What is the Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership?
The Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership is a group of organisations working to protect and enhance the special landscape of Cranborne Chase and Chalke Valley.
With Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) as the lead partner, and with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, this 5-year partnership is working with local communities to better connect people with the landscape.
Our aim is to deliver twenty projects across the Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership area. They will provide benefits to individuals, communities, heritage and the landscape.
We have defined three themes; Natural Landscape, Historic Landscape and Cultural Landscape each with a diverse range of projects to to build stronger connections with the landscape and with each other.
The Chase & Chalke landscape area is a dramatic, distinctive and historic chalk landscape with precious habitats, protected species, amazing views and stunning vistas where ‘voices in the landscape’ can still be heard. It comprises an area of 254 square kilometres. Over centuries this ancient and historic landscape has been celebrated by artists, archaeologists, scholars and writers. The area offers fantastic opportunities for walking, cycling, running, horse-riding, bird watching, river dipping, star gazing, wildlife surveys, inspiration and above all offers a deep sense of place.
The Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership Scheme (Chase & Chalke LPS) area includes the traditional heart of the Medieval royal hunting ground and the river valley to the north (known locally as the Chalke Valley). There have always been historical, natural and social links between the valley and the Chase downland, and the Chase & Chalke LPS aims to explore and reinforce these links, by better connecting our communities to this amazing area. Our projects offer opportunities for free training and include a broad range of activities and opportunities which we hope will encourage individuals, communities and new audiences to help conserve, enhance, understand and learn about this unique heritage and to become the beating heart of the Scheme.
The Chase & Chalke Partnership Area
The Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership area sits within the southern England chalk formation. It lies between the market towns of Shaftesbury and Blandford Forum, on the western edge, and the village of Coombe Bissett on the east.
The area is bounded on the western and northern sides by steep chalk escarpments. The eastern boundary is drawn along a dry valley where there is a change in the topography at Coombe Bissett. The southern boundary has been extended south of the A354 to allow for the inclusion of a prehistoric landscape of national importance, and Martin Down National Nature Reserve (NNR) which represents the second largest area of uninterrupted chalk downland in Britain.
This is a deeply rural, sparsely populated area of around 11,000 people, however a further 60,000 people live in the adjacent market towns. Just under half a million people live within a half hour drive in the conurbation of Poole/Bournemouth/Christchurch.
The area covers all or part of 30 modern parishes, with many larger villages including Sixpenny Handley, Tollard Royal, Ashmore, Berwick St John, Broad Chalke, Bishopstone and Coombe Bissett.
The Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership Projects
The Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership will run twenty projects until 2024, focusing on the natural, historic and cultural aspects of the area, aimed at better connecting people to this extraordinarily rich area. There are many ways to get involved with the projects, please contact us to hear more or sign up. Click through to pages for our current projects to find out more.
- A Crystal Clear Ebble – protecting and restoring the river Ebble.
- Nurturing Nature – improving biodiversity across the area.
- Wonderful Woodlands – bringing woodlands back into active management.
- Starry, Starry Nights – celebrating our dark skies and our designation as a Dark Sky Reserve.
- Greater Grazing – improving biodiversity at Martin Down.
- Champions of the Past – exploring the remarkable archaeology of the Chase & Chalke area.
- Heritage training for Schools – equipping teachers to understand and teach the local heritage.
- Bringing the Landscape to Life – Time Travellers of Cranborne Chase is a new AR app exploring extraordinary people and places of the area.
- Ancient Ways – exploring and improving the area’s cycle footpaths and creating new tramper ways.
- Memories Captured – An oral history project capturing the voices of local people.
- Communities Caring for Heritage – A Grant scheme to support local heritage for communities.
- Celebration in Silk – Communities working with artists to create silk flags.
- Artists’ Residencies – Inspiring works reflective of the landscape, history and culture of the area.
- Characters of the Chase – Characters associated with the Chase brought to life through performance.
- Voices in the Landscape – Musicians engaging with the landscape through songs, old and new.
- Words in the Landscape – Bringing together writers, poets, storytellers and readers.
- ChalkEscape Walking Festival – An annual walking festival featuring guided walks.
- Living History – Re-enacting Roman life in the Cranborne Chase.
- The Curious Dorset Cursus – Reflecting the ceremonial and ritual use of the Neolithic earthwork.
- End of Scheme Celebration – Bringing communities together to celebrate the scheme.
Volunteer With Us
Volunteers are a key part of the Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership. Our projects and work require the input of our fantastic volunteers to achieve success. To find out more about volunteering with us, click here. To sign up now via the Chase & Chalke Volunteer Hub, click the link below:
Get involved with our Community Stakeholder Group
Are you a local person with a broad range of interests? Are you actively involved in the local community? Do you want to help the area as a whole and the needs of the communities living within and around Cranborne Chase and the Chalke Valley? If you’ve answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions then we need your help.
The Community Stakeholder Group is an important part of the Cranborne Chase and Chalke Valley Landscape Partnership governance, and will advise the Landscape Partnership Board of the views of the local community in the delivery of the Scheme until the end of 2024.
The Group will meet every three months and will be made up of at least eight, to a maximum of twelve, local community representatives and will advise, support and provide a strategic direction to the Landscape Partnership Board in terms of the views, interest and needs of the local community.
We always welcome applications from representatives from local communities and parishes in and around the Scheme area, particularly those with interests in the environment, wildlife conservation, heritage and history, recreation, health and well-being, young people, volunteering, interpretation, practical skills, and business.
If you would like to know more please contact the Landscape Partnership Manager Jonathan Monteith on 01725 517417 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A Role Description, Application Form, Person Specification (as well as other supporting documents) can be found below.
Chase & Chalke – Scheme Summary
The detail of how our Landscape Partnership Scheme will be delivered is contained in our Landscape Conservation Action Plan:
Chase & Chalke Communications Strategy
Read our five-year Communications Strategy, designed to promote, coordinate and deliver the objectives of the Scheme.
The strategy guides efforts to implement innovative and targeted communications campaigns over the next five years, supporting the targets and aims outlined for each project, and the Scheme as a whole, until 2024.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund
In 2019 The Chase & Chalke Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme was awarded a £1.68million grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. With match-funding from partners, the five year scheme totals £2.7million. The projects aim to do the following:
- Conserve, enhance & restore key features of natural, historic and cultural heritage.
- Offer opportunities to develop awareness, understanding and enjoyment together with knowledge, skills and volunteering to provide a lasting legacy for the future.
- Provide opportunities for individuals and communities, near and far, young and old, to care for local heritage.
- Foster pride in the unique and rich heritage of this landscape.
All this work is only possible because of the millions of people who play the National Lottery every week.
Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership Project Team
The Project Team comprises a Scheme Manager, two Heritage and Engagement Officers, a Ranger and Volunteer Co-ordinator, a Communications Officer and an Admin and Finance Officer. See our Meet the Team page to find out more about them and their work.