Sign­ing up to help pro­tect the unique na­ture of the area

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY - Do­minic Grieve MP for Bea­cons­field

THIS year is the 50th an­niver­sary of the Colne Val­ley Park, which is a com­mu­nity in­ter­est com­pany (CIC). At the be­gin­ning of July, I signed their char­ter, which they have es­tab­lished to recog­nise the unique na­ture of this area and the strength of the com­mu­nity groups which sup­port the park. The char­ter links the park’s half-cen­tury with the 800th an­niver­sary of Magna Carta.

The an­cient site of Anker­wycke is on the op­po­site bank of the Thames from Run­nymede and the CIC has or­gan­ised a pro­gramme of spe­cial guided walks there as part of the com­mem­o­ra­tions.

The park cov­ers a large ge­o­graph­i­cal area and is an im­por­tant place for recre­ation and leisure.

Although 44,000 peo­ple live in­side the 43 square miles cov­ered by the park, more than three mil­lion peo­ple live within 10 miles of it.

Sixty-five or­gan­i­sa­tions are now mem­bers of the Com­mu­nity In­ter­est Com­pany (CIC).

Buck­ing­hamshire County Coun­cil is closely in­volved with the park, one of a to­tal of five county coun­cils across the park as a whole.

In an area which is so close to Lon­don, there are many pres­sures upon the coun­try­side. The in­ten­tion is for the use of land within the park to be ‘multi-func­tional’ – to pro­vide a place for wildlife, recre­ation and for use by com­mu­nity groups.

The trans­port net­work in par­tic­u­lar has an im­pact on the park, whether it is from road, rail or avi­a­tion.

I was meet­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the CIC a cou­ple of days af­ter the Air­ports Com­mis­sion re­ported on air­port ca­pac­ity in the UK and where fur­ther ex­pan­sion might take place.

The CIC man­age­ment have pressed for bet­ter mit­i­ga­tion and com­pen­sa­tion ar­range­ments, which their spring/sum­mer 2015 news­let­ter has de­scribed as ‘for the ben­e­fit of the land­scape, wildlife and lo­cal peo­ple’.

In our im­me­di­ate lo­cal­ity, I am very pleased that the CIC has been able to sign long leases to man­age Caps Wood and North­moor Hill Wood in Den­ham. The CIC is al­ready or­gan­is­ing days for vol­un­teers to get ac­tively in­volved in wood­land man­age­ment, so that more visi­tors will be able to en­joy them.

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