The Chiltern Hills
Covering an area of over 800 square kilometers, the Chilterns are a well-defined and hilly chalk escarpment which stretches 74km diagonally across the South East of the country.
In 1965 the area was designated as an Area of Outstanding Nation Beauty - to date there are only 38 such areas across England & Wales. However the Chilterns aren't only characterised by their beautiful rural landscapes, after all the area has largely been shaped by it's history. In times gone by the chalk ridge provided traders and travelers a safe and navigable route through a sliver of Iron Age Britain. Many of these ancient pathways remain and it's possible to walk the length of hills via the "Ridgeway" footpath.
The chalky grasslands and beech woodlands are synonymous with the Chilterns and there's plenty of flora and fauna that has made it's home here.
Many of the dense beech woodlands are famous for the annual bluebell blooms which take place in the spring (see above photo of Dockey Wood - just 5 mins from the farm). The steep chalk meadows are naturally protected from modern farming practices and are consequently home to an abundance of rare flowers (like Horshoe Vetch and Pasque Flowers), and insects (like the Chalkland Blue Butterfly).
Also worth particular mention are the Red Kites which you will see circling above in search of carrion. The large birds were nearly made extinct by farmers and game keepers who mistook them for birds of prey but between 1989 and 1993: 90 birds were released in the back into the Chilterns and their luck changed! Now it's hard not to see the Kites on and daily basis and one has even made it onto our logo!
Not only wildlife has made it's home in the Chilterns - some of the most picturesque historic villages and market towns are found here. We would really recommend a visit to the neighbouring villages and towns of: Aldbury, Tring, Berkhamsted, Wendover. Slightly further away but very much still in the Chilterns, we would also recommend a visit to: Amersham, Marlowe amd Henley-on-Thames. Typically you will find beautiful architecture, charming local pubs and amazing local produce - all set amongst the backdrop of stunning countryside!
Here at Town Farm we are very proud of our surroundings, and whilst the area is often overlooked by tourists, the Chilterns was recently crowned the most accessible Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK! It's easy to forget that all this beauty lies within an hour of London!