HomeAbout the Chilterns > Commons > Training workshop materials

Training workshop materials

The Chilterns Commons Project delivered a series of in-house bespoke training workshops. Materials from these workshops is available to download here.

Use and maintenance of hand tools

A useful handout covering the tools regularly used during practical conservation work parties. 

Managing wooded commons

This workshop was a combination of lectures and a site visit.  The speaker's slides have been compressed into PDFs of the morning and afternoon talks.

Identifying hazardous trees

Please refer to the Forestry Commission's Practice Guide called 'Hazards from Trees' which is a free PDF download; and the National Tree Safety Group's information on the Forestry Commission website, especially the 'Common sense risk management of trees' publication.  The Health & Safety Executive have produced some helpful guidance on managing the risk from falling branches or trees.  The trainer recommended a book, Updated Field Guide for Visual Tree Assessment.

Identifying trees in winter

A list the species of trees and shrubs found in the Chilterns

This photographic guide to the bark of common species is helpful, particularly in winter. 

This handout contains a list of useful tree identification books and websites.

Grassland management

A handout containing information about the different types of grassland, their conservation management and a list of sources of further information.

The speaker's slides are also available as a compressed PDF.

Grazing commons

Much of this workshop was a site visit to the grazing trial at Burnham Beeches.  A specific handout was not produced as information is available online.  Please refer to the Natural England fact sheets on the Further Resources page; to free publications produced by Open Spaces Society, and to the Grazing Animal Project website.

Managing scrub

A handout containing brief information about key species and ecological relationships of scrub, information about its conservation management and a list of sources of further information.

The speakers' slides are available as compressed PDFs here:- Stuart Warrington, Graham Bellamy, Jon Powell.

Managing and restoring ponds

Much of this workshop took the form of discussions during a site visit so there are no specific handouts.  However, very useful advice about the management of ponds is available from Pond Conservation.  If you have amphibians in your pond, you might like to refer to Amphibian and Reptile Conservation's 'Amphibian Habitat Management Handbook'.  It can be downloaded free.  If you have any queries about this workshop, please contact Rachel.

Prioritising site management

Following the suite of training workshops, this training workshop discussed how you prioritise the management of sites like commons which have a mosaic of habitats and a range of user groups - see notes.  This handout containing a summary of the day also includes links to further resources.

Identifying butterflies in the Chilterns

Information and other resources about butterfly identification is available on Martin Harvey's website.

Producing interpretative panels and leaflets for your common

You can download handouts providing guidance on producing site interpretation, about smartphone interpretation (QR codes etc) and a summary of the Dr Athene Reiss' slides.  If you would like more information about this workshop, please contact Rachel.

How to lead a guided walk and enthuse others

This handout includes useful checklists for before, during and after an event such as a guided walk.  A must-read for all walks leaders.

Making Commons fun for kids

No handouts were produced, but the following websites contain useful info and ideas:-

Going Wild

Play England - see ideas under "Nature play activity recipes", and useful reports "Design for Play" and "Managing Risk in Play Provision".

Forestry Commission - for ideas and advice for constructing things in woodland settings

Playing Out - more for urban areas, but some useful advice under 'Fielding Concerns'

Public Consultations for Commons

Consultations - Developing ideas for managing commons (Open Spaces Society)

A case study - Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common

Preparing a management plan

Preparing a management plan presentation

Monitoring for management presentation

Many examples of management plans (for commons and other sites) can be found online.  Two mentioned during this workshop, prepared by our speaker Helen Read, can be downloaded from the 'Management and Consultation page of the City of London website for Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common.  Reference was also made to Natural England's guidance on writing management plans for National Nature Reserves.

Surveying wildlife on your common

Surveying wildlife in the Chilterns is an informative handbook explaining how to set up surveys and record species.  It has been designed to be read online and contains links to local and national natural history groups and further online resources. 

A comprehensive handout giving top tips for recording the plants and animals on your common.  The PDF also contains links to lots of online sources of information.

Researching the history of your common

Researching history of commons - sources

Handout - historic maps and commons

Victoria County History presentation

Researching manorial documents presentation

Researching old maps presentation

Handout with useful websites and helpful reading list

Also refer to Fact Sheet 2 in Natural England's Stimulating Action on Local Commons series.

The ‘Building Commons Knowledge Project’ has written a ‘Commons History Toolkit’ to help commoners and local historians record the history of their commons. The History Toolkit is free and can be viewed/downloaded from http://di.ncl.ac.uk/contestedcommons/?page_id=170.

Recognising historic features

A concise handout detailing key points about woodland archaeology and sources for further info.

Commons and the Law seminar

Open Spaces Society presentation

Handouts referred to in the Open Spaces Society presentation

Planning and conservation areas presentation

Forestry Commission presentation

When we ran this workshop in 2012, Natural England prepared this presentation but were then unable to come.  Additional information about Hedgerow Regulations are available on the Natural England website.

Involving Volunteers

Involving volunteers

Additional resources about volunteers are available from the publications page of the Volunteering England website.

How to ...

Handout on how to lead practical projects, produced by The Conservation Volunteers.

Handout on how to take great photos.

Handout on how to compose and use colour in paintings.


Commons Day 2013

Presentations from Commons Day 2013, held at Chorleywood, are also available below:

map icon

Chilterns Map

Find walks, cycle routes, rides, places to visit
Search the map

Stay in Touch

Sign up for our email newsletter to ensure you never miss out on news about the Chilterns, just enter your email address below.

See our Privacy Policy

Don’t forget, you can always follow us on our social media channels

Facebook Twitter YouTube Flickr RSS

Bookmark and Share