About The Chilterns AONB
The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covers 833 square kilometres across Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. The many rare species and habitats, rolling chalk hills, magnificent beechwoods and wildflower-rich hills are just some of the special features of The Chilterns, which are enjoyed by local people and visitors alike.
The Chilterns AONB is home to England’s largest population of Red Kite birds of prey as well as a stronghold of rare flowers such as the Chiltern Gentian, the Military Orchid, Lady Orchid, Monkey Orchid and Pasqueflower. It’s also home to nine colonies of the threatened Duke of Burgundy butterfly. With around 700 hectares of chalk grassland, The Chilterns support a diverse range of plant and animal species, and can have up to 40 different species per square metre. There are nine rare chalk streams in the AONB, one of which, the Chess, hosts the only known remaining population of water vole in The Chilterns.
There are few landscapes which could claim to have as much recreational opportunity as The Chilterns, the extensive network of well-signposted footpaths and bridleways make it easy to explore the area by foot or bicycle. There are also lots of countryside sites where you can relax, enjoy the scenery, have a picnic, or take a walk. With 1.6 million people living within 8km and 10 million people living within an hour, The Chilterns is one of the most accessible protected landscapes in Europe.