Scything Training Day

6 June 2023

Our Chesham Environmental Group now has another 5 qualified ‘Scythers’ in the shape of Colette Littley, Byron Harding, Alastair Holland, Michael Simpson-Jones and Trevor Brawn following the completion of a training course which was organised by Gavin Johnson at the Chiltern Society, and funded by Steph Horn from the River Chess Smarter Water Catchment Team.

The training took place on Friday 26 May at the Brush Hill Nature Reserve near Monks Risborough and the morning was spent on the key aspects of the different types of scythes, general uses, safe working, setting up, looking after and sharpening the scythes. There was a lot to learn as we received expert guidance from Nicole Clough, who very effectively and enthusiastically covered everything we needed to know, before we had a break for lunch.

We started scything in earnest after our lunch and it was not long before we all began to get the hang of it, and were pleasantly surprised by how well we were all doing. Unfortunately, after about 90 minutes, our time on the reserve had run out, all too soon, so we headed back to the car park to discuss the merits of the day and so that Nicola could show us how to dismantle the scythes and clean them before loading them up for the return journey to Chesham.

We will now be looking for opportunities to use our new found skills to help with the micro-management of areas to increase biodiversity

Thank you to all those that made it possible and who contributed to the success of the day

Trevor Brawn

Co-op Field Biodiversity Enhancement Project

13 March 2022


On 9th March 2022, the Chesham Environmental Group joined forces with Chesham & District Natural History Society to start the next phase of the project. The main aim was to prepare more areas and place mats for additional slow worm monitoring around the edge of the field. Then reducing the nutrients in the soil on the surface, by cutting the turf off over a 1.5metres x1.5 metres area, digging down about 500mm to a chalky subsoil, putting the turf in the bottom of the hole and then higher nutrient soil layer next and finally putting the extracted chalky layer on the top. This serves two purposes, by reducing the nutrient level of the soil at the surface creating more suitable conditions for wildflowers and the bare soil will also attract invertebrates in the short term, as bare earth will warm up more quickly than the surrounding grassy areas, so it will become a basking area for invertebrates.

Holloway Lane Flood Prevention

2 December 2021

Every year the Chesham Environmental Group visits Holloway Lane to clear the fallen leaves that block the weir under Latimer Road. If left this could result in serous flooding during periods of heavy rain. In November the Group cleared the leaves, removed debris from the river and cut back the vegetation so this delightful part of the river can be seen at its best.

There’ll be more opportunities to make Chesham a better place to live – feel free to come and join us! See our events page for more information.

Working Party Catch Up

8 July 2021

Since restarting our work party programme, we have been very busy clearing the river Chess in Meades Water Gardens and around The Moor. We’ve also been clearing litter in Captains Wood and tackling the footpaths around Millfields. We’ve been delighted with the numbers of volunteers that have turned out after the various lockdowns and pleased to see a number of new faces.

Ben and Archie clearing the log jam on the Canon’s Mill bypass. This has been blocked for quite sometime and the challenge now is to keep it clear.







The footpaths around the Millfields area had got very overgrown and full of litter.

A very useful morning was spent litter picking in Captains Wood. We have been visiting this site for many years and it’s looking very good. Part of this is down to local residents who pick litter while out walking.

We’re Back

21 April 2021

At last we’re back! We spent a beautiful Sunday morning clearing the River Chess at Moor Road and litter picking the surrounding area. There were around a dozen of us working and taking the opportunity to chat about our work to the local residents. Fancy joining us next time? Please just turn up – no sign up required. All welcome.

Clearing the Weed in Water Lane

6 November 2020

On Wednesday 4th November, we joined local residents to help clear the River Chess of invasive weed thereby reducing the risk of flooding. Over the last few years we have had a major project in place to clear the river of obstructions, including weeds, all the way from The Queens Head to beyond Canon’s Mill.

There’ll be more opportunities to make Chesham a better place to live – feel free to come and join us! See our events page for more information.

Restarting Our Work Parties

26 July 2020

We are delighted to announce that as of Sunday 16th August, we will be restarting our work parties. Our first task will be clearing Meades Water Gardens and Duck Alley of invasive vegetation and litterpicking the local area. We intend to follow Government guidance on Covid-19 to ensure both our members and the general public are kept safe. Further work parties will be announced later.

Tree Planting in Storm Conditions

19 February 2020

On Sunday, volunteers from the Environmental Group joined local residents and town councillors in braving Storm Dennis to plant trees in Upper Belmont Road. Despite  being battered by the atrocious conditions we managed to plant 7 native trees. We hope to be planting more across the town over the next few months all as part of the Chesham Communi-Tree Project.


Clearing The Backs

8 January 2020



On Wednesday 8 January 2020, 10 members of Chesham Environmental Group spent a couple of hours clearing The Backs. This is a heavily used footpath that provides access to Chesham Underground Station. We took out an incredible amount of litter as can be seen from the photos. There’ll be more opportunities to make Chesham a better place to live – feel free to come and join us! See our events page for more information.

Chairman Phil Wins Gold

30 September 2019

Every year BBC Three Counties Radio hold their ‘Three Counties People Award’ to celebrate the outstanding people of Beds, Herts and Bucks who always go the extra mile, who care about their community or who consistently give up their time to help others. Phil won GOLD in the Environment category which is for a group or individual who consistently shows great care for their environment and are passionate about protecting the natural world. The positive impact of this person’s work must be seen locally and their efforts should be geared towards the three counties. The photos show Phil being interviewed in Meades Water Gardens prior to the the ceremony and picking up his award on the night. Well done Phil, it’s richly deserved.