The Chesham Society: Celebrating 65 Years

Cleaning up Waterside

The Chesham Society has always been an avid supporter of the Green Belt and the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and in the early days of the AONB it protested about the proposed power line from Ashleigh Hill to Great Missenden following high ground, not the valley bottoms, and about the proposed radio mast in Cowcroft Wood.

In the Town, too, the Society has always sought to increase the number of trees and landscaping, particularly in and around car parks and main roads. In 1961 it proposed extensive tree-planting in the Town and offered to donate the trees. The scheme was entered in a Civic Trust competition and was one of the three prize-winners for that year. The £100 award covered most of the Society’s total cost of £129.00 for the trees, planting costs and provision of tree guards.

In July 1971 the Society and the then Natural History Society, together with some local people, cleared litter from Captain’s Wood. The Society’s Derek Upcott even managed to get the County and Urban District Councils to lend a hand as well.

Following concern over the state of the river at Waterside in early 1973 the Society organised a big clear-up of the river between Waterside and Lord’s Mill, over three weekends, with equipment provided by the Urban District Council, Jesse Mead and Tony Harman. Items dredged up included hundreds of cans, bottles and car tyres and, curiously, a pair of silver dancing shoes.