Project proves there’s lots to learn about boxwood and encourages nature lovers to visit Ashridge and Wendover woods

Heather Barrett of the Chilterns Conservation Board with some miniature boxwood turnings.
Heather Barrett of the Chilterns Conservation Board with some miniature boxwood turnings.

Everything about the native Box tree was celebrated during the launch of a project dedicated to the species.

The Chilterns Conservative Board launched its woodland project at Tring’s Natural History Museum where even the music was provided by the player of a boxwood clarinet.

The project, which has received £79,400 in support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, aims to understand the history of box woodlands.

Volunteers will be asked to carry out surveys, there will be free events and internet downloads that aim to inspire people with stories and objects linked to boxwood.

There are only three officially recognised native box woodlands in the UK and the largest of these lies south of Wendover, just outside of Tring.

Find out more about the project and download a new leaflet to encourage people to discover the woodland at www.chilternsaonb.org

Another good place to see box in the local area is on the Ashridge Estate in The Coombe where there are large box hedges growing.

These are linked to the earthworks of a 17th century warren, which was managed to produce rabbit meat and fur for the Lord of the Manor - the Earl of Bridgewater. Later in the 18th century, the box provided timber for furniture and instruments.