HS2 Chilterns AONB Additional Projects Fund

The Secretary of State has made £3m available to support work to identify local environmental integration and enhancement measures as Additional Projects within 3km either side of the HS2 route as it passes through the AONB.

The Review Group Panel will be reviewing the projects and deciding on the allocation of funding on a periodic basis. Owing to the proximity of some of the projects to the HS2 construction zone, some will not be started until the train line is almost complete.

Project selection

During 2017 there were two workshops where professionals and members of the public made suggestions for project ideas and themes, these were subsequently developed into projects and passed through a screening and prioritisation process detailed in the Chilterns Enhancement and Integration Plan (CEIP), Part 2: Additional Projects.  Further to these, there are Projects that have been developed following work undertaken by the Review Group on Detailed Design Principles being used by the Designers on HS2.  It is anticipated some of these projects will be funded from the Additional Projects fund once the Design Process is more advanced.

Chilterns Enhancement and Integration Plan (CEIP), Part 2: Additional Projects

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The Additional Projects area

Current approved projects

You can read more about the current approved projects and what progress they’re making below.

Landscape and Biodiversity Connectivity Project

Overseen by the Chilterns Conservation Board, this project seeks to work with farmers and other landowners to secure measures that reinforce landscape character and improve habitat connectivity otherwise disrupted by construction of the HS2 route.

The project is ongoing but so far works have included:

  • re-pollarding over mature willows beside the River Misbourne at Little Missenden;
  • several whole farm and hedgerow management plans to identify suitable management;
  • new hedgerows planted;
  • existing hedgerows rejuvenated through hedge coppicing, laying and gapping up;
  • new orchards established with traditional varieties;
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The River Misbourne upstream of Shardeloes

  • new areas of woodland planted;
  • areas of scrub cleared to prevent areas of wildflower rich chalk grassland being swamped;
  • wildflower rich grass margins established to increase pollinator numbers;
  • owl and kestrel boxes installed in a number of locations;
  • new signage to help visitors recognise, enjoy and respect the farming and wildlife they see while enjoying walks across the area.
  • 900m of new hedge was planted at Home Farm, some of which needed a protective fence on the side where cows graze.
  • 300 further trees were planted at the Dowson Fields, in part to replace those that died in the drought last year but also a new 60m hedge to complete the perimeter boundary.
  • At Penn Street Farm and Road Farm 1,481 and 1,500 saplings respectively were replaced due to drought losses from spring 2022.
  • At Broomfield Farm 300m of overgrown hedge was coppiced and 1,200 saplings were planted to fill in hedgerow gaps and increase density along the coppiced areas.
  • At Bassibones Farm 850m of hedge was coppiced by the landowner, 717m of new hedging was planted amongst the coppiced stumps and along a new hedge-line, and the new hedge planting was fenced to protect the saplings from livestock.
  • At Church Farm a further 7  fruit trees (apples, pears and 3 Aylesbury Prunes) were supplied, and planted by the farmer.

Read the latest project update below. Previous updates are available upon request.

Latest project update

Ridgeway Riding Route

The Ridgeway National Trail have ambitions to adapt seven sections of the existing rights of way network, to provide links with sections of the Ridgeway National Trail already open to horse and bike riders.  These sections are spaced between North Stoke (near Wallingford) and the Ashridge Estate (near Dunstable).

The first phase was launched in Dec 2019 with HS2 AP funding for a route between Pulpit Hill (near Princes Risborough) and Chivery (near Wendover). The Ridgeway National Trail team are working with landowners, the funding is enabling signage, surface improvements, cycle stands, hitching posts and benches.

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The Ridgeway near Aston Rowant

Wendover Canal Towpath Upgrade

The Wendover Arm Trust have gained support from almost 30 different national and local groups to upgrade the badly deteriorated towpath within the parishes of Wendover and Halton. In places the towpath has either halved in width, or floods, or is virtually impassable for a family with a pushchair. It has undoubtedly become dangerous.

The towpath serves Wendover residents and is in close proximity to schools, care homes and residential areas. The upgrade will provide access for walkers, runners, cyclists and those with reduced mobility and will form an important part of the ambitious Grand Union Canal Triangle between Aylesbury, Wendover and Tring – 22km of towpath linked by 6km of right of way through Weston Turville.

Peter Elwin (the Wendover Canal Trust’s Partnership Director) confirmed that contractors, Kier, were due to start the upgrade on 12 June.  Peter confirmed that due to recalculated cost savings on the initial 1,650m to Perch Bridge, CRT / Kier now estimate that the funding available can now almost reach all the way to the centre of Halton.  As a result of these cost savings and the flat, wide and high nature of most of the remaining towpath stretch between Perch Bridge and the centre of Halton, it is estimated that only a further £50K is now needed to complete this distance.

Latest project update
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Wendover canal towpath upgrade - HS2 Review Group Additional Projects

The Misbourne Greenway

The Misbourne Greenway is a developing walking, wheeling, and cycling route along the Misbourne Valley between Uxbridge and Wendover. When complete, it will form part of Buckinghamshire Council’s vision of a Buckinghamshire Greenway covering the length of the county and will provide connectivity for access and enjoyment and will link with other key transport nodes including local railway stations.
A new walking, cycling, and wheeling route is needed because the only route through the valley is the A413. This is too busy and traffic speed too high to be an attractive option for people on foot or wheels; alternatives are indirect or involve steep hills.

The new Misbourne Greenway will create a connected landscape, reducing severance for people and wildlife. It will offer health enhancing and enjoyable recreation experiences for people through the improvement, creation, and connection of the rights of way and routes in this area. It will connect the existing populations and transport hubs at Wendover and Great Missenden. As it becomes part of the Buckinghamshire Greenway, it will also connect people further afield.

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Construction of the Misbourne Greenway

AP funding will allow completion of the final 1km with all the works constructed in one continuous phase from February 2023. As of August/September 2023:

  • Work substantially complete on Firecrest fields section:
    • Path works complete
    • Fencing works complete
    • Connection to Firecrest pub complete
    • Earthworks ramps at each end complete
  • Two small elements are outstanding:
    • The highway tie ins at each end – Dunsmore and Cobblershill Lane
Read more

Notifying the Chilterns AONB Review Group of project ideas

If you have an idea for a Project that would meet the selection criteria then please get in touch with the Chilterns Conservation Board, who will talk through your ideas, and if the project can be developed further into a project plan and meets the criteria, it will be considered by the Chilterns AONB Review Group at their next Review Group meeting.

Full project selection criteria can be found in the Chilterns Enhancement and Integration Plan (CEIP), Part 2: Additional Projects below.

There isn’t a formal application process for the fund, if your project doesn’t meet the criteria then you might want to look at these other sources of funding currently available for HS2 related projects.


Chilterns Enhancement and Integration Plan (CEIP), Part 2: Additional Projects.

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