Tag Archives: traditional skills

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Wildlife and Conservation

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Wildlife and Woodland Management at Chiltern Open Air Museum

Woodland, hedgerows and the hidden meadow

  • The Museum puts a great effort into maintaining the whole of its 45 acre site to support and enhance its value for local wildlife.
  • We manage around fifteen acres of woodland using traditional techniques such as coppicing, which creates a variety of ages of woodland cover encouraging different plant and animal species.
  • The material we extract from the wood is used to support the maintenance of the farm and the buildings on site, being made often in to traditional products, such as sheep hurdles, thatching spars and wattles. You can sometimes see this work going on in the woods, around our woodman’s shelter, exactly as it would have been for hundreds of years.
  • You can enjoy a walk though our woodlands, on our waymarked trails of differing length as part of your visit.
  • Also found on one of our woodland trails is ‘The Hidden Meadow’, an isolated fragment of chalk downland, and designated County Wildlife Site, supporting many interesting species of plants and insects, which also presents a spectacular display of cowslips in the late spring.
  • Over the rest of the site, our use of traditional farming techniques, and management of hedgerows and verges is geared to support many plant, animal and bird species that are in decline. We also aim to conserve important local landscape features, such as the old parkland trees here which date back to the site’s history as a deer park for the adjacent Newland Manor.

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About Us

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Museum in Buckinghamshire

A Beautiful Rural Museum in Buckinghamshire

Chiltern Open Air Museum in Buckinghamshire was founded by volunteers in 1976, and opened to the public in 1981.  The Museum is a charity that rescues threatened historic buildings, which would otherwise be demolished, and rebuilds and preserves them in a traditional Chilterns landscape.

The Museum now has 37 rescued historic buildings that were the workplaces or homes of ordinary people. Every building on site was once somewhere else and either lived in or used by our Chilterns ancestors. By bringing the buildings together at the museum we have built a timeline that helps to tell the story of the Chilterns – a special landscape of rolling chalk hills, traditional crafts and time-honoured ways of life that continue to inspire today.

The Museum also has a working historic farm with livestock that includes sheep, goats, cows and chickens. There are a number of small gardens, cherry orchard and Dig for Victory allotment.

Traditional Chilterns skills and living history are demonstrated through an extensive events and award winning school education program.

The Museum is a popular filming venue and has been used for filming Midsomer Murders, Downton Abbey, Mary Queen of Scots, Grantchester, Horrible Histories and lots more.

The Museum is a charity and receives no government funding. All operating costs are funded via admission charges, Annual Pass sales, private hire, filming, school visits, tea room and catering sales and donations. The Museum is run by a small team of staff and an amazing team of volunteers, fueled by cake and a passion for the Museum and its work.

Further information

Historic buildings
Working historic farm

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