THE guardians of a protected landscape which is increasingly under threat from developments have asked for the public's help to protect it better.

The board who manage the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have called on people to give their ideas on preserving the green space.

As part of a new five-year plan, The Chilterns Conservation Board has this month launched a survey to gauge opinion.

The questionnaire asks people what they value most about the Chilterns, with options including its 2,000km network of footpaths, cycle paths and bridleways; traditional buildings and villages and rare ecology and geology.

It goes on to ask what visitors' and residents' biggest concerns are about the area, including loss of woodland and building of new roads and infrastructure.

The survey was announced this week just days after South Oxfordshire District Council gave planning permission to a new 100-home estate in the Chilterns.

Surprisingly to many, the AONB board did not actually object to the Avant Homes development in Crowmarsh, saying the site was already partially developed.

It also comes after a report by the Campaign to Protect Rural England found there had been a five-fold increase in the amount of AONB lost to development since 2012.

Launching the questionnaire, the Chilterns board said: "The beautiful Chiltern Hills, with its dramatic chalk ridge, beautiful valleys, meandering chalk streams and traditional brick and flint houses, spans the four counties of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

"Sitting on the doorstep of London and with major towns and cities within easy reach it is arguably the most accessible protected landscape in the United Kingdom.

"We want you to tell us what you value about this area, what you are concerned about and what you think should be the priorities for the future as we develop our plans to protect this special landscape over the next five years and beyond."

The board urged anyone who did fill out the survey to share it with others to help collect as many views as possible.

Everyone who completes the survey will get the chance to win £50 in vouchers from the Chiltern Brewery.

Fill out the survey at