A Framework for Action - Management Plan 2014-2019 Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - The Chilterns AONB

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A Framework for Action - Management Plan 2014-2019 Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - The Chilterns AONB
Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Management Plan 2014-2019
A Framework for Action

           An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
A Framework for Action - Management Plan 2014-2019 Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - The Chilterns AONB
Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
                                                                                  Management Plan 2014 - 2019
This Management Plan complies with the
following legislation and guidance:
                                                Chilterns Conservation Board      Contents

   •   The Countryside and Rights of Way Act
                                                The Lodge, 90 Station Road
       2000, Part 4 Section 89
   •   The Strategic Environmental
       Assessment Regulations (SI 1633) 2004                                      Ministerial Foreword										2
   •   The Conservation (Natural Habitats       Oxon OX39 4HA
       etc.) Regulations 1994 (as amended                                         Foreword											3
       by The Conservation (Natural Habitats    Tel: 01844 355500
       etc.) (Amendment) Regulations 2007)                                        Vision												4
   •   Guidance for the Review of AONB          Email: office@chilternsaonb.org
       Management Plans published by The                                          Introduction											6
       Countryside Agency 2006                  Website: www.chilternsaonb.org
                                                                                  Section 1       Conserving and enhancing natural beauty					                          15

                                                                                  		Landscape									16

                                                                                  		              Farming, forestry and other land management				                       29

                                                                                  		Biodiversity									39

                                                                                  		Water environment								50

                                                                                  		Historic environment								59

                                                                                  		Development									70

                                                                                  Section 2       Understanding and enjoyment						80

                                                                                  Section 3       Social and economic well-being						90

                                                                                  Section 4       Integration of cross-cutting themes with Management Plan policies     96
Cover image: Sheep at Aston Rowant
                                                                                  Section 5       Engagement Plan								98
National Nature Reserve, Oxon
                                                                                  Section 6 Implementation and monitoring						106
Photo credits: Chilterns Conservation
Board, Chris Smith, Clive Ormonde, John
                                                                                  Abbreviations											110
                                                                                  Glossary											111

ISBN 978-1-908277-03-9

Chilterns AONB Management Plan 2014 - 2019			                                     Chilterns AONB Management Plan 2014 - 2019                                            Page 1
A Framework for Action - Management Plan 2014-2019 Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - The Chilterns AONB
Ministerial Foreword                                                                                  Foreword
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty                                                                   The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural
(AONBs) are some of our finest landscapes.                                                            Beauty (AONB) is nationally-protected as
They are cherished by residents and visitors                                                          one of the finest areas of countryside in
alike and allow millions of people from all                                                           the UK. It is a living landscape, shaped by
walks of life to understand and connect                                                               nature and the activities of man. The future
with nature.                                                                                          well-being of the Chilterns is dependent on
                                                                                                      everyone working together to conserve and
I am pleased to see that this management                                                              enhance this special area.
plan demonstrates how AONB Partnerships
and Conservation Boards can continue to                                                               This Management Plan provides the framework
protect these precious environments despite                                                           to enable us to, collectively, maximise our
the significant challenges they face. With a                                                          effectiveness in managing the Chilterns AONB.
changing climate, the increasing demands of a                                                         It sets out the special qualities of the area,
growing population and in difficult economic                                                          presents a vision of the AONB, identifies the
times, I believe AONBs represent just the sort                                                        challenges and identifies policies and actions
of community driven, collaborative approach                                                           to guide the work of all of those who care for
needed to ensure our natural environment is                                                           the area over the next five years (2014-19).
maintained for generations to come.
                                                                                                      The law requires that AONBs have a
AONB Partnerships and Conservation Boards                                                             management plan in place. Even without
have been the architects of a landscape-scale                                                         this statutory requirement there are good
approach to land management. This approach                                                            reasons to produce one. The Plan is a collective
is a key feature of the Government’s Natural                                                          expression of the interests and wishes of many
Environment White Paper and emphasises the                                                            individuals and organisations and it is only
need to manage ecosystems in an integrated                                                            with this input that it can truly be a plan for the
fashion, linking goals on wildlife, water, soil                                                       whole AONB.
and landscape, and working at a scale that
respects natural systems.                          AONBs are, and will continue to be, landscapes     There are many challenges ahead in the period         We are fortunate to live and work in such a
                                                   of change. Management plans such as this           this Plan covers including: the uncertainties         wonderful part of England. This Plan will help
This management plan also makes the                are vital in ensuring these changes are for        of climate change; the spread of pests and            us all to care for it better on behalf of future
important connection between people                the better. I would like to thank all those who    diseases; the need for more houses; the               generations.
and nature. I am pleased to hear that local        were involved in bringing this plan together       demand for new development and the
communities have been central to the               and I wish you every success in bringing it to     continuing aspiration to get more people
development of the plan, and will be at the        fruition.                                          to enjoy and appreciate the great outdoors.
heart of its delivery. From volunteers on nature                                                      Should Parliament give the go ahead for
conservation projects, to businesses working                                                          High Speed 2, it is essential that everything is
to promote sustainable tourism, it’s great to                                                         done to minimise the damage and disruption,
hear of the enthusiasm and commitment of                                                              ideally by putting the railway in a full length
the local people who hold their AONBs so dear.                                                        tunnel under the AONB.
                                                                                                                                                            Mike Fox Chairman
                                                   Lord de Mauley
                                                                                                                                                            Chilterns Conservation Board
                                                   Minister for Natural Environment and Science

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A Framework for Action - Management Plan 2014-2019 Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - The Chilterns AONB
A Vision for the Chilterns Area of                                                                         The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty should be an area where:
Outstanding Natural Beauty
                                                                                                                                                                  Understanding and enjoyment
The Management Plan is based on a vision for the Chilterns AONB in which:
                                                                                                                                                                  The River Thames and its valley provide attractive
                                                                                                                                                                  landscape, recreational opportunities and
                                                     Increase understanding and enjoyment                                                                         enhanced wildlife habitat.

                                                     Opportunities to expand, enhance and enjoy                                                                   The public rights of way, including the Ridgeway
                                                     natural beauty are created and taken.                                                                        and Thames Path National Trails, are well-
                                                                                                                                                                  managed and easily used providing attractive
                                                     Local people and visitors can easily appreciate                                                              networks of routes popular with walkers, cyclists
                                                     and enjoy its special qualities.                                                                             and horse-riders.

                                                     Those who live, work, visit and enjoy the area also
                                                     want to be its custodians and stewards.

                                                     The knowledge, skills and resources needed to
                                                     manage the AONB as a nationally important
                                                     landscape are readily available.
                                                                                                             Natural beauty
                                                     The potentially adverse impacts of pests, diseases
                                                                                                             Chalk grassland is more extensive, creating more
Conserve and enhance the natural beauty              and climate change are avoided or minimised.
                                                                                                             open downland with thriving populations of its
                                                                                                             special wildlife.
Its special and unique character is conserved,
cared for and cherished for future generations to                                                            Woodland is well-managed and productive,
enjoy.                                                                                                       growing high quality timber as well as providing     High quality visitor information and
                                                                                                             natural spaces for recreation and a home for         environmental education programmes are widely
The importance of taking a landscape-wide                                                                    wildlife.
approach to its management is accepted,                                                                                                                           available.
which combines an understanding of its                                                                       Chalk streams have enhanced flows along
natural, historical, cultural, social and economic                                                                                                                More local people and visitors become active
                                                                                                             their natural river beds and provide a healthy       volunteers to help care for all parts of the
characteristics.                                                                                             environment for their specialised wildlife.          Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The setting of the Chilterns is valued and                                                                   Local farms are thriving businesses which help to
protected by ensuring development adjacent to                                                                                                                     Tranquillity is conserved and where noise is a
                                                                                                             maintain landscapes and wildlife habitats.           problem, peace and quiet is restored, in particular
the AONB also respects its national importance.
                                                                                                                                                                  by reducing noise generated by road traffic, over-
                                                                                                             The historic environment, including the              flying aircraft and trains.
The historic and cultural environment of the                                                                 numerous hillforts, is conserved, enjoyed and
Chilterns is conserved and appreciated widely.                                                               appreciated.                                         The impact of transport infrastructure and traffic
                                                                                                                                                                  is reduced, with more people walking, cycling and
                                                                                                             Common land is valued, enjoyed and well-             using public transport.
                                                                                                             managed with larger areas of open landscape
                                                     Foster social and economic well-being                   and better conserved heritage features.
                                                     The health and well-being of local people and           New buildings, utilities and transport
                                                     visitors is enhanced by their enjoyment of the          infrastructure are designed and built to
                                                     area.                                                   high environmental standards that respect
                                                                                                             the character of the built environment and
                                                     The potential of a high quality natural                 the character, setting and tranquillity of the
                                                     environment to provide a high quality living            landscape.
                                                     environment for local communities and
                                                     businesses is realised.                                 More new buildings are constructed using
                                                                                                             traditional materials and vernacular architectural
                                                     There is a thriving market for environmentally-         styles.
                                                     sustainable local produce which contributes to
                                                     the viability of land management and enterprises.       There is a place for modern and innovative
                                                                                                             building and structural design which respects the
                                                                                                             setting and wider landscape.
A Framework for Action - Management Plan 2014-2019 Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - The Chilterns AONB
The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
     The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty                                                                                                                                     Introduction
                                                                                                                                                                                          The special qualities of the Chilterns AONB
                 Chilterns AONB boundary
                 above 250m
                 200 - 250m
                 150 - 200m                                                                                                                                                              Chiltern maps again, sorry! the maps where yellow needs changing are:
                 100 - 150m                                                                                                                          Barton-le-Clay                      > Aonb (first map)
                 50 - 100m                                                                                                                                     Hexton                    > Woodland cover
                 0 - 50m                                                                                                                                                                 > Designated sites (biodiversity)
                                                                         Leighton Buzzard                                                             Lilley                             > Historic parks and gardens
                                                                                                                       Dunstable                                              Hitchin
                 River Thames                                                                                                                                                            > Chiltern commons
                 other Water Courses                                                                                                                                                     > Recreation and access

                                                                                                                               Whipsnade                LUTON
                                                                                                                  River Gade          Markyate
                                                                                Grand Union Canal
                                                      Aylesbury                                          Tring         Aldbury
                                                                               Wendover                 R. Bulbourne                                    River Ver

                               Thame                  Princes                                                          Berkhamsted
                                                      Risborough                         R. Misbourne
                                                                                                                                                     HEMEL HEMPSTEAD                           Kingwood Common
                                                                                                                       Chesham                                                                       Oxfordshire
                                            Chinnor                               Gt. Missenden
                                                                                                                           River Chess
                                                                              Stream              Amersham
                                                           Stokenchurch    Naphill
                                                                    R. Wye
                                                      High Wycombe                                                                                                                        1.    In 1965 an area of 800 sq kms of the           3.   There is an extensive network of
                                                Turville                                                                                                                                        Chiltern Hills was designated as an Area            protected sites within the AONB,
                                                                   Lane End
Wallingford                                       Hamble                                            Beaconsfield                                                                                of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).               including 63 Sites of Special Scientific
                                                  Brook                                                                                                                                         Later, following a review of the boundary           Interest (SSSI), three National Nature
                                                                                     Marlow                                                                                                     the AONB was enlarged to 833 sq kms in              Reserves and three European-designated
                                                                                                                                                                                                1990. Natural England has recently lifted           Special Areas of Conservation. In 2012
R. Thames                  Woodcote                                                                 Maidenhead                                                                                  its de facto moratorium of the review of            98.7% of the Chilterns’ SSSIs were in
              Goring                                        Henley-on-Thames                                                                                                                    boundaries of AONBs and there may well              favourable or recovering condition.
                                                                                                                                                                                                be an opportunity during the lifetime of
                                                                                                          R. Thames                                                                             this Plan to consider proposals to change      4.   The Chilterns is one of the most densely
                                                                                                                                                                                                the existing boundary.                              wooded parts of the UK with nearly
                                                                                                                                                 0          5            10 Kilometres                                                              22% woodland cover of which two
                                                                                                                                                                                          2.    The Chilterns AONB was designated                   thirds is ancient woodland - the highest
                                                                                                                                                 0                       6 Miles
                       READING                                                                                                                                                                  for the natural beauty of its landscape             proportion in the country. The AONB also
                                                                                                                                                                                                and its natural and cultural heritage. In           has a nationally-important concentration
                                                                                                                c Crown copyright and database rights                                                                                               of high quality chalk grassland with over
                                                                                                                                                                                                particular, it was designated to protect its
                                                                                                               [2014] Ordnance Survey Licence no. 100044050
                                                                                                                                                                                                special qualities which include the steep           700 ha.
                                                                                                                                                                                                chalk escarpment with areas of flower-
                                                                                                                                                                                                rich downland, woodlands, commons,             5.   Commons are amongst the most
                                                                                                                                                                                                tranquil valleys, the network of ancient            characteristic features of the AONB –
                                                                                                                                                                                                routes, villages with their brick and flint         part of its social and cultural heritage
                                                                                                                                                                                                houses, chalk streams and a rich historic           - accessible green places for recreation
                                                                                                                                                                                                environment of hillforts and chalk figures.         and public enjoyment and home to a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    wide diversity of wildlife. Today there are

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A Framework for Action - Management Plan 2014-2019 Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - The Chilterns AONB
Introduction                                                                                                 Introduction

     2016 ha of registered common land in the         3.      In fulfilling these purposes, the Board has          increase the amount of environmental                                                 5.                For clarification, the implementation
     AONB – around 2.4% of the total area.                    a duty to seek to foster the economic and            data on the AONB which will be published                                                               of the actions identified in the Plan for
                                                              social well-being of local communities               in the annual State of the Environment                                                                 the AONB will require the collaboration
6.   Some of the Chilterns’ most distinctive                  within the AONB, without incurring                   Report and will contribute to monitoring                                                               of many organisations - it is not a
     natural features are its chalk rivers and                significant expenditure.                             of the Plan’s progress.                                                                                work programme for the Chilterns
     streams, fed by groundwater from the                                                                                                                                                                                 Conservation Board alone. Inevitably,
     chalk aquifer. A globally scarce habitat,        4.      In practice, where there is a conflict         3.    The Management Plan for the AONB for                                                                   the programme will be affected by the
     chalk rivers support a range of specialised              between conserving the special qualities             2014-2019 contains a number of broad                                                                   priorities of each partner and availability
     wildlife and in the Chilterns provide a                  of the Chilterns and its use or enjoyment,           aims for the management of the Chilterns                                                               of resources. In recent years many of
     home for the threatened water vole.                      the Board will give greater weight to its            AONB. The more detailed policies and                                                                   those bodies which will take a major role
     Another significant water feature of the
     area, the River Thames, forms much of the

                                                              There are 27 members of the Board:
                                                                                                                                   this to replace fig on page 11
                                                                                                                   actions in the Plan outline how these
                                                                                                                   aims will be achieved by the Board and all
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          have less public funding available, a trend
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          likely to continue for some time. This
     southern boundary of the AONB.                                                                                other parties with an interest in the AONB.                                                            shortage of resource combined with an
                                                              13 are appointed by the 13 local
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          increased political emphasis on economic
7.   The Chilterns is possibly the most heavily-              authorities in the Chilterns AONB, eight       4.    The aims, policies and actions in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          growth rather than environmental
     visited landscape in the UK with 55 million              are appointed by the Secretary of State              Plan have been formulated by the Board
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          conservation will, inevitably, restrict the
     leisure visits a year1. Visitors come to enjoy           for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs              in consultation with a wide range of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          level of ambition and delivery that can be
     over 2000 km of public rights of way, the                and six are elected by parish and town               organisations and individuals. During
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          achieved in practice.
     Ridgeway and the Thames Path National                    councils in the AONB.                                the Plan’s lifetime the Board will guide its
     Trails, the Chiltern Way and the recently                                                                     implementation and will be responsible
     opened Chilterns Cycleway and many               6.      The Board has a small staff team based in            for undertaking many of the actions in
     more special routes.                                     Chinnor in Oxfordshire. It is also assisted          it, in partnership with others. However,                                                                                                                                       National Parks
                                                              by volunteers who lead guided walks,

                                                                                                                   the Plan is not solely for the Board but
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Broads
8.   The area is rich in history with ancient                 give talks, help at events and carry out             is a guide for local authorities, statutory                                                                                                                                    Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
     man-made features scattered through                      project work.                                        agencies, local organisations, landowners,                                                                                                                           0                 50km

     the countryside and a legacy of grand                                                                         businesses, communities and all those
     houses and designed landscapes from

                                                                                                                   whose activities influence the AONB.

     the 17th and 18th centuries. There are

     122 Scheduled Ancient Monuments in
                                                      Chilterns AONB Management Plan                                                                                                 District

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   North York
     the AONB and 15 parks and gardens on             1.      The CRoW Act places a duty on all local
     English Heritage’s register. There are 2,149             authorities which include an AONB, and                                                                                            Arnside and

     listed buildings, of which 140 are Grade I

                                                              Conservation Boards, where they exist,

     and II*, and 94 Conservation Areas.                      to produce a plan which outlines their
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Forest of

                                                              policies for the management of the
                                                              AONB and how they will carry out their
The Chilterns Conservation Board                              functions in relation to it. Management                                                                                                                                                    Peak                      Lincolnshire
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        District                      Wolds

                                                              plans must be reviewed at least every
1.   The Chilterns Conservation Board                         five years. The previous Plan covered the                                                                                                                                                                                                               Norfolk Coast

     was established by Parliamentary                         period 2008-13.                                                                                                                                                             Cannock
     Order in 2004. It is one of the first two                                                                                                                                                                          Shropshire

     Conservation Boards (the other is for the        2.      An ongoing difficulty is monitoring                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Suffolk Coast

     Cotswolds) set up under the Countryside                  the actual changes to the landscape                                                                                                                            Malvern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 and Heaths

                                                              and how they affect its quality. The

     and Rights Of Way (CRoW) Act 2000

     which enabled the establishment of                       Conservation Board prepares an annual                                                                                                                      Wye
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Valley          Cotswolds

     independent statutory bodies to manage                   State of the Environment Report based                                                                                                                                                                Chilterns

     AONBs.                                                   on a number of locally selected indicators
                                                              and using the best available information.                                                                                                        Mendip                        North
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hills                       Wessex
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kent Downs

2.   The Board has two statutory purposes:                    Ideally such a report would be based
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Surrey Hills
                                                                                                                                                         North Devon                                                         Cranbourne Chase

                                                              on a combination of local and national                                                                       Exmoor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               West Wiltshire
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Forest                                                   High Weald

•    to conserve and enhance the natural                      indicators to enable comparisons with                                                                                 Blackdown

     beauty of the AONB; and

                                                              other areas using up to date information.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      South Downs
                                                                                                                                                                 Tamar                                                     Dorset                                     Chichester
                                                                                                                                                                 Valley                                                                                                Harbour
                                                                                                                                                                                                East Devon

                                                              It is an objective of the new Plan to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Isle of Wight

•    to increase the understanding and                                                                                                        Cornwall

     enjoyment of the special qualities of the
                                                                                                                                                                           South Devon
                                                          2007 Chilterns Leisure Visitor Survey

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A Framework for Action - Management Plan 2014-2019 Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - The Chilterns AONB
Introduction                                                                                           Introduction

Global, national and regional                     Influences on the natural beauty of                        ahead a full-length bored tunnel would         Changes in farming
context of the AONB                               the Chilterns AONB                                         be the least damaging option.
                                                                                                                                                            9.    The landscape of the Chilterns is
1.   The Chilterns AONB is one of 46 AONBs        Development                                          5.    The threat of a significantly greater                dominated by farmland and woodland,
     in the UK, which together cover 18% of                                                                  number of overflying aircraft is growing             and changes in these land uses have a
     the countryside. The AONB designation        1.   There has long been pressure on the                   as a result of the plan by the operators             major influence on the natural beauty of
     was created by the National Parks and             Chiltern Hills for development and                    of Luton airport to double the number                the area. The reform of the EU Common
     Access to the Countryside Act of 1949,            for changes in land use which would                   of passengers using the airport from 10              Agricultural Policy and the introduction
     which also established the National Park          have a deleterious effect on the quality              million per annum to nearly 20 million.              of new agri-environment schemes in the
     designation. The aim was that the two             of the landscape. It was partly these                                                                      UK are affecting farming. The vagaries
                                                       pressures which led to the designation          6.    Currently there are no plans to locate               of the climate are proving an ever
     designations would protect the finest
                                                       of the area as an AONB in 1965. In more               wind farms in the Chilterns or for                   increasing challenge with extremes of
     countryside in England and Wales. In
                                                       recent times the pressures have grown,                ‘fracking’. However that may change                  weather becoming more frequent with
     June 2000 the Government confirmed
                                                       leading to a greater-than-ever need for a             and such activities may be sited                     potentially significant consequences.
     that AONBs and National Parks have the
                                                       comprehensive and widely-implemented                  immediately adjacent to the AONB. Any                Experience has shown that when
     same level of landscape quality and share
                                                       Management Plan.                                      proposal should be assessed in terms                 farming is more profitable there is
     the same level of protection.
                                                                                                             of its impact on the AONB and unless it              greater investment in environmental
2.   AONBs are part of the global network of      2.   The recent introduction of the new                    can be proven that the environmental                 conservation. The pressure on profit
     protected landscapes. The International           National Planning Policy Framework                    impacts are acceptable there should be a             margins together with a relative decline
     Union for the Conservation of Nature              to encourage more development is                      presumption in favour of refusal.                    in grant-aid is likely to have a negative
     and Natural Resources (IUCN) has six              intended to relax planning policies and                                                                    impact on some aspects of the farmed
                                                       controls to stimulate house building            Visitor pressure
     management categories covering                                                                                                                               environment.
     all types of protected areas. AONBs               in particular. Great care will be needed
                                                                                                       7.    Sitting on London’s doorstep, and
     (and National Parks) fall into Category           to ensure that this does not lead to a                                                               10.   Loss of traditional management practices
                                                                                                             immediately adjacent to several large
     V – landscapes managed mainly for                 proliferation of designs which do not                                                                      - in particular grazing – and the almost
                                                                                                             towns, the Chilterns provides highly
     conservation and recreation.                      reflect the traditional Chilterns styles and                                                               total cessation of ‘commoning’ (the
                                                                                                             valued landscapes and places to escape
                                                       use of materials. A return to the universal                                                                exercise of common rights) have affected
                                                                                                             to. It is a place which has to cope with
3.   The Chilterns Conservation Board is               design prevalent during much of the 20th                                                                   the open habitats often associated with
                                                                                                             growing populations and increasing
     a member of Europarc, the umbrella                century would be greatly damaging to                                                                       common land.
                                                                                                             traffic levels as well as pressures for
     organisation for Europe’s protected areas.        the AONB. The national policies highlight
                                                                                                             development which come right up to             Changes in forestry
     As a protected landscape the Chilterns            the need to ensure AONBs are given
                                                                                                             the boundary. Luton, Aylesbury and the
     AONB, along with other AONBs, is playing          suitable protection, which will need
                                                                                                             Thames Corridor have been identified as        11.   The long term decline in the market for
     a key role in the implementation of the           vigilance and persistence on the part of
                                                                                                             part of growth areas by the Government               UK timber has had a pronounced effect
     European Landscape Convention, ratified           local planning authorities.
                                                                                                             and will see population increases in                 on the Chiltern woodlands, with many
     by the UK in 2006. The Convention
                                                  3.   The pressures for development and                     the coming years, which will result in               suffering from a lack of management.
     aims to improve the protection and
                                                       the long urban fringe along the AONB                  a greater number of people travelling                The ageing beech woodlands no longer
     management of important landscapes
                                                       boundary means there will be continuing               through the AONB and using it for                    produce significant volumes of timber
     and to increase co-operation across
                                                       pressure which may lead to urbanisation,              recreation. The consequent demand                    and are more valuable as places for
                                                       illegal activities such as fly tipping and            for road improvements and greater                    recreation than as a part of the rural
4.   The Board is an active member of                  problems for landowners especially                    infrastructure at countryside sites could            economy. However, the growing demand
     the National Association for AONBs                those who wish to continue commercial                 have a damaging effect on the AONB so                for wood as a renewable fuel has
     which represents the interests of                 farming. This pressure may also lead to               needs to be appropriately managed.                   stimulated the improved management of
     the designation and those bodies                  loss of tranquillity due to increases in                                                                   some woodlands.
                                                                                                       Use of water
     responsible for them at a national level.         noise from roads, railways, aircraft and
                                                       the general background noise created in         8.    Greater development close to the
5.   The Board also participates in the South          built up areas.                                       Chilterns, and some inevitable
     East Protected Landscapes group to
                                                                                                             development within the area, will lead
     develop collaborative initiatives across     4.   The specific impact of High Speed 2 on
                                                                                                             to more consumption of scarce water
     the region and to develop working                 the Misbourne Valley and communities
                                                                                                             resources. Abstraction of water for
     relationships with a range of regional            of Great Missenden, Hyde Heath, South
                                                                                                             domestic use already has an impact on
     partners. There is further scope for              Heath and Wendover will be severe.
                                                                                                             Chilterns streams and rivers and it is vital
     collaborative working in the East of              The current proposed alignment and
                                                                                                             that public demand for water is managed
     England.                                          design are far from the best available. If
                                                       Parliament decides the railway should go

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A Framework for Action - Management Plan 2014-2019 Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - The Chilterns AONB
Introduction                                                                                                 Introduction

Pests and diseases                                Cross-cutting themes of the                                These changes have the potential to affect the       4. Lifelong learning
                                                  Management Plan                                            landscape, wildlife and communities of the
12.   The number of potentially damaging                                                                     Chilterns in many ways. For example, in future       Lifelong learning is the concept of providing
      pests and diseases threatening              A number of important themes, which                        the Chilterns woods may well have less beech         people with learning opportunities at all ages
      woodlands, in particular, has grown         will have a significant influence on the                   and ash (if any) and more lime, sycamore and         and in many different contexts: at work, at
      significantly. The long standing problem    management of the AONB over the next five                  even walnut.                                         home and during leisure pursuits as well as
      of damage by grey squirrels and deer        years, cut across all the chapters of the Plan.                                                                 through more formal channels such as adult
      is now compounded by the threat             They are:                                                  The range of crops grown by farmers will             education. It is a Government priority and one
      from a number of diseases including                                                                    change and there may be more growing of              which ties in with the Conservation Board’s
      ash dieback, acute oak decline and                  • climate change                                   biofuels, although concerns over the security        primary purpose of increasing understanding
      sudden oak death. These diseases will                                                                  of food supplies may affect that market.             and enjoyment of the Chilterns AONB. With
      dramatically change the tree species                • social inclusion                                 Flows in rivers and streams could become             greater understanding comes a sense of
      composition of local woods and will                                                                    more erratic and there will be changes in the        ownership and of stewardship. The popularity
      result in other species being planted               • health and well-being                            fauna and flora of all habitats. The impact of       of the natural environment amongst the public
      which are likely to be less vulnerable to                                                              tourism is particularly unpredictable. People        combined with the resources that the AONB
                                                          • lifelong learning
      damage and also may cope better with                                                                   may decide to holiday in the UK rather than          offers such as wildlife, special habitats, history
      changes in climate. The aim is to create            • ecosystem services                               to go abroad if the summer weather becomes           and built heritage creates many opportunities
      more resilience against the effects of                                                                 warmer and sunnier but, as in recent years,          to stimulate understanding, develop skills and
      pests and diseases through the choice of            • environmental sustainability                     poor weather may lead to fewer holidays taken        encourage creative responses.
      species and management prescriptions.                                                                  in the UK.
      For example this might mean more            Many of these themes are integrated in the                                                                      5. Ecosystem services
      planting of lime, walnut and douglas fir.   concept of green infrastructure (GI), which                2. Social inclusion
                                                  aims to provide a high quality environment                                                                      The environment provides many services in
                                                  which contributes to the well-being of local               The Chilterns AONB is a national treasure,           the form of wildlife, water, minerals, public
Chenies Manor near Amersham                       communities.                                               protected for all to enjoy and it receives           enjoyment, flood protection, food, timber and
                                                                                                             millions of visits every year. Despite this,         other natural resources. This wide ranging and
                                                  1. Climate change                                          there are many who could benefit from the            interlinked array of services is now being given
                                                                                                             area and yet remain unaware of what it has           better and more formal recognition in national
                                                  A changing global climate, principally caused              to offer, or who face obstacles in accessing it.     environmental policies. A primary purpose of
                                                  by human activities, is now regarded as an                 Ensuring that as wide an audience as possible        this increased emphasis is to ensure that any
                                                  indisputable fact by the Intergovernmental                 understands the special qualities of the AONB        proposal which has an environmental impact
                                                  Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)2. How much                  and takes an active part in enjoying and caring      results in the assessment of those impacts
                                                  global temperatures will rise and how quickly              for it is essential to the future of the area. The   on the full range of ecosystem services and
                                                  are still under debate, but there is a broad               Management Plan seeks to achieve this in a           a full value thereby being accorded to those
                                                  consensus of opinion on the likely changes to              variety of ways including reaching out to those      services.
                                                  the climate of southern England, and therefore             in urban areas close to the Chilterns, improving
                                                  the Chilterns AONB, over the next few decades.             public participation in conservation activities      6. Environmental sustainability
                                                  The likely long term changes are:                          and increasing awareness of the AONB and its
                                                                                                                                                                  The Earth’s resources, in simple terms, fall
                                                                                                             special qualities amongst those who are not
                                                         • summers will become warmer and drier                                                                   into those which can be renewed and those
                                                                                                             regular visitors at the moment.
                                                                                                                                                                  which cannot and will be exhausted unless
                                                         • winters will become milder and wetter                                                                  their use ceases. The favoured approach is
                                                                                                             3. Health and well-being
                                                                                                                                                                  to give priority to minimising use of non-
                                                         • storm events will become more
                                                                                                             Rising obesity levels and the ever-increasing        renewable resources and increasing reliance in
                                                                                                             costs of healthcare have prompted a much             those which are renewable. The most obvious
                                                         • weather generally will become more                greater emphasis on preventative health              examples are in the field of energy with more
                                                           unpredictable                                     solutions. There is an increasing perception of      energy conservation, reduced reliance on fossil
                                                                                                             the countryside, and green space in general,         fuels and greater generation of solar power.
                                                  Even short to medium term climatic cycles may              as a place which offers tangible benefits to         It is not anticipated that wind turbines will be
                                                  be uncertain but there is consensus on the                 health and well-being. The value of protected        located in the AONB. Much greater use will
                                                  likely long term trends.                                   countryside, like AONBs, in providing walking,       be made of wood fuel, not least as very large
                                                                                                             cycling and riding routes and a tranquil rural       volumes are likely to be available if, and when,
                                                                                                             escape from stressful lives is increasingly being    the area is affected by ash dieback.
                                                                                                             seen in economic and social terms as well as
                                                      IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change (2007)   environmental.

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A Framework for Action - Management Plan 2014-2019 Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - The Chilterns AONB
Section 1
                                                          Conserving and enhancing natural beauty

                                                                                                       The primary purpose of designating an area
                                                                                                       of countryside as an AONB is to conserve and
                                                                                                       enhance the natural beauty of its landscape. In
                                                                                                       this sense, the term ‘natural beauty’ refers not
                                                                                                       only to the scenic qualities of the landscape
                                                                                                       but to all those other elements which together
                                                                                                       produce the special character of the AONB.
                                                                                                       These elements include wildlife and man-
                                                                                                       made features such as its archaeological and
                                                                                                       built heritage.

                                                                                                       This section seeks to unpick the special
                                                                                                       qualities of the Chilterns AONB and to define
                                                                                                       the key issues which are affecting them. It
                                                                                                       is divided into chapters reflecting all the
                                                                                                       components which combined create the
                                                                                                       unique sense of place of the Chilterns, namely:

                                                                                                           •   Landscape
                                                                                                           •   Farming, forestry and other land
                                                                                                           •   Biodiversity
                                                                                                           •   Water environment
                                                                                                           •   Historic environment
                                                                                                           •   Development

                                                                                                       Dunstable Downs

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A Framework for Action - Management Plan 2014-2019 Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - The Chilterns AONB
Conserving and enhancing natural beauty
               and enhancing            - Landscape
                                   natural   beauty                                                      - Landscape                                                          Conserving and enhancing natural beauty - Landscape

Landscape character                                                                                                                                                           Landscape
 Landscape Character


          Scarp Foothills               Landscapes
          Vale Fringes
          Arterial Valleys              River Valley                                                                                    Barton-le-Clay
                                        Landscapes                                                                                                 Hexton
          Chess Valley
          Level Plateau
                                        Plateau and                    Leighton Buzzard                                                   Lilley
          Plateau with Valleys          Dip Slope                                                            Dunstable                                              Hitchin
          Valleys and Ridges            Landscapes
          Rolling Plateau
          Thames Fringes                The Thames
                                        Valley                                                                                             LUTON
          Thames Floodplain
                                                       Aylesbury                               Tring         Aldbury
                                                                           Wendover                                Gaddesden
                                                                                                Tring                                                                                            Dawn at
                                                                                       Wendover                                                                                           Ivinghoe Beacon
                                Thame                  Princes            A4010                              Berkhamsted
                                                       Risborough      Princes
                                                                                                                                        HEMEL HEMPSTEAD
                                                                             Gt. Missenden

                                                                             Naphill         Amersham Amersham
                                                                                                                                                                              1.       The landscape of the Chiltern Hills                      the Chilterns landscape character is
                                                                High Wycombe                                                                                                           is defined by the chalk escarpment                       currently within the AONB. However, in
                                                       High Wycombe                                                                                                                    which runs from Goring-on-Thames                         several places the Chilterns landscape
                                                                                                                                                                                       north-eastwards to Hitchin - a distance                  extends beyond the area currently
Wallingford                                                                                   Beaconsfield                                                                             of 50 miles. At its highest point, near                  designated as AONB and there may be a
                                                                                                                                                                                       Wendover, it reaches nearly 900 feet. The                case for re-considering whether some of
                                                                             Marlow                                                                                                    steep scarp slope faces to the north west;               this landscape should also be designated.
R. Thames                   Woodcote                                                          Maidenhead                                                                               the dipslope appears more like a plateau,
                                                                                                                                                                                       gently shelving to the south east, incised         3.    On a global scale chalk is a rare form
               Goring                                    Henley-on-Thames
                                                                                                                                                                                       by shallow valleys, some with chalk                      of geology, laid down during the
                                                                                                                                    N                                                  streams flowing to the River Colne and                   Cretaceous Era (65 - 100 million years
                                                                                                  R. Thames                                                                                                                                     ago), and is most commonly found in the
                                                                                                                                                                                       River Thames.1 To the south and west it
                                                                                                                                                                                       is the Thames Valley which provides a                    south and east of England and north-
                                                                                                                                                                                       natural boundary.                                        west France, but almost nowhere else.
                                                                                                                          0         5               10 Kilometres                                                                               The Chilterns shares many characteristics
                                                                                                                           0                         6 Miles
                                                                                                                                                                              2.       Whilst all of the Chiltern Hills are within a            with other chalk landscapes in the Surrey
                                                                                                                                                                                       single National Character Area (No.110)2                 Hills, North and South Downs, North
                                                                                                                                                                                       as defined by Natural England, not all of                Wessex Downs, Wiltshire and beyond
                                                                                                                                                                                       the Chiltern Hills have been designated                  into Dorset. A large proportion of these
                                                                                                   c Crown copyright and database rights
                                                                                                                                                                                       as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.                special landscapes have been designated
                                                                                                  [2014] Ordnance Survey Licence no. 100044050
                                                                                                                                                                                       A central core deemed to contain the                     as either Areas of Outstanding Natural
                                                                                                                                                                                       finest landscape and which best exhibits                 Beauty or National Parks.

                                                                                                                                                                                   The Chilterns Landscape: Countryside Commission CCP392 1992
                                                                                                                                                                                   National Character Area Profile: 110 Chilterns (Natural England 2013)

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   Chilterns AONB Management Plan 2008 - 2013                                                                                                          Page 14
Conserving and enhancing natural beauty - Landscape                                                     Conserving and enhancing natural beauty - Landscape

4.   Chalk is an unseen geology with few            9.    The attractiveness of the Chilterns                  smaller fragments and now only covers              by pollarded willows and remnants of
     natural outcrops and is generally                    landscape, the proximity of London and               1% of the AONB, of which less than half            meadows and former watercress beds,
     only exposed in quarries, now largely                several large towns and the high level               is considered high quality calcareous              once a common sight and thriving local
     redundant. It was little used for                    of accessibility of the countryside have             grassland important for its biodiversity.          industry.
     construction, except in the manufacture              made the Chilterns one of the most
     of cement, and only the relatively hard              visited areas in the UK, possibly Europe.     2.     The main ridge of the escarpment              8.   The folds of the landscape hide many
     forms of chalk known as Totternhoe                   And yet the intimate enclosed nature                 provides fine long views across the lower          small dry valleys or coombs with no
     Stone and Clunch were used in local                  of much of the landscape and the large               lying vales to the north and west. To the          springs or streams. These places provide
     buildings.                                           number of places with public access have             south, views are more restricted by dense          hidden ’secret’ landscapes and unspoilt
                                                          spread the visitor pressure, enabling it to          woodland and low-lying ridges.                     countryside.
5.   The landscape is a combination of the                absorb that level of use without suffering
     landform created by underlying chalk                                                               3.     The underlying chalk ridge is covered by      9.   Commons, heaths and greens are a
                                                          from the problems of degradation and
     and the land uses and buildings on its                                                                    several feet of clay with flints, but along        defining characteristic of the Chilterns
                                                          erosion that other well-visited landscapes
     surface, which owe more to the clay and                                                                   the ridge the chalk lies near the surface          landscape covering 2.4% of the
                                                          commonly suffer from.
     flint which overlie it. The heavy clay soils                                                              and is peppered with quarries, small and           landscape (2,016 ha). However, they
     support extensive woodland cover and           10.   There is no single Landscape Character               large, now largely redundant.                      were once more extensive, and many
     mixed farming on mostly medium quality               Assessment (LCA) for the Chilterns AONB.                                                                have been lost to a combination of
                                                                                                        4.     The landscape of the Chilterns is given            enclosure, urbanisation and woodland
     (Grade 3) land. There are also deposits              The whole of the AONB is covered by a
                                                                                                               unity by its escarpment but there are              encroachment. Whilst open landscapes
     of fire clay, suitable for commercial                number of county- and district-based
                                                                                                               notable local variations. The northern             tend to be associated with common
     brickmaking, and flint which lends such              LCAs which have been undertaken over
                                                                                                               Chilterns are generally more open with             land, a significant number of Chiltern
     distinction to all forms of building from            a period of 15 years, using a similar
                                                                                                               larger fields and less woodland, also              commons would originally have been
     churches to cottages.                                specification, but not always identical.
                                                                                                               a characteristic of the southern tip in            woodland or wood pasture.
6.   The landscape has largely been shaped                                                                     the area known as the Ipsden prairie.
     by farmers and foresters and remains           Broad Aims                                                 The central and southern Chilterns            10. Over 191 areas of registered common
     an ancient landscape with features                                                                        are dominated by heavily wooded                    land still provide special landscapes
     from many ages. Even today, field and          •     Conserve and enhance the outstanding                 countryside with mixed farming and a               largely untouched by development
     hedgerow patterns can be traced back                 qualities of the Area of Outstanding                 large number of scattered villages and             and modern agriculture. Much of the
     many centuries as can most of the lanes,             Natural Beauty as part of the national               hamlets. Along the southern boundary               common land in the Chilterns is in
     woodland banks and parish boundaries.                landscape heritage.                                  the hills come down to the Thames Valley           close proximity to towns and villages,
                                                                                                               and the River Thames itself which forms a          providing valued, easily accessible green
7.   It is a landscape of many hidden quarters,     •     Maintain those features which make a                 long and sinuous boundary.                         spaces for local communities. Nearly 10%
     of enclosures and surprise views, of dark            significant contribution to the character                                                               of the remaining common land in the
     beech woods and open downland. It is                 and quality of the area and to regional       5.     Woodlands, notably beech, cover over               AONB is ancient woodland.
     its variety and timelessness which give it           and local distinctiveness.                           18,000 hectares, nearly 22% of the AONB,
     such charm and places such a premium                                                                      making it one of the most wooded              11. The Chilterns has an extensive network
                                                    •     Enhance and restore those parts of the               landscapes in England. Once the woods              of ancient routes, roadside hedges and
     on maintaining those special qualities.
                                                          landscape which are degraded or in                   were home to bodgers and other                     sunken lanes. The Ridgeway (Icknield
8.   Climate change will result in some                   decline.                                             woodland workers but today are mainly              Way), reputedly the oldest road in the
     significant changes to the landscape by                                                                   valued for their amenity, wildlife and as          country, is elevated along the entire
                                                    •     Enhance the level of awareness of what
     changing habitats and land uses, but                                                                      places to visit.                                   length of the Chilterns, linking Wessex
                                                          makes the Chilterns landscape special
     over a relatively long timescale with few                                                                                                                    with East Anglia.
                                                          and the desire to care for it.                6.     Farmland covers approximately 60% of
     noticeable changes in the short term.
     Over a period of 50 years or more the                                                                     the Chilterns3, creating a mosaic of fields   12. Villages and farmsteads with brick and
     most noticeable changes are likely to                                                                     with arable crops and livestock, bordered          flint cottages, churches and timber barns
     be an altered species composition of                                                                      by ancient hedgerows and trees. A mix              are scattered throughout the area. The
     woodland with less beech and a greater                                                                    of crops, dairy cattle, sheep and pigs             more ancient settlements tend to nestle
     variety of arable crops better suited          Special Qualities                                          was once commonplace, but grazing of               alongside streams and rivers or springs
     to warmer conditions. Those qualities                                                                     livestock is less prominent now and more           at the foot of the escarpment. More
     which make the Chilterns a landscape of        1.    A dramatic chalk escarpment rising to                land is given over to arable farming.              recent settlements sprung up on the
     national importance today will almost                nearly 900 feet (272 metres) with flower-                                                               higher ground, strung along the edge of
                                                          rich downland and panoramic views.            7.     Chalk landscapes are dry landscapes,               commons and beside droving routes.
     certainly persist.
                                                          Once extensive, the downland survives in             but in a few shallow valleys can be found
                                                                                                               gently-flowing streams, often bordered        13. The area boasts a wealth of great
                                                                                                                                                                  houses, follies, parkland and designed
                                                                                                            Chilterns Land Use Survey 2010, CCB
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Conserving and enhancing natural beauty - Landscape                                                        Conserving and enhancing natural beauty - Landscape

      landscapes. Often built and embellished             and oil seed rape. In general, it can                  to the next is affecting yields and, in most         extensive sympathetic management.
      by statesmen and businessmen making                 be anticipated that many farmers will                  cases, profitability. Such uncertainty,              Such land uses are often most prevalent
      their fortune in London, it is a trend              increase their area of actively farmed                 together with the availability of grant              on the outskirts of towns and villages,
      which continues to this day. Foremost               land and the relative attraction of agri-              support, will have an impact on related              a perspective seen by large numbers of
      is the Prime Minister’s rural retreat at            environment options will reduce.                       environmental management and the                     people for whom such a landscape may
      Chequers near Wendover.                                                                                    resources available for such activities.             become the norm.
                                                     2.   At the time of writing the reform of the
14. The Chilterns is a long settled landscape             Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is              7.    The potential for scrub to spread across       12.   Many Chilterns commons are affected by
      with relics of many different eras: Bronze          ongoing. Already announced by the                      open grassland landscapes is increasing              the increasing demands for access and
      Age barrows and fields, Iron Age hillforts,         UK Government is a new environmental                   due to a combination of the problem of               recreation and changing public attitudes,
      medieval deer enclosures, eighteenth                land management scheme to come into                    grazing sites and the potential for more             for example towards grazing livestock
      century sawyer pits and chalk figures               effect in January 2015, which combines                 rapid growth of scrub in those years                 close to towns and villages.
      carved in unknown times.                            environmental and forestry grants. It will             when the weather is mild and growing
                                                          be targeted instead of being available                 season is longer.                              13.   A continuing and largely unnoticed
                                                          universally. At the time of writing it is not                                                               trend has been the loss, usually partial,
                                                          known if all of the Chilterns AONB will be       8.    For the foreseeable future the landscape             of unregistered parks and gardens, for
Key Issues                                                a target area.                                         will still be dominated by farming                   example around large houses now used
                                                                                                                 and forestry and the spatial pattern of              for institutions or businesses.
			   There are many factors affecting the
                                                     3.   The decline of livestock farming, of all               land use is unlikely to alter directly as
      landscape and how it is managed. Often                                                                                                                    Decline of cherry orchards
                                                          types, is leading to problems for the                  a consequence of climate change. It is
      the causes of change are complex and
                                                          management of sites which need grazing                 more likely that, for example, the species
      the trends uncertain. The scale and                                                                                                                       14.   The once large number of cherry
                                                          in order to retain their biodiversity                  composition of woodlands may change -
      variety of the Chilterns landscape means                                                                                                                        orchards continues to decline to the
                                                          and landscape qualities. There is little               the general appearance will be similar to
      that trends and issues affect different                                                                                                                         point they are now a fast vanishing
                                                          likelihood of a reversal of this trend as              the woodlands of today but will become
      parts in different ways. Perhaps as much                                                                                                                        feature of the landscape. There is a
                                                          farmers give up livestock and increasingly             more varied over time.
      as at any other time, global factors and                                                                                                                        growing interest in conserving and
                                                          choose to concentrate on growing
      trends are influencing the Chilterns as,                                                             Attitude of owners                                         restoring some of the best examples to
                                                          cereals or leave farming altogether.
      for example, farmers respond to world                                                                                                                           ensure this element of the traditional
      prices for grain and landowners from           4.   Although the number of full-time                 9.    There is evidence of the amalgamation                Chilterns rural scene is not lost and
      overseas invest funds in newly acquired             farmers is declining there are many more               of farm units to create bigger businesses            forgotten. Recently there has been a
      estates. Increasing numbers of pests and            small agricultural holdings reflecting                 with an increasing use of contractors.               welcome small increase in the area of
      diseases, many new to the UK, are now               the relative popularity of hobby and                   One consequence is that those who                    apple orchards.
      posing a serious and long term threat to            part-time farming. In some places this                 make the main decisions have less
      wildlife, farming and forestry.                                                                            time, and sometimes knowledge, of the          Fragmentation of land ownership
                                                          is leading to a fragmentation of the
                                                          landscape with smaller fields, new                     environmental options available to them.
Changes to farming                                                                                                                                              15.   The continuing fragmentation of
                                                          buildings and a greater diversity of                                                                        the landscape by transfer to smaller
                                                                                                           10.   As new owners buy land they often place
1.    The growth of arable farming in response            activity in a smaller area. Inevitably not all                                                              holdings is affecting the scale and
                                                                                                                 higher priority on leisure and amenity
      to the world price of cereals is likely to          of these new holdings are well managed                                                                      nature of management of land. Such
                                                                                                                 than production. This is partly behind
      be a factor for several years as concerns           and some detract from landscape quality.                                                                    fragmentation also highlights the nature
                                                                                                                 the expansion of the area covered by
      about food security grow and demand                                                                        pony paddocks, extension of gardens                  of intervening land, for example between
                                                     Climate change
      increases from China, India and other                                                                      and newly landscaped grounds. Often it               fragments of chalk grassland or ancient
      countries. Traditional growers of grain        5.   The changing climate with its extremes                 is accompanied by the spread of fencing,             woodland. The links are important to
      may be affected increasingly by weather             of weather may alter the landscape                     screening of all kinds and inappropriate             allow wildlife to move around a larger
      extremes and climate change and as                  but predicting the nature of that shift                clutter such as lights and temporary                 network of suitable habitat.
      prices rise above recent lows, farmers in           is difficult. Examples of possible effects             buildings.
      the Chilterns will grow crops for which                                                                                                                   Under-management of woodland
                                                          include a reduction in the extent of
      they anticipate a steady if not increasing          beech woodland, effects on the flows             11.   The general growth of leisure uses,
                                                                                                                                                                16.   Many types of woodland, especially
      market price. This is unlikely to lead to           of chalk streams and the introduction                  notably equestrian, has resulted in a
                                                                                                                                                                      small woodlands, are under-managed,
      ploughing up of grassland important for             of new crops in response to different                  significant number of horses, new pony
                                                                                                                                                                      even neglected. The long term decline
      its wildlife, as it once did, as these sites        growing conditions.                                    paddocks and associated buildings
                                                                                                                                                                      of timber prices, notably for beech, has
      are largely protected, but it will change                                                                  and equipment. Also prominent in the
                                                                                                                                                                      depressed the market and is unlikely to
      the landscape, as has been seen, for           6.   The increasing variability of the climate              landscape are new and expanded golf
                                                                                                                                                                      change in the near future. However prices
      example, where short term grass leys                with the associated difficulties of                    courses. Whilst they can provide high
                                                                                                                                                                      for fuel wood are increasing and helping
      have been converted to grow cereals                 predicting the weather from one season                 quality habitat this is dependent upon

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Conserving and enhancing natural beauty - Landscape                                                       Conserving and enhancing natural beauty - Landscape

      to stimulate management of woodland.            Ageing beech woodlands                                    enjoyment. This plan places considerable     Landscape clutter
      A decline of skills and the availability of                                                               emphasis on the need to value the
      skilled contractors with the necessary          20.   The changes to the many mature beech                setting of the AONB as an integral part of   28.   There is a tendency for clutter of all types
      machinery and transport is a concern, as              woods may result in long term changes               the efforts to conserve the landscape of           (e.g. signs, masts, barriers and fences)
      is the loss of knowledge and experience               in the woodland landscape. They will be             the AONB itself and should be reflected            to accumulate along roadsides, around
      of timber production.                                 barely discernible in the short term, but           in neighbouring Local Plans.                       settlements and along the skyline. It is
                                                            already ash, which regenerated in the                                                                  an insidious problem which is difficult
Pests and diseases                                          gaps left by beech trees blown down           Development pressure                                     but not impossible to reverse. The co-
                                                            in the early 1990s, has changed the                                                                    operation of the highways authorities is
17.   The impact of pests and disease on trees,             landscape by altering the colours and         25.   Large numbers of new houses are                    essential as they are often responsible for
      woodlands and forestry will be profound.              timing of flushing and leaf-fall.                   planned in surrounding towns and                   much of the clutter.
      The recent spread of ash dieback                                                                          construction will affect the land adjacent
      (Chalara fraxinea) may have severe and          21.   It is likely that beech will persist in             to, and visible from, the Chilterns. Land    Loss of tranquillity
      widespread impacts. It is likely that many,           smaller pockets even through significant            scheduled for development may be
      but not all, of the several million ash trees         changes in climate, but it will no                  less well managed, even abandoned in         29.   According to national surveys, half of all
      in the Chilterns will be affected in the              longer be as dominant. The balance of               anticipation of new development in the             visitors to the countryside say that peace
      next 20 years. It should not lead to the              woodland cover needs to slowly change               relatively near future. Once created there         and quiet is a primary reason for their
      loss of woodland cover if other species               to reflect the tolerance of species to more         may be a harder, more defined edge                 visit. The enjoyment of the landscape is
      naturally regenerate or are planted,                  extreme weather. If the Chilterns is to             between town and country. The view                 being increasingly eroded by a loss of
      however a very severe loss will be the                be a timber-producing area in the long              from the ridge of the escarpment will              tranquillity - peace and quiet is harder to
      larger mature ash trees in hedgerows                  term unfamiliar species may have to be              be significantly affected in some places,          find largely due to traffic noise, notably
      and along most roads. Its likely impact               introduced.                                         although green infrastructure provision            the M40 and several of the trunk roads,
      is still uncertain and whilst many trees                                                                  is an intrinsic part of the growth area            and the increase in over-flying by aircraft
      may die others may survive. A positive          Renewable energy                                          strategies. The provision and long term            of all types using Luton, Heathrow and
      programme of replacing those lost trees                                                                   management of green infrastructure                 local airfields. The loss will intensify if the
                                                      22.   Although it cannot be ruled out, it is                                                                 proposal by Luton airport to double its
      will be needed otherwise the landscape,                                                                   should be an integral component of
                                                            unlikely there will be many applications                                                               capacity goes ahead. The expansion of
      particularly farmland, will be bereft                                                                     planning any new development, both
                                                            to erect wind turbines in the AONB due                                                                 Heathrow would also mean more over-
      of mature trees for many years. Acute                                                                     enhancing the new development itself
                                                            to low wind speeds generally and the                                                                   flying aircraft at low altitudes.
      Oak Decline, Oak Processionary Moth                                                                       and the way it is integrated with the
                                                            unacceptability of siting them along the
      and Phytophthora are also of particular                                                                   surrounding area.
                                                            skyline where wind speeds are higher.                                                            30.   The darkness of the night sky and
      concern for Chiltern woodlands. It is
                                                            There may be places where relatively          26.   A more immediate, but less obvious                 the absence of visual intrusiveness of
      essential that a considered approach,
                                                            small turbines could be accommodated                change in the landscape is the impact of           structures and buildings all add to a
      based on the best available scientific
                                                            without unacceptable intrusion in the               building new houses on infill sites and            sense of tranquillity; these are attributes
      advice, is taken and quick responses are
                                                            landscape.                                          gardens in villages. Usually the resulting         which are over-looked and are being
                                                                                                                houses have small gardens and there is             continuously and insidiously lost. If High
                                                      23.   With growing pressure to increase                                                                      Speed 2 is built the corridor through
18.   The widespread damage caused by                                                                           less scope for trees to grow to maturity
                                                            generation of renewable energy                                                                         which it passes will lose most of its
      excessive numbers of grey squirrels,                                                                      and provide highly value amenity and
                                                            there are likely to be more proposals                                                                  remaining tranquillity in all senses - it
      deer (muntjac, fallow and increasingly                                                                    screening. In some cases the infilling
                                                            for solar farms, anaerobic digesters                                                                   would be largely protected if the railway
      roe) together with localised problems                                                                     itself and unsympathetic design of the
                                                            and wood-fired systems. Providing                                                                      is in a continuous bored tunnel.
      caused by the edible dormouse (Glis glis)                                                                 new development changes the character
                                                            they are on an appropriate scale in
      continues to hamper efforts to establish                                                                  of the settlement.
                                                            non-sensitive locations it is possible                                                           High Speed Two
      and grow trees, especially for timber.
                                                            these forms of energy generation can          27.   As the Chilterns landscape is a mosaic
                                                            be accommodated in the Chilterns                                                                 31.   The impact of High Speed 2 on the
Removal of conifers                                                                                             of the natural and built environment
                                                            landscape, but these are important                                                                     Misbourne Valley will be severe and
                                                                                                                it is important that the design of
19.   Government policy to remove                           caveats.                                                                                               permanent. At the time of writing the
                                                                                                                new buildings complements the
      plantations, especially of conifers, from                                                                                                                    impact of the current design with a long
                                                                                                                existing character of the landscape
      ancient and semi-natural woods (PAWS)           Setting of the AONB                                                                                          section on the surface crossing two
                                                                                                                and settlement, especially where it is
      will help restore their natural qualities.                                                                                                                   viaducts cannot be adequately mitigated.
                                                      24.   The potential impact of development in              based on vernacular architecture. New
      Where existing conifers are important for                                                                                                                    The proposal to provide screening
                                                            the area surrounding the AONB needs to              designs must also exhibit the highest
      their amenity, for example by providing                                                                                                                      by using spoil from the cuttings to
                                                            be given greater weight as inappropriate            environmental standards in terms of
      winter greenery, a careful and phased                                                                                                                        create line-side embankments is not
                                                            and poorly designed development can                 energy and water conservation.
      removal is advocated.                                                                                                                                        an appropriate design solution in an
                                                            significantly affect the AONB and its                                                                  AONB. The loss of ancient woodland

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Conserving and enhancing natural beauty - Landscape                                                       Conserving and enhancing natural beauty - Landscape

      cannot be replaced by the proposed tree               ensure that future generations benefit              information and advice is available to               Wycombe, Luton, Dunstable and
      planting, much of which will be planted               from an equally high quality landscape.             help ensure proposed changes are in                  Aylesbury where large numbers of new
      on farmland which should be kept in                                                                       keeping with the special character of the            houses and other developments will be
      agricultural use.                               L3    Local pride in the landscape and special            AONB and its setting.                                built during the next 20 years. The design
                                                            sense of place should be encouraged to                                                                   and location of these buildings need to
32.   The Conservation Board opposes High                   promote concern for their conservation.       L6    Degraded aspects of the landscape                    be sensitive to the AONB, for example by
      Speed 2 because it is not convinced that                                                                  should be enhanced including the                     not having excessively high or reflective
      an adequate case has been made that             			   The Chilterns is fortunate in that so               removal or mitigation of intrusive                   roofs. The impact of development
      it is in the national interest. The Board             many people and organisations are                   development and features                             adjacent to the AONB will be significant
      also believes that it is possible to avoid            concerned about its environmental
                                                                                                                                                                     in many ways including its visibility
      the AONB with changes to the design                   quality. The Chiltern Society alone has       			   In some senses the Chilterns is a busy
                                                                                                                                                                     from many popular sites. It is important
      specification, notably the line speed. The            over 6,500 members and the Wildlife                 landscape with a large number of
                                                                                                                                                                     that appropriate landscape and visual
      Board believes that if the railway is finally         Trusts, National Trust and RSPB amongst             buildings, structures and, what some
                                                                                                                                                                     assessments are undertaken.
      given the go ahead by Parliament, it                  others are well supported. Together                 might call, clutter. Such clutter comes
      should be in a full length bored tunnel as            with local authorities, including 117               in many forms and can include: masts,          L8    Landscapes close to existing and
      it passes through the Chilterns.                      town and parish councils and voluntary              signs, fences, utilities infrastructure              new areas of development should
                                                            and community groups, there are many                and highways structures. It tends to                 be maintained and enhanced to
                                                            organisations with powers, resources                accumulate rather than be removed even               conserve, enhance and extend: natural
                                                            and a willingness to work to conserve               after its useful life has ended. Sometimes           capital; green infrastructure; character
Policies                                                    what is special about the Chilterns and to          concerted effort is needed to bring about            and amenity; biodiversity; and
                                                            act as stewards of the landscape. These             its removal by planning conditions,                  opportunities for recreation.
L1    The overall identity and character of
                                                            organisations and individuals all need              regulations, advice, practical assistance or
      the Chilterns should be recognised and
                                                            support to maintain their active roles.             incentives. There is also scope to mitigate,   			   The boundary of the AONB is long and
      managed positively.
                                                                                                                or even screen, less attractive structures           sinuous, curling around many towns
                                                      L4    The distinctive character of buildings,             and features where they are still in active          and villages. The interface between
			   The main characteristics of the Chilterns
                                                            rural settlements and their landscape               use or are unlikely to be removed.                   the AONB and these communities is
      landscape have been created by human
                                                            setting should be conserved and                                                                          important and the quality of landscape
      intervention. In most cases they need
                                                            enhanced.                                     			   Similarly what was once regarded as an               in this belt is often under pressure.
      to be managed actively in order to
                                                                                                                acceptable design is now considered                  Such problems may be compounded
      retain those qualities or restore natural       			   A primary characteristic of the Chilterns           out of place. The utilitarian and universal          where new development is planned,
      characteristics which are in decline e.g.             landscape is the large number of                    designs used by national utility                     resulting in less intensive management
      chalk downland, hedgerows, ancient                    attractive towns and villages, buildings,           companies is a good example of when                  and additional pressures placed by
      woodlands, chalk streams, traditional                 farms, barns and churches. It is the                a more sensitive and tailored approach               new residents seeking to use adjacent
      cherry and apple orchards.                            combination of their charm and setting in           would have been more appropriate for                 countryside for leisure and recreation.
                                                            the landscape that contributes so much              an AONB.
L2    There should be greater understanding                                                                                                                          These places create what is being called
                                                            to the special qualities of the Chilterns
      and awareness of local landscape                                                                                                                               green infrastructure and need to be
                                                            and reinforces what is distinctive about      			   Some developments have been
      character which contributes to local                                                                                                                           identified in advance and appropriate
                                                            the area.                                           constructed which, over time, now
      distinctiveness.                                                                                                                                               management and investment put in
                                                                                                                look out of place by virtue of their
                                                      L5    Developments which detract from the                                                                      place. The countryside close to home
			   The main landscape types such as                                                                          location, scale or design. Whilst removal
                                                            Chilterns’ special character should be                                                                   is often the most important, which
      woodland, farmland, river valleys and                                                                     remains unlikely or impossible greater
                                                            resisted.                                                                                                means creating green spaces within the
      downland are large in scale, but are                                                                      consideration should be given to
                                                                                                                                                                     development zones as well as adjacent
      owned by large numbers of individuals,                                                                    mitigation to diminish those negative
                                                      			   There are significant pressures to change                                                                to it. It is essential there is no reliance
      who often own small plots. The challenge                                                                  impacts.
                                                            the use of land, erect new buildings                                                                     on sensitive sites, for example along the
      is to help all owners and managers to                 and structures, improve transport                                                                        scarp ridge, to provide green space in lieu
                                                                                                          L7    The quality of the setting of the AONB
      be aware of the character of the wider                infrastructure or expand economic and                                                                    of sites closer to new development.
                                                                                                                should be conserved by ensuring the
      landscape and the context for their                   leisure activities. They can often be               impact of adjacent development is
      own activities. It also highlights the                satisfactorily accommodated without                 sympathetic to the character of the
      importance of managing boundary                       detriment to the landscape, but not                 Chilterns.
      features well and where possible,                     always. The town and country planning
      ensuring there are no intrusive                       system and other regulatory and               			   The Chilterns is surrounded by many
      boundaries such as close board fencing                advisory processes need to be in place              market towns and the larger settlements
      in open countryside. This policy aims                 and applied to ensure that damaging                 of Reading, Hemel Hempstead, High
      to help current stewards of the land to               changes are prevented. A great deal of

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