The Chilterns Conservation Board and National Trust are bringing countryside fun to the magnificent Ashridge Estate on Sunday 26 September 2010. Mouth-watering local produce stalls, fascinating craft displays, forestry demonstrations and children’s activities are just some of the things to discover. The Chilterns Countryside Festival is open from 11am – 4pm, admission costs £2.50 for adults with children under 16 free who must be accompanied by an adult. There will be a small charge for some activities. The Festival is to demonstrate the activities, crafts, industries and wildlife associated with the Chilterns countryside and how they can work together to help to promote and preserve it. “This is the fourth time we’ve run the Chilterns Countryside Festival and every year it gets bigger and better”, says Cathy Rose of the Chilterns Conservation Board. “This year we’ve got over 100 stands packed with locally produced food and crafts and displays from a host of local environmental organisations.” There’s plenty for kids to do with craft activities and story-telling and new attractions this year include ferret racing and a demonstration of sheep shearing. Graeme Cannon, Property Manager of the National Trust’s Ashridge Estate, said, “This is a fantastic opportunity to see the work that goes on in the Chilterns countryside. Try local, seasonal food which comes direct from the producers, some of whom live and work on the Estate“.
The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) designated in 1965, covers 833 square kilometres (326 square miles) stretching from Goring in Oxfordshire, to near Hitchin in Hertfordshire, and has a resident population of 80,000. The Conservation Board was set up following the passing of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, to conserve and enhance the natural beauty and increase awareness and understanding of the Chilterns AONB. The Board, which also aims to foster the social and economic well being of local communities, is supported by all local authorities in the area and by Natural England, The National Trust and the Chiltern Society. The National Trust owns and manages the Ashridge Estate which covers six square miles of woodland, commons, downland and farmland in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Most of the land is open to the public.