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A warm winter welcome from the Chilterns AONB


This month's main feature is the Government's long-awaited response to the Glover Landscapes Review. Read our thoughts on the plans below and don't miss the opportunity to have your say 
and help us reinvigorate the status of AONBs.

This month's theme is proactive people in the Chilterns, starting with a celebration of the achievements of volunteers who took part in a citizen science project, gathering data to inform conservation policy and pratice. Watch a video about the project, and enjoy our list of Chilterns volunteering opportunities you could get involved in.

Also in this issue: a year in the life of the Chilterns New Shoots  our inspirational 15-20 year old conservationists. Plus, the Chilterns rural businesses who've had training to create their own bookable experiences  and how you can get involved if you're a Chilterns based business.

Enjoy our 'Things to Do' section featuring Snowdrop Walks and teas, the Chiltern Arts Festival programme, and then the new programme for the Dadimas walking group led by Dr Geeta Ludhra. 

Finally, if you're a fine artist, check out the call for submissions for a Chilterns Arts Exhibition run by our Chalk, Cherries and Chairs landscape partnership.

We hope you can get out and about this month and enjoy the snowdrops.

Best Wishes

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

Chilterns Conservation Board welcomes Government response to the Glover Review

On 15 January the Government published its response to the Landscapes Review, an independent review led by Julian Glover and published in 2019. 

The Chilterns Conservation Board welcomed the ambition and scope of the Review’s conclusions and now welcomes the Government’s long-awaited response. However, we believe the proposals as currently presented fall short of the ambitious, transformational change that Glover and his team envisaged. 

Your chance to have your say and get involved: For 12 weeks until 9th April, you can take part in the Government's consultation and give your views on the landscapes review. Landscapes are for everyone and so too is the consultation. This is your opportunity to help reinvigorate the status of AONBs and help us gain more powers and resources to protect the places you love. 

Read more

Tracking the Impact: In Celebration of Volunteers

Tracking The Impact, Back in December, we held an online event celebrating the work done by the many fabulous volunteers who have been taking part in a major citizen science project, surveying the birds, wildlife and plant life of the Chilterns.
The data they've gathered will inform and back up conservation decisions in the Chilterns. The surveys were part of the Chalk, Cherries and Chairs Project, made possible thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Get involved & Watch the event: A recording of the online event is available below, so you can hear what the volunteers gained from the project. You can also read our list of Chilterns Volunteering Opportunities.
Read & watch

Celebrating 25 years of the Chilterns Chalk Streams Project

This year the Chilterns Chalk Stream Project celebrates its 25th anniversary.

2022 looks set to be an ambitious and busy year, which will see the project team grow from a staff team of five to seven, so that it can deliver an exciting and growing suite of conservation and enhancement projects. 

Read on to find out more about the projects now underway, which include a new research focus, citizen science projects that you could get involved in 
plus the Trout in the Classroom education project and plans for guided walks to celebrate 25 years of the project.
Read more

A year with the Chilterns New Shoots

The Chilterns New Shoots programme is coming to the end of its first year. 16 inspirational young people have had their first taste of conservation in the Chilterns and it’s been an action packed and eventful year. Click below to read a snapshot of what they've been up to.  

Do you know a 15 - 20 year old who is passionate about nature and the environment? Click below to find out more, and watch this space for more information on how to apply for next year's programme.
Read more

Opportunities for Chilterns Businesses

The last two years has seen a growth in demand for bookable countryside experiences - a trend which has been spurred on by a post-Covid rise in demand for staycations focussing on the countryside and outdoor activities. 

22 Chilterns based businesses took part in an Experiential Rural Tourism webinar and face-to-face workshop this January, to learn about creating their own immersive tourism experiences. Participants included farm shops, food producers, outdoor education providers, artists, heritage attractions, tour and walking guides and countryside estates.

The sessions included a presentation by GG Wildlife Experiences (aka ‘The Bird Whisperer’), from founders Steve and Billie, sharing insights on how they went about developing and marketing their wildlife experiences and sharing their learning points along the way. The workshops were led by tourism and marketing specialist Chris Brant from Unmissable England, and supported by the Chilterns Conservation Board's Open for Business Programme and Mend the Gap

The sessions were great opportunities for businesses to connect and explore collaboration. There are clearly lots of exciting opportunities for new visitor experiences in the Chilterns and wider Thames corridor that will attract visitors and support the Chilterns AONB's rural economy. 

A recording of the webinar is available at the link below. If you're a rural business and would like to get involved in future opportunities, contact Annette Weiss: 

Learn more & watch the webinar

Winter in the Chilterns: What's on 

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch - 28th - 30th January.

Take part in the RSPB's annual nationwide survey of garden birds - last year more than a million people took part. Simply spend an hour between 28 and 30 January counting birds in your garden and record the findings online.
>> Sign up here

Snowdrop Season

It's time to see those delicate white flowers appearing, a sign of the turning of the seasons.

Snowdrop Walk with Child Bereavement UK. West Wycombe Park, 6 Feb, 10.30am and 4pm.  
>> Find out more
Snowdrop Teas at Braziers Park, 12 and 13 February. 
>> Find out more 

Snowdrop Teas, at St Botolph's Church in Swyncombe. 2-4pm, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27 February.
>> Find out more

Chilterns Arts 2022 Season

Festival Weekend: 25 - 26 February
Festival Week 14-21 May

Magical concert experiences in sublime venues around the Chilterns! Inspired by the wonderful, magical world of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Chiltern Arts this programme of music, art and literature features Tenebrae, Jeneba Kanneh-Mason, Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita, Sean Shibe and many more.

>> Find out more

Dadimas Walking Group: New Walks 

"Through every footstep over the Chilterns countryside, I create special memories alone and with diverse communities. Walking is my form of gentle activism, as I create a space that I never saw or felt part of, and slowly change the narrative." ~ Dr Geeta Ludhra.

We are delighted to share the latest blog from our Board Member, Dr Geeta Ludhra. In her blog, Geeta shares her new 22 programme of free guided walks, which encourage good mental, spiritual and physical health and connect diverse people from all walks of life.. 

Geeta also featured on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday 20th January, discussing her experiences as a walk leader and sharing her reflections on cultural heritage and spiritual connections with nature.

Read more

Spring Arts Festival: Call for Artists' Submissions

Spring Arts Festival – get involved!

The Chalk, Cherries and Chairs project is delighted to be holding a Spring Arts Festival at Wycombe Museum at the end of April, where we will be exhibiting some amazing pieces of art that showcase our wonderful Chilterns landscapes – and we’d love you to be a part of it!

We are looking for submissions from local artists, as well as entries to our schools competition. Have your chance to get your artwork displayed in the exhibition, and there are prizes up for grabs too!

The deadline for both is Friday 11 February
 find out more about how to enter below. Plus, don't forget to save the date for the Festival exhibition and workshops which takes place the week of 25th April!

Enter Now

HS2 Update

Work on HS2 continues to cause damage to the Chilterns AONB and disruption to local communities.

In January and February we are expecting a number of HS2 planning applications to be delivered to Buckinghamshire Council. These include designs for the North Tunnel Portal at South Heath, a number of the bridges crossing the rail route between South Heath and Wendover, and the Chesham Road intervention shaft. While the Chilterns Conservation Board is not a statutory consultee and therefore has little scope to influence the designs, we'll be doing all we can to reduce their impacts on the AONB.

We are also still awaiting a determination of the planning application for the contentious Amersham Vent Shaft headhouse building, having worked to minimise its visual impacts.

We understood that the first of the giant Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs), 'Florence', was due to have broken through the base of the Chalfont St Peter vent shaft in January.  While this vent shaft is outside the AONB boundary, this represents a major engineering operation on the Chilterns Tunnel. 

At an early stage of construction, a significant quantity of bentonite (the clay-based material used to seal fissures and joints) was lost at the Chalfont St Peter site.  Along with local experts, we are concerned to make sure sure that the TBMs breaking through into the base of the vent shafts avoid any pollution incident affecting the chalk aquifer.  We are awaiting confirmation that this is the case.

The CCB remains steadfast in its view that HS2 will have a lasting negative impact on our AONB, We therefore continue to oppose HS2 while also continuing to actively hold HS2 and their contractors to account, to reduce environmental damage and seek the best designs possible. 
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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