Big Chalk

Cleeve Common, just outside Cheltenham – a large area of limestone grassland habitat. Image by Mark Connelly.

What is Big Chalk?

Big Chalk is a big idea aiming to realise one of the best opportunities to achieve nature recovery, and help wildlife adapt to climate change, offered by the English landscape.

It is a visionary scheme focussed on the protected calcareous landscapes (chalk and limestone) running from the south coast to the midlands, and the bridging areas that join them. Due to their history and the character of the underlying geology, these landscapes have a greater variety of wildlife than any other in the UK. Their species rich habitats, when linked together, will enable the most species to recover and adapt to climate change by moving northwards to a new climate space.

All of the chalk and limestone protected landscapes across southern England, including the Cotswolds, have come together to form the Big Chalk Partnership. We have agreed a Big Chalk vision and with funding from Natural England are currently undertaking research and reaching out to partners to grow participation and identify projects for development.

The project area is enormous; the total area of the Big Chalk National Landscapes (below) is 10,500 sq km, and they have a north south reach of 174 km.

A map showing the area covered by the Big Chalk projectThe above map image indicates the Big Chalk project area highlighted in dark blue.
The areas linking the protected landscapes are tentative and may change as Big Chalk develops. 

If you are interested in working with others to support the Big Chalk vision please contact simon.smith@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk

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