Buckingham’s Tree-mendous Tribute

In recognition and celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Year, a Community Tree Planting event was held at Heartlands Park on Sunday 16th January 2022.

It’s never been more important to plant trees for the future, and the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative is an opportunity to bring the nation together to celebrate HM’s Platinum Jubilee while making a difference to the environment. The aim is to encourage everyone to plant the right trees in the right place, at the right time, so they continue to thrive for generations to come.

Group of volunteers planting trees on a grassy mound in cold January









Armed with spades and boundless enthusiasm, 23 volunteers met Officers from Buckingham Town Council and Buckinghamshire Council, including Buckingham’s Tree Wardens and members of the public, who all worked together to plant 250 trees!

Chair of Environment Committee for Buckingham Town Council, Cllr. Warren Whyte said, “A big thank you to all our volunteers and staff for helping with the big tree planting session last Sunday morning. The planting of over 200 trees in Heartlands Park is not only a great way for Buckingham to help contribute towards the Queens Green Canopy, but also an important part of the Town Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan, and improving the biodiversity of our lovely parks.”

Older Lady planting tiny tree










Estates Manager at Buckingham Town Council, Lee Phillips, said, “We are very lucky to have such enthusiastic volunteers who gave up their free time to come and plant trees and have donated a number of trees that people have grown themselves. Tree planting is so important because it helps to mitigate the effects of climate change, helps us to replace trees lost to ash die back and planting a mixture of native species throughout the woodland helps to increase the diversity of fauna and flora in our town’s greenspaces.”

Peter Strachan, Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said:

“As part of our commitment to tackling climate change, we will be planting over half a million trees in Buckinghamshire over the next 10 years. Planting trees is a great way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and recharge the environment with oxygen. Trees also help prevent flooding and enhance biodiversity. The trees planted in Buckingham at the weekend in partnership with Buckingham Town Council are in addition to our half million trees target, which is fantastic – as the more trees the better!

I’d encourage residents and community groups to support tree planting as part of the Bucks Tree Mission – a shared mission to promote more space for nature to grow and thrive, as well as improving health and well-being for everyone. In addition, trees planted during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Year of 2022 are even more special as they form part of the Queen’s Green Canopy.”

A small parcel of woodland overlooking the bowl in Heartlands Park was planted with a row of Black Poplar trees (Populus nigra betulifolia) and a mixture of smaller native tree species. The black poplar was once a common tree in Britain’s landscape, used for crafting cart wheels and wagon bottoms, but the species is now in decline. Black Poplar are dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are found on separate trees. Flowers are called catkins (male catkins are red and female catkins are yellow-green) and are pollinated by the wind. The female specimens are increasingly hard to procure, but fortunately, we were gifted two rare, which means Buckingham’s Black Poplars can pollinate for generations to come.

Father and son planting tree












Did you know?
Only around 7,000 wild black poplars now grow in Britain and of these, only 600 are female trees. Folklore tells that fallen red male catkins are Devil’s fingers, and bring bad luck if picked up.

You can find out more about the Queen’s Green Canopy Project at https://queensgreencanopy.org/

If you are interested in becoming one of Buckingham’s volunteer Tree Wardens please contact Nina Stockill, Estates Administrator at committeeclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk



Buckingham to Commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day

Buckingham Town Council will be commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day on Thursday 27th January 2022 at an inaugural ceremony around Bourton Park’s new Memorial Stone. The service is open to anyone who wishes to attend.

sunlit photograph of stone's location before stone was put in place

Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place on 27 January every year, is the international day to remember the millions of people who were murdered in the Holocaust and in the genocides around the world that followed.

Members of Buckingham Town Council’s Environment Committee agreed to install a

memorial stone as a focal point for people come together to remember, to learn about the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and the genocides that followed, including in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur, in the hope that there may, One Day, be a future with no genocide.

The memorial stone is bedrock from Brackley Road cemetery and was transported, as a gesture to the community, by local firm Paragon Tool Hire. Buckingham Town Council have employed local stonemason and a master letter carver Louis Francis, who runs a successful business from his studio at Westbury, to engrave the Holocaust Memorial Day emblem and wording.

Further explanatory and useful information is found at Holocaust Memorial Day Trust: One Day (hmd.org.uk)

The ceremony will be hosted by the Town Mayor, Cllr Margaret Gateley to commence 11am at the eastern end of Bourton Park around the Holocaust Memorial Stone.

Map showing loation of memorial stone at east end of Park

Mayor’s Christmas Card Competition 2021

If you are aged between 4 and 16 years old and wish to enter, ask your parent/guardian to send your design to us before 5th November by email or in person at the Old Gaol or Buckingham Town Council.

The design needs to be A4 and please, no photos or collages. There will be three

winners from three categories, 4-7, 8-11, 12-16 years. Each winner will receive a pack of their winning design to send to their family and friends and a certificate. The Mayor will be sending the cards all over the county far and wide to very important people.

The cards will also be available to purchase at the Buckingham Tourist Information Centre from early December. In addition to winning and appearing on the Mayor’s Christmas Card, images may be featured in internal communications from the Town Council, including our website, newsletter and social media channels.

Email your designs to: office@buckingham-tc.gov.uk or hand them in to the Tourist Information Centre (Old Gaol) or to Town Council Office above Buckingham Library, Verney Close, Buckingham, MK18 1JP.

Download Entry Form 

Last year’s winner, Eva with her beautiful painting of Buckingham at Christmas (pictured right).

Let There Be More Light?

Let There Be More Light?

At Environment Committee on the 14th June 2021 Members agreed the following motion:

With regards to people, especially women, feeling safe in our parks and green spaces: to discuss the current provision of street lighting and decide whether to explore putting in extra illumination.

We are seeking feedback from residents to help identify areas in the town and parks that require more illumination. The map showing the location of Buckingham’s current street lights can be accessed via the Fix My Street website, select ‘Street lights’ from the left hand column and then ‘Street Light not working’:


We would appreciate residents’ views on whether any additional street lighting is needed within the town and greenspaces and where those extra street lighting columns could be located. Any recommendations for additional LED lighting columns would be recommended to Buckinghamshire Council (Highways), who own the majority of street lighting columns across the town including through Bourton Park.

Please email committeeclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk with any suggestions on the location of additional LED lighting columns.


Transport for Buckinghamshire’s (TfB) Street Lighting Team looks after the 29,000 streetlights and 6,000 illuminated bollards we rely on across Buckinghamshire to

Street Lighting

illuminate our roads and pathways by night.

During 2018-19, the Street Lighting Team replaced 3,295 ‘old style’ lanterns with LED equipment. These old style lanterns have an orange light, whilst the new lanterns produce a white light. In addition to this, the team has also completely replaced 344 lanterns which were mounted on wooden electricity poles.

If you do spot a damaged or broken street light, please do report it using Fix My Street https://www.fixmystreet.buckscc.gov.uk/

Use the search bar to find the road the street light is on, use the marker to pinpoint the area it is in and select the number of the street light that you are reporting. This should be used for faults that do not present an immediate risk, for example, street lights that aren’t working. In an emergency, please call 01296 382416 to report.

Whose light is it anyway?

Buckinghamshire Council are not the only ones who maintain lights within the town. Buckingham Town Council maintains eight LED streetlights within Chandos Park, updated from the old lantern style luminaire. The LED lights use far less electricity and direct the light down and along the path where required reducing light pollution as opposed to the old style lanterns.

Only County Council lights currently appear on the Fix My Street website – if there is no light option available on the map for the location that you are trying to report. Note however that you cannot report failed lights that are privately owned, for example in gardens, on driveways or lighting commercial premises. You’ll need to contact the landowner.

Love Parks Week 23rd July – 1st August 2021


Join us in celebrating Love Parks Week from Friday 23 July – Sunday 1 August 2021!

Since the start of the pandemic, more and more people have come to see the benefits of visiting our parks and green spaces. During lockdown, all of Buckingham’s greenspaces remained open to the community for daily exercise, fresh air, peace and quiet and a safe place to meet friends and family under restrictions. For many, our parks and open spaces have become a vital lifeline.

Keep Britain Tidy will be running their annual campaign this summer. This year’s Love Parks Week provides a moment to send a rallying cry; to Love, Respect, and Protect our parks throughout the summer of 2021 and beyond. Be sure to keep up to date with the campaign on social media by following the hashtag #LoveParks

Events during Love Parks Week

Here are just some of the events taking place during the week, we will be adding more to the website soon so make sure to check back nearer the time!


Date & Time Event and Location Event Type
28th July 2-3.30pm Chandos Park There will be a free Korfball session held at Chandos Park on Wednesday 28th July at 2-3:30pm for anyone aged between 8 and 14 years old. The session will be lead by Buckingham Royals and will take place on the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA).


If you’re interested, email royalkorfball@gmail.com for more information.

28-29th July 10-1pm and dates throughout the summer Action4Youth

Chandos Park

Those that attended our drop in Action4Youth session last year know that the team are excellent at bringing together fantastic activities that young people are keen to try.


This year’s offering includes cooking, sports, inflatable obstacle courses, skateboards, parkour, graffitti artists and more!


Young people are split into 11 – 14 and 15 – 18 age groups for sessions.


Events in Parks this Summer

We are celebrating beyond Love Parks Week in Buckingham’s parks and open spaces this summer! See attached link for a list of upcoming events


Litter Picking

We have a Volunteer Litter Picking scheme that is situated in Bourton Park and can be conducted across all of Buckingham’s greenspaces. If you would like to help us keep our parks and green spaces beautiful then please visit our Litter Picking page for more information.


Littering Poster Competition


Stop Littering’ Poster Competition

Buckingham Town Council asked students from Bourton Meadow Academy to design posters to encourage members of the public to stop littering and encourage recycling at home. A huge total of 85 fantastic entries were received and the eight winners (with difficulty) were chosen by the Town Clerk, Paul Hodson. All of the winners received a Green Buckingham branded water bottle kindly funded by Buckinghamshire Council’s Recycle for Buckinghamshire and their posters are displayed in noticeboards around the Town Centre and Parks.

A spokesperson from the Town Council said: “We received so many amazing entries that were both eye caching and informative.  Our town centre and parks noticeboards are going to look a lot brighter with the winning entries in place. We were very impressed with the children’s knowledge of environmental issues and passion to help keep Buckingham clean and tidy. In fact, the children’s hard work has inspired us to launch a new community initiative called the #QuickLitterPick for Bourton Park where visitors can access litter picking equipment (with a secret code for the padlock!) and conduct their own two-minute litter pick. We’re going to roll out this new and exciting project over the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled and prepare to become Buckingham’s #LitterHeros!!”

School Children brandishing water bottles

A huge thank you to all the teaching staff for their support. The work carried out with schools is very important in supporting our younger community to become engaged with global and local environmental issues.


Winning Entries
























































































Wild Flower Boards in Bourton Park

Growing Wild in Buckingham!

As part of the Town Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan it was agreed that the Council should protect and enhance native species and habitats, promoting and supporting opportunities for environmental enhancement and regeneration.

Since 2018 the Town Council has introduced 3 unique areas of wildflowers and, with the help of numerous local volunteers, planted swathes of native woodland bulbs across Bourton Park. All of the species have been carefully chosen by our knowledgeable Estates Manager to ensure they were native to the UK and well suited to the environment in which they were planted.


The wildflower meadows have proven extremely popular with visitors to the park, receiving lots of positive comments across social media and in the local newspaper.


Since the coronavirus pandemic led to restrictions on people’s movements and activities, many have learned to see their surroundings with fresh eyes, and have come to view the streets and parks where they live in a new light, discovering walks, trails and landmarks they had not realised were there before.

In order to enhance visitors’ enjoyment of the park, the Town Council’s Environment Committee agreed to install wildflower illustration boards, fixed at regular intervals, to the new fencing surrounding the junior play area in Bourton Park. Each board will display a watercolour illustration and short description of a native wildflower species, commonly found in Bourton Park.

The panels is to provide further information or insight into the importance of wildflowers to our environment. It is hoped that the boards      will entice visitor’s sense of curiosity and discovery and inform people as to the strong cultural bonds that exist with species such as:

Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor)
And where high grasses wave Shall great moon-daisies blink’ With rattle and sorrel sharp And Robin’s ragged pink’–    Robert Bridges, “The Idle Flowers”

Often used to create a bright yellow dye, Yellow Rattle’s striking bright yellow flowers with white lips are a sight to behold. When you brush through a wildflower meadow at the height of summer and you’ll hear the seeds of this flower rattling in their brown pods, this is why it is called Yellow Rattle.

Another excellent example of wildlife education boards can be found in Scott’s Lane, Maids Moreton, where the local conservation group have commissioned local artists to create 12 monthly illustrations raising            awareness of the different kinds of wildlife in the environment where the panel is situated. One of the local artists, Fiona Hancock has created 9 beautiful watercolour images of our chosen flowers for use on the Bourton Park illustration boards.

Cllr. Ruth Newell, Chair of Environment Committee said: “As a Botanist I’ve always enjoyed spotting wildflowers and have loved seeing the monthly illustrations in Scott’s Lane, so I was delighted when Fiona Hancock agreed to illustrate our wildflower boards that will assist people in recognising our native wildflowers in Bourton Park.



For enquiries please contact Paul Hodson at Buckingham Town Council on 01280 816426, office@buckingham-tc.gov.uk

Spring Cleaning

With the arrival of spring it is a time when people’s thoughts turn to lighter clothes, switching on the central heating off and planning for warmer days ahead – but for the Town Council’s Green Spaces Team it’s been time to roll up their sleeves and give the parks a spring clean. Alongside their usual grounds maintenance for this time of year, the team have completed the restoration and replacement of park benches across the town. You may have noticed some of the smart new street furniture on your way through town and Bourton Park! Some of the older benches have been restored with new timbers and everything’s been given a lick of paint.

The pandemic and associated restrictions on people’s movements and activities has led to a dramatic increase in the number of visitors to our parks and greenspaces, many have discovered walks, trails and landmarks they had not realised were there before. There are many fantastic walks in our historic town, many of which are featured on the Town Council’s heritage app Buxplore which can now be downloaded from the Google Playstore and help bring Buckingham’s unique and fascinating history to life.

The Cattle Pen’s pedestrian sign has also been given a much needed update with the addition of new fingerposts and a shiny new Town Council finial. This was the final stage of a project to improve pedestrian signage throughout the town through funding from the Finger Post situated in the Cattle PensDestination Buckingham project.

Cllr. Ruth Newell, Chair of the Environment Committee said “I am so pleased to see the benches spruced up for spring and ready for use as we all enjoy our wonderful parks and thank the Green Spaces team for their excellent restoration work.  I’d also like to thank Destination Buckingham for their funding enabling the fingerposts in the cattle pens to be completed.”

National Tree Week

National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, marking the start of the winter tree planting season (November to March each year). This year, it’s taking place 28 November – 6 December. Though we may not be able to get together to plant trees as we usually would due to lockdown measures, our volunteer Tree Wardens held an online meeting to plan future tree planting events and coordinate activities that promote and protect our treescape for future generations.

As part of the Town Council Climate Emergency Action Plan Buckingham Town Council has pledged to organise a minimum of one tree planting event per year to help offset the town’s carbon emissions and improve the biodiversity of our greenspaces. During March 2020 volunteers helped plant 12 saplings along the riverbank of Bourton Park with small clusters of Black Poplars (Populus nigra betulifolia) and Alder (Alnus glutinosa). The Black Poplar is Britain’s rarest native timber tree and there are some beautiful examples of mature Black Poplar trees to be seen in Heartlands park. Whilst we won’t be together at tree planting event this Winter, our Tree Wardens have some activities planned ways to help enhance and protect the tree canopy of our town.Horse Chesnut tree in Chandos Park

Buckingham Town Council’s Planning Committee pay great attention to tree applications, in particular those specifying the removal of trees. Applications are robustly challenged to ensure the Planning Authority is fully aware of the Council’s opposition to felling trees unnecessarily.

To find out more about our native trees, visit the Woodland Trust for everything you need to know from identification, folklore and history to pests and diseases that threaten the trees of our town.

Ruth Newell Chair of the Town Council’s Environment Committee and a tree warden for over 20 years in Buckingham said ‘I am pleased that we have many more people interested in joining us a tree warden, and we have the expertise amongst our wardens to protect our trees in Buckingham, as well as finding new suitable places for planting; as we need to ensure we plant many more trees than those we lose’.

To find out more about the Buckingham Tree Wardens, including how to get involved, visit: https://www.buckingham-tc.gov.uk/our-services/parks-and-green-spaces/


  1. For enquiries please contact Paul Hodson, Town Clerk at Buckingham Town Council on 01280 816426, office@buckingham-tc.gov.uk.

Buckingham’s Litter Heroes

Thank you for all the entries for our #RubbishCampaign competition.

We had loads of positive interactions across our social media pages and received some fantastic photographs from individuals to families that are out litter picking on a regular basis – you are our #LitterHeroes – thank you.

We had to pick a winner and we are delighted to announced our Rubbish Campaign competition winner is Josephine Smith and her son Alex (pictured) – many Boy picking up litter congratulations Josephine and Alex, a beautiful shawl made from recycled plastic bottles is on it’s way to you, generously donated by local independent store, Finca El Monte. Alex and his Mum regularly conduct little early morning clear ups in Chandos Park after they finish playing tennis. They take the litter home to recycle the glass bottles and cans. Alex even had time to play a little air guitar!

Alex said ‘we don’t want it to end up in the river or hurt any wildlife.’

Three lucky winners, chosen by the Town Clerk and Town Mayor, will also receive a Green Buckingham branded water bottle kindly funded by Recycle for Buckinghamshire

Boy posing with litter picker and bag of rubbish This is one of our runners up George, who’s asked for a litter picker for his 11th birthday – what a litter superstar!
George said that ‘Putting your litter in the bin is important because litter can hurt animals and damage the environment.’






We loved this spooky photograph submitted by Reid’s Grandad. Reid was appalled at how many disposable face masks he’d seen littering the streets and decided to take matters into his own hands. Well done Reid!

Young boy disposing of face mask in bin at nighttime









Top marks for Alexia’s school-run litter pick! It just goes to show that ‘little and often’ is a winning formula for helping keep the parks clean.

Young girl in uniform throwing litter into a park bin









Cllr. Ruth Newell, Chair of Environment Committee said: “On behalf of the Town Council’s Environment Committee I’d like to thank everyone who does their bit to keep our parks, clean tidy and litter free, protecting our wildlife and making the parks a pleasant place to walk.  I’d also like to remind those who drop litter, please don’t, instead take it home with you and dispose of it responsibly, recycling what you can.”

Thank you to everyone who entered the competition! And thank you to Finca El Monte and  Recycle for Buckinghamshire for their generous donation of prizes!