A press release received from the Chilterns Conservation Board says:
The Chilterns Conservation Board is launching an exciting new project to preserve and promote a vital part of our natural and cultural heritage.
Commons have been at the heart of communities since the Middle Ages and hold generations of history in their landscape. They’re important wildlife refuges, home to many species that cannot survive elsewhere in our intensively-farmed countryside. They’re also fantastic natural playgrounds for walking, picnics and playing on.
However, commons are under threat. Today, there is increasing demand for land from agriculture, housing and commerce, but ironically, the biggest threat to commons is neglect.
The Chilterns Commons Project launched on 30 September with £400,000 of Heritage Lottery Funding. The four-year project will help improve the natural environment of commons in the area, spread the word about the value of commons and get more people involved in studying and caring for them.
A new Commons Project Officer, Rachel Sanderson, is in place at The Chilterns Conservation Board to advise and support those interested in helping the Commons Project. ‘This is a fantastic project that everyone can get involved in,’ says Rachel, ‘We’ll be running training schemes for landowners and committed volunteers to equip them with new skills to help them with practical work for habitat conservation and restoration on commons, or train them in wildlife or archaeological survey techniques.’ Funding for professional works to improve wildlife habitats and historic features on common land is also available as part of the Chilterns Commons Project.
The real value of commons lies in their importance to the public as open green spaces at the heart of communities. We need to use them, study them, cherish them and most importantly, maintain them so that we don’t lose these amazing, varied landscapes for good.