Kingwood Common Group Get To Work!

On 1st November, our brand new Kingwood Common Conservation Group officially launched with it’s first volunteering session.

Twenty-five volunteers rolled up their sleeves to clear bracken, bramble and self-seeded saplings from the open glades to help restore this important heathland and acid grassland habitat near Nettlebed.

Kingwood Common, a County Wildlife Site, is characteristic of a neglected heath consisting largely of oak, birch and bracken. However, pockets of lowland heath and dry acid grassland areas still survive. These habitats support a range of species, including heath bedstraw, heath milkwort, heather/ling and bell heather, that are not found in other habitats.  These species are are nationally rare, particularly so in Oxfordshire.

Our volunteers have been working in partnership with the Nettlebed Estate for many years carrying out access improvements across the Nettlebed Commons. An opportunity arose to work again with the Nettlebed Estate to support the Nettlebed and District Commons Conservators in delivering the Kingwood Common Conservation Management Plan, so, after months of preparations, we are delighted that this new conservation group is now finally established.

Kingwood Common is an important site for biodiversity and heritage and is a wonderful natural asset for the local community. We are thrilled to play an important role in caring for it.

The Group’s next session is being held on Saturday 18th November from 10am to 1pm. All are welcome to attend and lend a hand. For more information and to register your interest, please send an email to Matthew Davis, our Kingwood Common Group Leader.

This project is supported by TOE2 with funding from Grundon Waste Management Ltd.

 

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Congratulations to our North Chilterns Path Maintenance Volunteers

A HUGE well done to our NCMPV group who achieved Highly Commended in the Dacorum Borough Council Community Champion Awards, which recognises individuals and groups who go out of their way to make Dacorum a cleaner, safer and greener place to live.

Les Mosco, the group leader, along with seven of our regular volunteers were presented the award by Mayor of Dacorum Cllr David Collins at a presentation ceremony earlier this month.

For more information about the work of path maintenance groups and how you could get involved, please click here.

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Kingwood Common – Get Involved!

Get hands on and help to protect your local landscape by volunteering with our brand new Kingwood Common Conservation Group. All are welcome to join us at the group’s official launch on Wednesday 1st November. This is the first work party for the new group, which will subsequently run twice a month.

We’ll be undertaking a range of conservation work to protect the biodiversity of this unique common in partnership with the Nettlebed and District Commons Conservators.

No special skills are needed, just come with your boots, old clothes and some work gloves if you have them.

Hand tools and briefings will be provided, along with light refreshments at break time.

You’ll need to be aged 18 or over, reasonably fit, and have plenty of enthusiasm.

Give Volunteering a try – it’s great for your wellbeing and a fabulous way to get active, learn more about the environment, enjoy what we have so close to us, and have fun with like-minded people.

Details:

1st November
9:45am – 1:00pm
Meeting and parking at Cherry Croft, RG9 5NA

For more information and to register your interest in attending, please send an email to Matthew Davis, our Kingwood Common Group Leader.

This project is supported by TOE2 with funding from Grundon Waste Management Ltd.

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Craft Beer Award Presentation

The culmination of this year’s Food & Drink Awards took place at Tring Brewery earlier this month. Our Chairman presented certificates to the owners of Tring, Rebellion and Chiltern Breweries so that they now have a truly local award to add to their collections!

In order to seek out the best Chiltern Brewery, our judges visited five local breweries shortlisted from those nominated by the public to take a brewery tour, hear about their beginnings and their ambitions for the future and learn about their efforts to work in an environmentally friendly way. The most important part of the quest was the beer tasting in July where six experts bravely sampled 15 different beers.

The results were soon clear – Tring Brewery was not only winner for the North Chilterns, but overall winner. Chilterns Brewery is the Central Chilterns Champion, and Rebellion took the honours for the South Chilterns. Many congratulations to these three Craft Beer Heroes.

The Craft Beer Award is kindly sponsored by NFU Mutual.

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Planning Campaign Leader

Are you passionate about protecting the Chilterns as a unique and special place to live ? Do you have the drive and commitment to lead a successful campaign, building support from our community and other organisations to influence local and national government ?

Our Planning Group urgently needs a Campaign Leader to step up our campaign to prevent unsustainable development into the Chilterns Area of Outstanding National Beauty and Green Belt.  You’ll be used to working in a volunteering role, and how to work with other volunteers to achieve results.

We’re looking for someone, maybe from a marketing background, with skills and experience in leadership, communication and management of diverse stakeholders to influence senior levels of local and national government.  There is no need for detailed knowledge of planning regulations, as you will have support from experts in our Planning Group.  However you do need an understanding of how government operates and how to collaborate with other organisations in the area such as the Chilterns Conservation Board, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Natural England, District and County Councils.

The role needs to drive out tangible results from our already publicised Planning Manifesto.  This safeguards the AONB, protects the Green Belt, overhauls the methods for calculating housing need, scales infrastructure, favours brownfield and infill usage, and promotes good building design.  The first goal is to build a coalition of MPs across the Chilterns to support our Manifesto and change housing calculations.  The Chiltern Society supports the needs of local businesses and affordable housing for local people, rather than  unfettered free market priority for multi-million pound commuterland.

To discuss more about how you could fit this role please contact:

Merrin Molesworth: merrin@molesworth.me : tel: 01494 773381

Michael Jepson: amichael.jepson@gmail.com tel: 01494 837602

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Chiltern Society Seasonal Gin Launch

We are delighted to announce the launch of our first limited edition Seasonal Gin, flavoured with cherry blossom, elderflower and orange.

This delicious gin has been specially created for us by the Wayfinders Distillery in Beaconsfield. Laurie Othen, the enterprising owner of Wayfinders, is excited to be part of this project and has generously offered to donate profits from the sale of the gin to the Chiltern Society in order to support our conservation work in the Chilterns.

The botanicals which give the gin its unique flavour were foraged in the Chilterns countryside by Fred The Forager from The Wild Side of Life.  It was then down to Wayfinders to combine the ingredients to come up with the final product which really offers a true taste of the Chilterns.

At the launch event held at Northolt Barn at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, guests were able to taste the classic combination of Summer Gin and tonic or more adventurously, Summer Gin and all-natural fresh apple juice kindly donated by Chiltern Ridge of Chartridge. Both combinations proved very popular.

Summer Gin is available to purchase here.

Every bottle sold will be helping our efforts to preserve the Chilterns countryside. What better excuse could there be a glass or two of this wonderful seasonal gin?

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Paws in the Chilterns

We want to celebrate our furry friends who enjoy the countryside as much as we do!

Many of you would probably agree that one of the best ways to enjoy the Chilterns is alongside a four legged companion. Walking the dog is so much more than just a part of the daily routine; it can often provide moments of calm and tranquillity in an otherwise chaotic world. It can be a wholesome and therapeutic activity, a chance to explore parts of the countryside that you might not have done otherwise, a chance to share moments as a family and even an opportunity to meet new people. Perhaps most of all, it can bring such happiness to see your dog (or dogs!) experiencing such delight as they run around and explore new places with their tails a wagging!

Our conservation and path maintenance volunteers work hard so you can enjoy the countryside at its best. But we know that people aren’t the only ones to appreciate their efforts! We love the fact that dogs also reap the benefits of the pathways, woodlands and commons that we work hard to maintain.

To celebrate this, we’re launching a Paws in the Chilterns campaign! We would like you to share with us pictures of your dogs enjoying the Chilterns. The three winning dogs will each receive a voucher to redeem at Sypmly Pet Foods; a local pet food producer based in Chesham that makes pet food free from artificial colours, preservatives and flavours.

To be in with a chance of winning, here’s what you need to do:

1)      Take a photo of your dog (and you if you’d like) enjoying the countryside.

2)      Either email it to us at office@chilternsociety.org.uk OR share it with us on Facebook & Twitter using #PawsInTheChilterns (don’t forget to tag us in the post using @ChilternSociety)

3)      Include the name of your dog and where the photo was taken

4)      If your dog would like to show his or her appreciation for the work that we do, please text ‘CHIL02 £5’ to 70070 make a £5 donation.

We look forward to receiving your photos!

In order for your entry to qualify, please submit it via the methods above no later than 31st October.

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Craft Beer Award- The Results!

The final vital stage of our Craft Beer Award, the all important beer tasting, took place on Saturday 22nd July. The judging panel consisted of members of the Society’s Save Our Pubs team, along with CAMRA’s central southern director, Carl Griffin.

The intrepid judges bravely tasted no less than 15 different beers provided by our shortlisted local breweries. The tasting process was carried out with the utmost rigour.

The beer tasting was naturally the most important part of the journey to seek out the best brewery in the Chilterns. Now that the scores for all criteria have been calibrated, we are delighted to announce that the winner for the North Chilterns and overall winning company is Tring Brewery. Their Pale Four was very popular with the judges. The Central Chilterns champion is Chiltern Brewery whose highest rated ale was John Hampden Golden Harvest . Our Southern Chilterns winner is Rebellion Brewery of Marlow. The tasters very much appreciated Rebellion’s Zebedee beer.

Lovibonds of Henley and Malt The Brewery of Prestwood both achieved Highly Commended status for the quality of their beers.

The presentation to these fantastic five Chiltern breweries will take place in October. Look out for full details of the Craft Beer Award in the winter issue of Chiltern magazine.

The Craft Beer Award is kindly sponsored by NFU Mutual.

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Chilterns Food Magazine

Fancy getting a true taste of the Chilterns? Learning more about its producers, restaurants and local food heroes? Why not pick up a copy of the new Chilterns Food Magazine, the only publication dedicated to telling these stories and to encouraging readers to buy locally and eat seasonally. The beautiful new Summer issue of the Magazine is out now, and it is full-to-bursting with food treats: visit Lacey’s Family Farm, and discover how to make your own yoghurt at home with their amazing milk; cook up a summer feast with recipes using watercress and cherries; plus discover more about Crockers Chef’s Table, an inventive new restaurant outside of Berkhamsted. And much, much more.

The new Summer issue is available to buy for just £3 at stockists across the Chilterns, or online at: www.chilternsfoodmagazine.co.uk/shop

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2017 – A Year of Excellence in Chilterns Building Design

On Thursday 15th June, the presentation event took place for the winners of our 2017 Buildings Design Awards. It was held in the glorious setting of the Hundred Hills Vineyard near Henley which was the well deserved winner of our competition.

The event was attended by the successful owners, architects and builders in addition to our Chairman David Harris, Sue Holden (Chief Officer of the Chilterns Conservation Board) and several members of the Judging Panel.

Stephen and Fiona Duckett, the owners of the winning property were awarded a prestigious plaque which we’re sure they will display with pride. Heinz and Jenny Richardson of House 19, Amersham received a Highly Commended certificate, whilst Nick and Wendy Sargent of the Old Sawmill, Frieth and representatives of Shiplake College near Henley both received Commended certificates.

After the presentation, the guests were delighted to be given a tour of Hundred Hills Vineyard, which was certainly looking its beautiful on a sunny summer’s day. Thanks to Stephen and Fiona Duckett for graciously hosting this fantastic event.

The Chilterns Buildings Design Awards are jointly organised and funded by the Chiltern Society & the Chilterns Conservation Board to encourage outstanding architectural achievements in our area.

Winner: The Winery at the One Hundred Hills Vineyard, Stonor Valley

Owners – Stephen & Fiona Duckett
Architect – Ian Brown, Nichols Brown Webber LLP
Builder – Kingerlee Ltd, Kidlington, Oxon

 

Highly Commended: House 19, Amersham

Owners – Heinz and Jenny Richardson
Architect – Heinz Richardson,  Jestico + Whiles, London
Builder – Stephen Kramer, SK (London) Contracts Management, Bishop’s Stortford, Herts

Commended: The Old Sawmill, Parmoor, Frieth 

Owner – Nick and Wendy Sargent Skillbond Ltd
Architect – Roger Danks, Danks Badnell Architects Ltd, Windsor
Project Manager – Skillbond Ltd, Fawley Green, Henley

 

Commended: The John Turner Building, Shiplake College 

Headmaster – Gregg Davies
Architect – Mark Webber, Nichols Brown Webber LLP
Builder – Bryan Doyle, Edgar Taylor, Buckingham

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