Forging Partnerships

With our partners, stakeholders and friends, we find ways to protect, enhance and promote the natural beauty of the AONB.


The Chilterns Conservation Board (CCB) is the driving force responsible for ensuring that the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is protected as it should be. The CCB is an independent, statutory body established by Parliamentary Order in July 2004. The purpose of the CCB is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the AONB, as well as to increase the public’s understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities.

The Board has 27 members, all drawn from local communities, and who do not represent any other organisation. Working together and with the support of a small team of staff, the Board is responsible for the formation of the CCB’s strategies and policies, and have responsibility for the actions of the CCB. We are a partnership ourselves, but we also strive to find new partnerships and new ways of working to engage stakeholders and the public in the protection of the Chilterns AONB.

Working in partnership

As a statutory body, we don’t own or manage land ourselves. To achieve our aims, we work in partnership with those who do, such as farmers, non-governmental organisations, community environmental groups, utility companies, local authorities and developers. Together, we find ways to: manage our landscape to support nature’s recovery; promote sustainable tourism and business within the area and beyond; engage local communities and encourage people to get involved; combat climate change; preserve our history; and influence planning and development to ensure that decisions, new plans and land-use changes are right for both the local landscape and the local people.

Our guiding tool is the Chilterns AONB Management Plan, which sets out the vision, policies and actions for the management of the AONB from 2019 to 2024, helping all those with a responsibility for the AONB to care for it for current and future generations.

  • We are currently working with stakeholders on a new a partnership approach between ourselves, Natural England, local authorities, and other public, private and voluntary organisations working in the Chilterns. This will make our Management Plan a more influential tool in coordinating efforts and funding to promote the conservation, enhancement and understanding of the Chilterns landscape. Visit our Future-proofing the Chilterns page for further details.



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Green recovery – a challenge faced together

The CCB and The Chiltern Society are working together to deliver the exciting new initiative, Chalk streams and wetland meadows: guarding the irreplaceable for people and nature. A grant has been awarded to the project from the government’s £40 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The money will fund a suite of schemes developed by the Chilterns Chalk Streams Project (of which the CCB and The Chiltern Society are major partners) focusing on the precious chalk stream and wetland habitats of the Chilterns AONB. The work will combine practical restoration and enhancement with education and engagement.

Liaising with landowners

Much of what we achieve for nature’s recovery and preserving our heritage is done through working with local landowners and managers. From large farms down to small gardens, we offer advice and support on how best to protect and enhance the special qualities of the AONB, while being mindful of the interests of businesses, communities and local people.

We provide end-to-end support to farmers, landowners and land managers with a variety of subjects, including shaping a project idea; accessing funding; commissioning contractors for landscape work; training and advice; environmental monitoring; and bringing in volunteers or new partners to help with surveys or practical conservation work.

We also work with ‘Farmer Clusters’ – proactive groups of farmers who support each other to farm with nature, wildlife and climate change in mind. Working with these groups supports nature’s recovery across large areas of land; for instance, the Central Chilterns Farmer Cluster and Christmas Common Farmer Cluster between them cover an impressive 15,000 hectares of land within the Chilterns AONB.


Farming in Protected Landscapes – helping landowners to support nature’s recovery

Defra’s Farming in Protected Landscapes programme is running from July 2021 to March 2024. It helps farmers and land managers to carry out projects that support nature’s recovery, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and provide opportunities for people to discover and enjoy their landscape and heritage; and, in the process, it supports sustainable farm businesses.

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Working on a landscape-scale

Traditionally, nature conservation has focused on protecting special sites, such as nature reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). These are places where biodiversity (all living things and their habitats) is rich, the environment is nearly pristine, and human activity is kept to a minimum. These havens for wildlife provide important ‘reservoirs’, where plants and animals thrive. Yet, more often than not, these valuable places have been cut off from other special sites by human activities that have changed the landscape around them.

We recognise the importance of reconnecting these ‘islands of biodiversity’ by expanding our habitats and looking after our ecosystems across the whole landscape. Conservation on this wider scale enables us to reinstate natural processes, such as water pathways and soil formation, and create stepping-stones for wildlife to move through the landscape in response to threats, pressures and changes. It also benefits us in many ways – from providing places for recreation, to improving mental well-being, offering economic opportunities, to providing natural resources.

To work like this, we must forge partnerships across boundaries and create visionary projects and conservation themes that span not only wide areas, but generations, too. Many of our flagship projects work in this way, with multiple partners working towards a common goal.

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Chalkscapes – conservation that spans a landscape

Chalkscapes is an exciting new partnership project designed to inspire people to understand, care for and take action for the precious North Chilterns chalk landscape. The project will deliver landscape-scale conservation and community engagement, giving urgent support to the wildlife, heritage and communities that face unprecedented levels of development, infrastructure growth, and environmental pressures.