Events to Celebrate the Chilterns AONB in Literature

Living Magazines Chilterns AONB Turville May 21 Credit Hedley Thorne

Chilterns Stories is a new collection of ten tales inspired by the diverse cultural and natural heritage of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox and Metroland by Julian Barnes

The collection also includes eight newly-published original stories, with associated events happening from November 2022 to launch the new books into our local communities

The complete collection will be gifted to school and public libraries and other community groups across the region, leaving a legacy for many years to come.

The Chilterns Stories collection – ten tales reflecting the diverse cultural and natural heritage of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – has been commissioned by the Chalk, Cherries and Chairs Landscape Partnership scheme to provide new ways for people living and working in the area to appreciate the value of the landscape all around them.

In addition to the initial releases in November and December, the Chilterns Stories collection includes Fantastic Mr Fox, which was inspired by the wildlife and farmlands around Roald Dahl’s home in Great Missenden and The Grim’s Ditch Mysteries by expert archaeologist Dr. Wendy Morrison, which will introduce readers to the importance of Buckinghamshire’s largest scheduled monument.

Further books in the collection are coming soon:

  • Red will provide a bird’s eye view of the successful reintroduction of Red Kites to the area
  • Riverbank Tales will explain the repopulation of rare fauna in our precious chalk streams
  • Sit Down Here will the trace the story of the Chilterns beechwoods, furniture industry and chair designs
  • Something About This Place will gather a collection of the winning entries from local schools’ short essay writing competition

Lachlan Stuart, Project Manager of Chalk, Cherries and Chairs says: ‘Building on the success of our Chilterns Landscapes art exhibition earlier in the year, Chilterns Stories is an exciting development which will showcase The Chilterns through the lens of literature, exploring people’s sense of place, home, history and heritage. There are stories for all ages and we are excited that the book collection will form part of Chalk, Cherries and Chairs’ legacy for future generations.’

Public events coming up

In November:

  • Booker prize winning author Julian Barnes will appear in conversation at Amersham Museum to discuss the sense of place, change and memories in his work, including his debut novel, MetrolandSunday 13 November, 4pm, free
  • Award winning children’s poet Rachel Rooney will lead a day of celebratory activities for children at the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden, to launch her new story The Ballad of Bodgers WoodSunday 27 November, 2pm, £3 per person

In December:

  • The publication and online launch of In Their Own Words edited by Helena Chance and Lesley Hoskins will be accompanied by a series of nine online videos exploring and explaining the oral history archives of Wycombe Museum
  • Sour Cherry Soup, a new play telling interwoven stories of the Chilterns’ communities of people and their cherry orchards will be published by Sara Clifford, for theatre workshops in the New Year and performances in early summer. Creative writing workshops taking place in January and February, free.

See all events and book tickets at

The full collection of stories will be presented by the Chalk, Cherries and Chairs scheme to school, community and public libraries across the area, as well as to independent book clubs, museum collections and local community organisation partners in village halls, local history groups and conservation societies. To submit your interest in your group receiving the books, please email

The Chilterns Conservation Board thanks its funders, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and HS2 Community Environment Fund for making these books and events possible. Find out more at