Wildlife and Conservation

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.