Category Archives: Conservation

Bucks Council – New guidance to enhance biological diversity

Buckinghamshire Council is going further in its commitment to preserve and improve Buckinghamshire’s environment.  The Council is working with partners to tackle climate change and its causes; reducing the county’s carbon footprint and delivering environmental net gain.

As part of this commitment, the council has drafted guidance to ensure developers increase biological diversity on their development sites.

Biological diversity, otherwise known as biodiversity is the richness and variety of plant and animal species within habitats, including previously developed land, fields, hedgerows and rivers.

Humans need a diversity of species for food production, climate change adaptation, flood regulation, crop pollination and enhancing human mental and physical well-being.

Using the guidance, developers will need to calculate the biodiversity on the existing site, and design their scheme to ensure there is a greater diversity on the site once completed.

A public consultation on this draft guidance runs from 19 February until 19 March 2021. 

Responses can be made using the consultation portal, which can be accessed through ‘Your Voice Bucks’, in writing, or by email, before 23:59pm on 19 March 2021.

The web address for this consultation is:

Or directly:

​The email address for this consultation is:

The postal address is:

Planning Policy, Biodiversity Accounting, King George V House, King George V Road, Amersham, Buckinghamshire. HP6 5AW

The Countryside Code

A gentle reminder about the code – – due to Covid-19 there will be continued heavy wear & tear on our countryside for the next few months. Combined with the approach of spring when there are lots of delicate shoots around, it is important to keep to paths. Please don’t make them wider by wandering over fields or across sprouting bulbs in the woods.

Bucks Council – Green Homes Grant can help households save up to £600 a year on their energy bills

Launched on 30 September 2020, the Green Homes Grant scheme sees the government fund up to two-thirds of the cost of energy-saving home improvements for homeowners in England up to £5,000.

Homeowners with low incomes – including those on certain benefits – are eligible for a grant covering up to 100% of the cost of works up to £10,000.

The scheme will improve the energy efficiency of over 600,000 homes across the country and help households save up to £600 a year on their energy bills.

Full details

Three vacancies for Secretary of State-appointed Board Members on Chilterns Conservation Board

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is seeking to appoint three new members to the Chilterns Conservation Board. This is a great opportunity to get involved with a very active organisation that works across the fields of conservation, planning, access, tourism and public engagement to protect and enhance the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Board has 27 members who oversee its work and get involved in projects, working groups and events. They are not paid, but receive a basic annual allowance of £667, with further allowances available for special responsibilities. Being a member of the Board typically takes up the equivalent of 2 days per month, though there is the opportunity for more involvement if you have the interest and time.

Anyone can apply to become a member of the Board. The closing date for applications is 11pm on Friday 22nd November 2013. Short-listed candidates will be invited for interview on 12th or 13th February 2014 at the Conservation Board’s office in Chinnor, Oxon. The appointments will take effect from 1st April 2014 and normally run for 3 years

See more information and application details here.

A History of Uplands

Redrow Homes held an Exhibition in Hughenden Village Hall on 17 May to seek comments on their emerging proposal for the redevelopment of the Uplands site in Four Ashes Road.  Currently owned by DeVere Group, Redrow propose demolishing the existing historic building and conference facilities to make way for up to 16 executive homes.

Clearly no one was particularly enthusiastic about demolishing a significant building which over the years has devolved into a major training, conference and wedding facility, but at the time it was unclear of the historical nature of the building.  Since then Marian Miller from the High Wycombe Society has written a preliminary report on a voluntary basis on behalf of the Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society (BAS) and the Historic Buildings & Landscapes Group of the Chiltern Society.  A copy of the report is attached here.

Water Framework Directive and the Hughenden Stream

The Water Framework Directive is the most substantial piece of water legislation ever produced by the European Commission, and is providing the major driver for achieving sustainable management of water in the UK and other EU Member States now and for many years to come. It was transposed into UK law in December 2003.  What follows is just a summary of the Directive and its implementation and how it relates to Hughenden Valley.  Continue reading

Chiltern Society Volunteer Newsletter

From Jenny Gilmore, Director of the Chiltern Society

The Chiltern Society is launching this newsletter to advertise our work parties throughout the Chilterns and also work parties run by partner organisations. In addition, it will list new initiatives and other volunteer vacancies. If you know anyone who would be interested in getting involved please do pass this newsletter on to them. All volunteers are very welcome and you do not have to be a member of the Chiltern Society to do voluntary work with us, although many people do join the Chiltern Society later on, once they get to know our groups and see the good work we do caring for the Chilterns!

For any queries about volunteering, getting this newsletter or vacancies, please contact our Volunteer Co-ordinator Geoff Wiggett on 01442 875906 or email

Chiltern Society Wendover Woods Conservation Group
Mike Baldock has led this group since it was set up in 2009. Mike would like to step back from being the leader in 2013 and is keen to find a leader to take on his role with this very popular conservation group. For more details please call Geoff Wiggett

Path reps. If you live in this area and enjoy walking; maybe you walk a dog? We need people to monitor the condition of paths in your area.

Work parties for November to January – Would you like to get involved?
The Chiltern Society is in the process of taking on the care of a number of nature reserves. We already run a busy schedule of work parties on our sites, on common land, at Forestry Commission woods, in ponds, on footpaths and improving access to the countryside. If you would like to go along to any of the work parties, please do call Geoff Wiggett for details. New volunteers are very welcome.

Chilterns Commons Project Launched

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.

More information in the full press release and on the Chilterns Conservation Board website at