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Latest news from the Chilterns AONB


Welcome to the latest e-newsletter from the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In this edition we are excited to share information about our upcoming webinar series: "Farming and the Environment in the Chilterns" and also look back at the fanstastic work our Beacons of the Past volunteers have achieved during 2020. 

We are pleased to welcome a new member to the team, Jenny Ponsford, who will be driving forward the development of our exciting project "Chalkscapes". We also have a number of other vacancies and opportunities available for you to work with us (we're a great bunch, honest!) - read on to find out more.

I know some of you are keen to find out the answers to last months' archaeological quiz, so here they are. Let me know how you got on! 

Finally, it’s been great to see people enjoying the natural beauty of the Chilterns during lockdown. However, winter rains have led to extremely muddy conditions, resulting in widened footpaths and damaged crops, seriously affecting the livelihoods of our farmers. We are now working with Chilterns farmers, landowners and conservation partners to raise public awareness of these issues. We will be publishing a press release next week to ensure that people can enjoy their visit to the countryside while being safe and respectful of others.

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

New year, new role?

We are delighted to share a number of new opportunities to work with us. From a Secretary of State Appointed Board Member, to Project Development Officer, these vacancies will help shape the Chilterns future at a pivotal time for landscapes, nature and people.
Find out more

Calling all Chilterns landowners and farmers! 

We have organised a programme of six short online webinars delivered by leading experts in their fields. The webinars are designed to give farmers a basic introduction to some of the major topics. We hope the webinars will give Chilterns’ farmers a better understanding of the themes and what it might mean for them and their farms.

Each session will last no more than an hour and will offer an opportunity to hear from key speakers,  ask questions and take part in discussion on each of the six topics. Farmers signing up will be entered into a free prize draw and a chance to win one of a number of valuable prizes designed to help them implement practical steps linked to each of the key topics.

Find out more and book

Welcoming our Chalkscapes Project Manager, Jenny Ponsford 

This month we were thrilled to welcome Chalkscapes Development Manager, Jenny Ponsford, to the team.

Jenny is a chartered town planner and project manager with a background in green infrastructure, tourism and recreation and regeneration. Prior to joining the Chilterns Conservation Board she worked for the National Trust as a project manager and in the Planning Policy Team at Welwyn and Hatfield Borough Council.

Chalkscapes is an exciting new National Lottery Heritage funded project in Luton and Dunstable areas of the Chilterns.
Read more

Chilterns Conservation Board highlights the increase in concerns over HS2 activities

The signs of HS2 and its contractors’ activities have become more obvious since the Notice to Proceed was issued by the Prime Minister in February 2020. This has led the Chilterns Conservation Board, together with a wide range of groups and partners, to become increasingly concerned about the impacts of HS2 on the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  

We are not statutory consultees, so have no formal role in decision making, but we do uphold our right to question, challenge and call out HS2 and its contractors when we have concerns about impacts that could, and should, have been avoided. Over the past 12 months we have dealt with a large number of issues and some examples are listed in our latest news item – click below to read the full article.

Read more

Beacons of the Past – a review of 2020

Read about what the Beacons of the Past volunteers have achieved this year and catch up on workshops and talks you might have missed. 

2020 has been a difficult year for many. For the project, whilst some plans are on hold due to Covid restrictions, we are fortunate that our LiDAR Portal was pretty much ready-made for just such a situation, and so work has been able to carry on. As Project Officer, Dr. Edward Peveler discussed in an earlier blog post, activity on the Portal continued positively throughout the lockdown period through April and May and into the summer, seeing a drop off when we were let out for a while in August and September.

Over 10,000 records have been recorded in the Citizen Science portal, and the records from this year alone sum to over 60 km2 of archaeological features! (That’s a lot of saw pits…) We hope that the Portal has provided a welcome activity and distraction for lots of you whilst we’ve all been stuck at home and prevented from going about our usual lives...

Read more

Bucks in 100 objects

Buckinghamshire has a rich collection of artefacts dating back over 300,000 years held in Museums, stores, archives, National Trust properties, stately homes, landscapes and gardens across the county. 

Taken together these objects tell the story of Buckinghamshire.  And there are even more objects which help to define us and tell our story – many of these might be sitting in our high streets, riverbanks or in people’s work places – or even hospitals.

Buckinghamshire Culture has created an online campaign in response to Covid-19 that feeds into a larger project idea to develop the story of Bucks in 100 Objects.  Eventually, they want to create an exhibition, publication, county trails and a website sharing the wonderful objects and heritage that can be found across Bucks, but for now they want to use this idea to develop connection, a sense of community and local pride. 

See the #Bucks100 nominations

Keeping the little ones busy during lockdown

We've put together a selection of conservation based resources and activities that you can get stuck into with the little ones to keep boredom at bay. Some at home, some online and some outdoors. 

Have a look at our ideas, in the central column of our homepage under "Activities", and we'd love your feedback if you complete any of them. 
Check it out

Trust for Oxfordshire's Environment recruiting a new Chair of Trustees

Trust for Oxfordshire's Environment is a charity with a board of trustees and a small but dedicated staff.  Over the last 9 years we have distributed over £3 million to projects supporting Oxfordshire’s environment and hope to distribute many more millions over the coming years.

Our founder and Chair is now seeking to retire and the Trust is looking for someone new to join the board and to take over as Chair. You will, of course, care deeply about Oxfordshire’s environment but you will also have charitable experience, be well connected within the county both to its institutions and its business community. You will be dedicated and you will be a leader with the ability to inspire others. It’s a huge challenge we face – our future depends on it.

Please download the role description for more information and details on how to apply.
Role description and how to 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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