Given the rapidly increasing extent of activity by HS2 and its contractors, we aim to publish monthly updates on our website to provide information on our efforts to hold HS2 Ltd and its contractors to account. Our influence is limited, in part because we have no statutory powers, but - working with our partners and local communities - we will nevertheless do all we can to try to reduce the damage being caused to the Chilterns AONB by HS2.
Read the latest updates

Our year in review 

Last month we published our annual review, highlighting some of the amazing work our team has done to care for the Chilterns landscape and work with our partners, businesses and local communities throughout 2019-20.

From three exciting new projects that will individually inspire communities to love the landscape on their doorstep, help build a thriving visitor economy & mitigate damage to the landscape caused by rail electrification, to the practical conservation work of our Chalk, Cherries and Chairs team who planted 1500m of new hedgerow; we've achieved a lot, but there is much more to do!
Read the Review

News from the Chalk, Cherries and Chairs team

Chalk, Cherries & Chairs welcomes a new Project Manager

Last month we were delighted to welcome Lachlan Stuart as the new Project Manager of our Chalk, Cherries and Chairs scheme. 

Lachlan has a wealth of project management experience with a professional background in both human and environmental resource management. He is also a keen champion of diversity and community empowerment. We are thrilled to have him on board leading this exciting project.


Landscape Connections forges ahead despite lockdown!

With hundreds of plants on order, the Chalk, Cherries and Chairs team has ploughed ahead with its practical work despite not having the usual army of volunteers, due to lockdown restrictions. The team (who are certainly not afraid of hard work) have achieved a huge amount over the past few months, including: adding more fruit trees to an Orchard at Collings Hangar Farm in Prestwood; creating 100 metres of native hedgerow in Bledlow Ridge; and working with the landowner at Kennel Farm in Little Missenden to encourage natural recolonisation of rare plants, invertebrates and birds across their mixed farm. 


New video explains why it's so important to follow the countryside code

"Enjoy the outdoors when taking your daily exercise, but please follow the countryside code" explains Dom, a farmer in the Cotswolds AONB. Watch the video to find out why it's so important to stay on the paths.

Read the countryside code

Could you be our next Landscape Heritage Officer?

An exciting vacancy has arisen for a Landscape Heritage Officer on the Beacons of the Past team. If you have expertise in archaeology, LiDAR, GIS and databases, (and of course hillforts!) then we want to hear from you!
Read the job description

Find out how we're Mending the Gap 

The team on our Mend the Gap project have produced this informative video to introduce the project. 
Find out more about the project

Interactive storymap created for the River Chess

An informative new interactive map showing a wealth of information about the threats to the River Chess - such as pollution, abstraction and climate change -  has been created. The map integrates real-time data to show the latest situations with river flows, groundwater levels and rainfall.
Developed by Queen Mary University of London in partnership with the River Chess Association and the Chilterns Chalk Streams Project, the new resource provides an overview of the geography and ecology of the river, as well as how people use the river as a resource.
View the storymap

Get involved in nature

There are lots of opportunities to get involved in helping nature to recover in many ways. We have several such opportunities below: 
Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre is looking for experienced field volunteers to carry out surveys on Local Wildlife Sites in Berkshire. These sites cover a range of habitat types including woodland, wetland, heathland, bog and grassland, and have the potential to support a variety of rare species. These surveys could include standard habitat and botanical surveys but also more specialist surveys on specific species/ taxonomic groups.

>> read the advert
The Wildlife Trust for Beds, Cambs and Northants is now recruiting for a full time Project Manager and a full time Wildlife and Communities Officer, to deliver the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Bradgers Hill Wilder Future project in Luton. This is a partnership project with Luton Borough Council. The Trust is very keen to encourage applications from a broad section of the community. 

>> read more

Put your lockdown walking to good use and help fight in the battle against cancer and Covid

The Metro has teamed up with small Buckinghamshire based charity, Medical Detection Dogs (MDD), who help train dogs to detect life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer and coronavirus.

To help raise funds for this important charity, the Metro has organised a fantastic hiking event on Saturday 19th June, near the Oxfordshire village of Goring, taking in the Thames path and beautiful Chilterns AONB countryside along the way. The event is called Woof and Walk for MDD and comprises a long 42k marathon distance route and a 10k walk, to which you can even bring your dog and family.

Find out more

Get Bucks Buzzing 

Our friends at the Local Nature Partnership for Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes have shared a wonderful set of resources with us - from information for community groups and teachers to activities for kids. They have a great website jam packed with interesting tips and useful information on how to improve our environments for bees and get Bucks Buzzing. 
view resources
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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