Environmental issues are focus of Chesham & Villages Community Board’s latest meeting

Work on the Communi-Tree project with Community Board Deputy Chair Cllr Jane MacBean.

Chesham & Villages Community Board’s latest meeting centred on issues affecting the environment. Board members and other individuals and groups who attended the online meeting on Thursday evening (11 March), heard updates on a range of initiatives going on in the local area and how these plans fit into Buckinghamshire Council’s overarching strategy addressing air quality and climate change.

Representatives from a number of community groups addressed the meeting giving information on local environmental projects and initiatives. These included:

  • Communi-Tree Project – a community scheme working to plant trees back into the urban streets of Chesham.
  • Re-Wilding Project – a proposal to plant more than a thousand trees and shrubs in a 2.5 acre plot of Lowndes Park to establish a natural woodland and habitat to encourage birds, insects and wildlife.
  • Public Health Community Grow Project – an initiative to increase opportunities for community food growing in the local area by encouraging people to grow and consume healthier and more sustainable food. The project also promotes social interaction which has positive benefits for mental health.
  • Sustainable Chesham – a community group established 10 years ago with the aim of making the town and local community more sustainable through a variety of means.
  • Zone 9 Cycle Group – a sub-group of Sustainable Chesham looking to build on the increased levels of cycling in the past year by exploring opportunities for new cycleways and paths and hopes of creating a Cycle Hub in the town incorporating a café, repair and bike shop.

Councillor Bill Chapple, Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate change also addressed the meeting to talk about the council’s Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy which amongst other objectives, aims to make Buckinghamshire carbon neutral no later than 2050.

Chesham Town Council are a leading authority on the implementation of environmental projects such as the importance of wildflower grasslands and verges, the Communi-Tree project and green space management, which in turn has led to the support of several parishes in implementing their own schemes. The community board fully supports this work and hope to encourage others to take similar action to develop their own environmental projects and enhance their green spaces.

Councillor Patricia Birchley, Chairman of the Chesham & Villages Community Board said: “There is clearly a lot of work going on within our local community to address environmental issues and to make improvements to benefit us all. Chesham has always been conscious of the need to protect the environment and reduce our carbon footprint.

At our meeting tonight people felt passionate about protecting our environment, encouraging everyone in the community to participate in local tree planting schemes, getting on their bicycles and growing their own vegetables. Our board is looking forward to working with all these groups to recognise and support their work. Chesham and the rural community have a strong record on protecting our town and villages and the Community Board is looking forward to working with all these groups to recognise and support their hard work in the coming year.”

At the meeting updates were also given from each of the subgroups:

  • Village Forum
  • Community resilience/Covid recovery
  • Town Team
  • HS2

Cllr Birchley said: “Our subgroups offer the perfect opportunity for those who are interested to get more involved in shaping what happens in their local area. Our groups cover everything from supporting communities and businesses through the pandemic to looking at opportunities to improve health and wellbeing and act as a collective voice for residents on matters of importance to them.”

Anyone with an interest in getting involved can email: cheshamandvillagescb@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

A recording of the meeting can be viewed online: https://www.youtube.com/embed/VB65du6EAJc