Chilterns Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation (SAC) - Background information

The Chilterns Beechwoods SAC is the only SAC in Dacorum. This large site is protected for its:

  • beech forests
  • semi-natural dry grasslands and scrub, and
  • its population of stag beetles.

The SAC is extensive and made up of several components within:

  • Dacorum
  • Buckinghamshire
  • South Oxfordshire, and
  • Windsor and Maidenhead

In all, it extends to nearly 1,300 hectares. With the exception of Bisham Woods, all elements of the SAC lie within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

It is an extensively wooded and farmed landscape, which is underlain by chalk bedrock. This forms a distinctive north-west facing escarpment. Individual woodlands occupy a variety of landscape settings including:

  • scarp slope
  • dry valleys and
  • plateau.

Varying environmental conditions result in a range of woodland types, although this is strongly dominated by the beech forests which give the site its name. All parts represent popular visitor attractions. All components are located within the Chilterns Natural Character Area.

Maps

 Chiltern Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation (PDF 979KB)
 Chiltern Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation within Dacorum (PDF 1.4MB)

Chilterns Beechwoods SAC
Chilterns Beechwoods SAC within Dacorum

Evidence

A topic paper on the Chilterns Beechwoods SAC was published as part of our Local Plan consultation in November 2020. This presented all of the known and available evidence for the site in one place to assist in providing an initial ‘baseline’ for the site.

 Topic Paper for the Chilterns Beechwoods SAC - Main Report (PDF 2MB)
 Topic Paper for the Chilterns Beechwoods SAC - Summary of Evidence (PDF 10MB)
 Topic Paper Chilterns Beechwoods SAC - Appendices 1 to 16 (PDF 6MB)
 Topic Paper Chilterns Beechwoods SAC - Appendices 17 to 19 (PDF 9MB)
 Topic Paper Chilterns Beechwoods SAC - Appendices 20 to 21 (PDF 9MB)
 Topic Paper Chilterns Beechwoods SAC - Appendices 22 - part 1 (PDF 13MB)
 Topic Paper Chilterns Beechwoods SAC - Appendices 22 - part 2 (PDF 14MB)
 Topic Paper Chilterns Beechwoods SAC - Appendices 22 - part 3 (PDF 13MB)
 Topic Paper Chilterns Beechwoods SAC - Appendices 23 to 26 (PDF 11MB)

On-site evidence has been commissioned to quantify recreational pressure at the sites. This will also extend to air quality and hydrology matters in due course.

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Page Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2024 at 12:48 PM