Chiltern Rangers

Inspiring and Enriching Communities

Chiltern Rangers

Enhancing Local Environments

Chiltern Rangers

Inspiring and Enriching Communities

Chiltern Rangers

Enhancing Local Environments

Wycombe – Local Area Forum funded projects

Harlow House Wildlife Garden Project

Harlow House is Wycombe’s CAMHS day hospital helping some of the most vulnerable young people in our district. Young people from their Article 12 Youth group helped the Chiltern Rangers Team all the way through the project from feeding in all their ideas for the design of the garden to building it throughout five days of hard work ending with a party to celebrate.

We consulted 6 Young People, many staff and 2 families who input directly into the design through our outreach meeting at their Youth Groups and design sessions on site.

Throughout the five days of building, young people from the Article 12 Youth Group, one of our Chiltern Rangers young people who came every day and older volunteers and staff made it a positive multi-generational experience.

In addition, at the two other events with Article 12, we cleared 18 bags of rubbish and removed 200 square meters of invasive vegetation from the River by the Fire Station and Wycombe Swan with the help of the Fire Brigade and planted a Willow hedge at Funges Meadow Nature Reserve as well as maintaining the Harlow House Garden for the Winter.

Overall we had 33 young people sessions, 20 adult sessions contributing to 182 hours of volunteering on the project.

One of the young person patients wanted us to know how going into the garden and playing noughts and crosses greatly helped reduce her anxiety prior to her first counselling session. We are looking for funding at present to replicate this success by building a garden at the Sue Nicholls Centre CAMHS unit in Aylesbury. 

Chiltern Wood Special School Stepping Stones to Work Experience Project

We gained additional funding enabling us to increase the number of sessions from two to four working with eight Chiltern Wood Secondary Aged Students with very complex needs supported by three staff and a Chiltern Ranger with considerable experience of working with Special Needs Students. The students have:

  • Built and put up arty bird boxes developing carpentry and art skills
  • Were introduced to Chairborough Local Nature Reserve through bug hunting
  • Learned to use saws and loppers to cut down scrub safely creating scallop clearings Chairborough contributing to the mosaic of different habitats that is needed there
  • Begun to learn to build small and larger fires having great fun toasting marshmallows in small fire baskets and burning the scrub they cut with a large conservation fire.

Next Steps:

We have gained funding from TESCO to continue the project with eight more sessions giving students, who take a long time to learn and build resilience, opportunities to embed their learning and further build their esteem. Two students are ready to do two days of work experience supported by one ranger without any Chiltern Wood Staff – a huge step for them and a significant impact.

Castlefield Community Engagement Project

The aim of the project was to continue our ongoing work to engage with the local community over time to reduce the damage done to the local woodlands creating a sense of ownership of their local environment. We ran two engagement events:

75 pupils and staff of Castlefield School collected 55 bags of rubbish and followed up their work with posters, letters to Councillors and a Bucks Free Press article sent by the school bringing their learning about the environment alive.

In October 2018 – 44 children, young people and adults from Karima Scouts coppiced an area of 250 square metres and built 45 metres of dead hedge.