Celebrating 50 years of protection for the Chilterns

30th November 2015

Chilterns Conservation Board PRESS RELEASE November 2015

300 people packed the Elgiva Theatre in Chesham on Wednesday evening to hear the well-known nature writer Richard Mabey, born and bred in Berkhamsted, talk about his explorations of the Chilterns as a child and his love of ancient trees and woods. Richard was speaking at an event organised by the Chilterns Conservation Board to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Chilterns Hills being given national protection as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Richard spoke eloquently about how his love of landscape and wildlife was formed as he explored the commons and woodlands of the Hertfordshire Chilterns. He is one of the UK’s greatest nature writers and has published over 30 books, including the very popular Flora Britannica and Food for Free.


The Board’s new Chief Officer Sue Holden set out the current challenges that the Chilterns faces and the ways in which everyone who loves this beautiful countryside can help to care for it.

324 square miles of the Chiltern Hills, stretching from the Thames Valley in Oxfordshire through Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1965. Being given this special protection is recognition that the Chilterns is amongst the finest countryside in the UK – one of 38 AONBs in England and Wales. The Chilterns Conservation Board is the public body established to conserve and promote it.

Part of Three Rivers District, around Sarratt in the lovely Chess Valley, is included within the Chilterns AONB. District Councillors Heather Kenison, who sits on the Conservation Board, and Chris Lloyd attended the 50th anniversary event.

Cllr. Chris Lloyd, Three Rivers District Council Lead Member for Leisure, Community and Wellbeing, commented: “It was great to be able to support the 50th Anniversary celebrations. The talks and presentations made it a special evening. I love walking in the Chess Valley near Sarratt. I would like to say thank you to the many volunteers that make the Chilterns special. If you want to volunteer or support projects financially please contact Claire Forrest.