NATURE is in the spotlight next month when a programme of outdoors events, walks and activities is being held across the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Chilterns Conservation Board hopes the nature-based activities will inspire families, young people and adults of all ages to get out and explore the AONB.
A new October festival marks a month-long ‘season of celebration’ aiming to bring communities together and inspire people to explore and enjoy the heritage and landscape on their doorstep.
Naturalist, TV presenter and environmental campaigner Chris Packham will be the keynote speaker at the first ever ‘Chilterns Champions’ conference, discussing the importance of citizen science and how everyone can get involved.
There’s a chance to explore a new heritage trail around the Wycombe Rye, get creative in art workshops with local wildlife champions the Chiltern Rangers and enjoy a range of walks, talks and local produce tastings.
The festival runs from October 1-31 and is also designed to help support communities and businesses following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Also in October, the Chilterns Walking Festival is now in its seventh year and boasts more than 50 guided walks, activities and events over 16 days, running from October 17.
The walks, all guided by experienced leaders, provide opportunities to meet countryside rangers, farmers, archaeologists, historians, food producers and storytellers of the Chilterns.
Annette Venters, the Chilterns Conservation Board’s people & society officer, said: “We are delighted to be offering lots of new walks that showcase the best of our stunning landscapes, wildlife and local producers.
“There are still plenty of challenging hikes, but we’ve included a greater number of shorter walks too, with the emphasis on learning and discovery, meeting the people and producers of the Chilterns, and spending time in our inspirational landscape.”
Find the full schedule of Chilterns Celebration events see www.chilternsaonb.org/ccc-fest. For walking festival details and bookings see www.visitchilterns.co.uk/walkingfest. Most events are free, though some require a small fee.
The Chalk, Cherries and Chairs Landscape Partnership Scheme is a five-year project which aims to connect local people to the wildlife and cultural heritage of the Central Chilterns.
The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was designated in 1965 and stretches from Goring in Oxfordshire to near Hitchin in Hertfordshire. It is one of 38 AONBs in England and Wales and has a resident population of 80,000.
The Chilterns Conservation Board is an independent public body set up to conserve and enhance the natural beauty and increase awareness and understanding of the Chilterns AONB.