The Chilterns Conservation Board initiated a Commons Project in September 2011 and the Chiltern Society was involved from the beginning. The Chilterns has nearly 200 commons that have been at the heart of the communities since the Middle Ages but they are under threat from neglect, agriculture, housing and commerce. Clive Ormonde was one of many Chiltern Society members who contributed to the project by volunteering to photograph some of the commons. The aim was, and is, to publicise the commons, help to restore them to something like their former state and encourage their use.
This album includes some of the photographs that Clive took in the south Chilterns. He introduces them:
“I tried to visit as many of the commons as I could during the course of the project, but because I lived close to the Nettlebed commons it was natural that I would spend most of my time at three of these: Kingwood Common, Peppard Common and Nettlebed Common itself. My aim was to photograph some of the character of the commons, items relating to the history, the natural history of the commons and examples of current everyday use.
“At first glance the three commons would appear to be quite similar in nature: all three have areas of heathland, which is rather unusual in Oxfordshire. But there are also major differences.”