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Commons Project News

Popular and successful project draws to a close

27 July 2015

The Chilterns Commons Project, funded by the Heritage Lottery and other partners including the Chiltern Society, has now finished and a final report summarising the project's achievements has been published.

Project finale

14 July 2015

The Chilterns Commons Project finished today where it all started, Totternhoe Knolls.

New walks leaflets

22 May 2015

Seven new self-guided walks leaflets have been published to help walkers discover Chiltern commons in circular walks across the region. 
These circular routes vary in length from 2.5 to 18 miles.  The leaflets can be used to get to know new places in your local area, or perhaps a new part of the Chilterns. 

Local Spaces : Open Minds - Changing Attitudes

23 April 2015

Local Spaces : Open Minds, a collection of five reports containing inspirational ideas for managing lowland commons and other green spaces, was launched at a conference today.
The reports bring a new meaning to local spaces in the 21st century which are not in agricultural management, offer pragmatic solutions with real examples of how to change attitudes to green spaces to benefit the largest number of people, and include ideas on how to make site management pay.  
The authors presented their research to a conference attended by 70 people.  People from the Chilterns were joined by others from north Oxfordshire, the Malverns, West Berks, East Herts, Surrey and Kent, as well as Natural England, the national Foundation for Commons Land and charitable funding bodies.

800 training places provided

11 March 2015

The Chilterns Commons Project has provided 800 training places to those who own and manage commons in the area across 43 workshops.

Topics have varied from how to research local history, to ecology and site management, and have included specialist skills such as first aid and brush cutter use.  The final course, today, taught volunteers how to identify trees in winter - an essential skill for site management.

£120,000 spent on local commons

25 February 2015

The Chilterns Commons Project has spent £120,000 carrying out practical work on local commons.

Our Common Heritage

24 January 2015

Our Common Heritage, a collection of six essays about the social history of Chiltern commons, was launched today.

At a packed conference, the audience of 140 listened enrapt to the essay authors and other local experts as they turned the spotlight onto a diverse range of subjects all connected by the region’s commons and our forbears’ dependence upon them.  They discovered more about the impact of religious nonconformity on life and attitudes of a generally rural population, the drovers who criss-crossed the Chilterns for decades, the legacy of WWI at Berkhamsted and more. 

Rejuvenating ancient trees

02 December 2014

Tree surgeons have given new life to 60 ancient beech trees in Maidensgrove Scrubs, part of the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust's Warburg Reserve near Henley.






Commons are fun!

03 November 2014

Thanks to funding from the Commons Project more kids are discovering their local common.

Art exhibition opens

13 October 2014

Imagine…, an exhibition of art inspired by commons in the Chilterns, is now open.  

Free art and photography classes

30 July 2014

The Chilterns Commons Project is holding an art competition called Imagine… In association with the competition, we're running free half-day art and photography workshops on commons in August.






Berkhamsted project marks WW1 history

17 July 2014

Common Art at Chorleywood

12 July 2014

Over the last few months, artist James Aldridge, has been helping Year 4 at Chorleywood School learn all about their local common, its history and wildlife.  They've learned lots while being creative and having fun.

Commons Project up for award

03 July 2014

New guide to surveying wildlife

10 June 2014

Rare bugs and beasties found

09 January 2014

Volunteers surveying Moorend Common have discovered a rare green and bronze beetle

Imagine ... and get creating

10 October 2013

Artists young and old are being given a year to create a piece inspired by their local common and enter this free competition. 

Past preserved for future

19 August 2013

Thousands of years ago Neolithic people buried their dead on Dunstable Downs at Five Knolls. Centuries later, erosion by footsteps and bicycles had caused deep scars in these ancient burial mounds. This damage has now been repaired preserving this precious heritage for future generations.

West Wycombe school children make film

05 July 2013

Children from West Wycombe Combined School have produced and acted in a film about the history of West Wycombe Hill.

west wycombe hill

'Bricks, bodgers and broomsticks' raises awareness of Chilterns commons

10 June 2013

'What a great day out. Utterly, utterly charming.' (Facebook feedback). 1400 more people have got the message that commons are here for all of us to walk and play on, watch wildlife and have picnics on, learn from and study for their fascinating history and stories.hovel

Fragile archaeology protected

03 April 2013

The Chilterns Commons Project has funded work to protect fragile archaeology on the Ashridge Estate preserving it for the future.

Commons numbers are impressive

28 March 2013

Huge amount achieved in first year of Commons Project.

commons launch

Many hands make light work at Naphill

14 February 2013

RAF trainees helped the Friends of Naphill Common to clear holly on Naphill Common, completing in a day what would have taken the friends group a year.

A busy week on Cholesbury Common

24 January 2013

The recent snow brought out the creative side of the people of Cholesbury who celebrated the recent cold snap with a snow sculpture festival.

Improved access to Coleshill Common

18 December 2012

It's now easier to reach Coleshill Common from Windmill Hill thanks to the Chilterns Commons Project.

Hidden geology explained

16 November 2012

The mystery of why gravel is found on the top of Chilterns is explained in a new information board on Nettlebed Common. 

RAF trainees clear WWI trenches on Berkhamsted Common

12 October 2012

The Chilterns Commons Project is mapping one of the few remaining sites of WWI troop training trenches in the Chilterns to help preserve it and provide a permanent commemoration.

Uncovering WWI history on Berkhamsted Common

11 September 2012

History buffs are needed to help survey some of the last identifiable trenches used for training officers in the First World War.

Pond restorers' prayers answered!

29 June 2012

There is a silver lining to this summer’s storm clouds!  The weeks of heavy rain have filled the ponds on Nettlebed common to the brim.

Ancient trees get new lease of life

08 April 2012

For centuries wood from trees on Chilterns commons were used by local people to heat their homes. The beech trees were cut low to the ground, left to re-grow and then the branches cut again a few years later – a traditional practice known as coppicing. This was carried out on Maidensgrove Scrubs, common land which is now within the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust's Warburg Nature Reserve.

Pond restorers praying for rain

28 February 2012

An historic pond on Nettlebed Common has been restored after falling into neglect over many years.

History of commons event draws the crowds

02 February 2012

150 people packed into the Green Park conference centre on 28th January to hear all about the latest research into the history of Chilterns' commons.

Successful pond restoration work at Greenmoor, Woodcote

17 November 2011

Greenmoor Ponds in Woodcote are all that's left of what was once a large area of common which stretched from Exlade Street to Mapledurham. The ponds were vitally important as a source of water for local residents as well as for animals which grazed on the common.

Improved access to Coleshill Common

09 November 2011

Photo by Rachel Sanderson

As part of the Chilterns Commons Project volunteers from Coleshill Common Management Committee and The Chiltern Society have built steps and a new bridge to improve the access on to the common from Windmill Hill.  Chris Wege, Chairman of the Coleshill Common Management Committee, said "Until today, walkers reached the common via steep wooden boards which were often slippery.  We are delighted with these new steps and the bridge across the ditch which will make access to the common easier and safer." 

The Chilterns Commons Project will be undertaking more practical work on Coleshill Common in the next few years.  If you would like to get involved, please contact the Commons Project Officer

New project on commons launched

03 October 2011

New Commons Project Officer

08 August 2011

Rachel Sanderson starts working for the Chilterns Conservation Board to manage the new Chilterns Commons Project. 

Rachel said:

"I am delighted to be part of this exciting new project. Commons have been at the heart of local communities for hundreds of years. They are great places for everyone to enjoy, provide a home for precious wildlife and a link to our social and cultural history. I am looking forward to working with volunteers and others to learn more about the legacy we have inherited in commons and conserving it for future generations." 

HLF Lottery Fund for Chilterns Commons Project

15 June 2011

The Chilterns Conservation Board receives the great news that the Heritage Lottery Fund will provide 75% of the funding required for the four year long Chilterns Commons Project.


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