Dancersend Waterworks is a 4 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Spencersgreen south of Aston Clinton in Buckinghamshire. It was a private waterworks supplying the Rothschild Dancersend estate, is now owned by Thames Water, it is in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A cooling pond within the Thames Water site is a Grade II listed building; the site is an area of artificial banks and plateaux in a chalk valley bottom, which has an unusually wide variety of herbs and shrubs. There is a range of butterfly and bird species. Grassland areas are rich in orchids, there is some scrub and woodland; the site on Bottom Road has no public access
Ellesborough and Kimble Warrens
Ellesborough and Kimble Warrens is a 68.9 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Ellesborough in Buckinghamshire. The local planning authority is Wycombe District Council, it is part of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The site contains three deep valleys, called Ellesborough Warren and Great and Little Kimble Warrens, it is one of the most important sites in the Chilterns for natural box woodlands, it has grasslands with rare plant species. There is a wide range of breeding birds. A warren is an area set aside in medieval times for the breeding of hares. On Beacon Hill, in the north-east of the site, there is a well-preserved pillow mound, a purpose-built breeding place, this is a scheduled monument. List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Buckinghamshire
Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their physical structure, chemical processes, molecular interactions, physiological mechanisms and evolution. Despite the complexity of the science, there are certain unifying concepts that consolidate it into a single, coherent field. Biology recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of heredity, evolution as the engine that propels the creation and extinction of species. Living organisms are open systems that survive by transforming energy and decreasing their local entropy to maintain a stable and vital condition defined as homeostasis. Sub-disciplines of biology are defined by the research methods employed and the kind of system studied: theoretical biology uses mathematical methods to formulate quantitative models while experimental biology performs empirical experiments to test the validity of proposed theories and understand the mechanisms underlying life and how it appeared and evolved from non-living matter about 4 billion years ago through a gradual increase in the complexity of the system.
See branches of biology. The term biology is derived from the Greek word βίος, bios, "life" and the suffix -λογία, -logia, "study of." The Latin-language form of the term first appeared in 1736 when Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus used biologi in his Bibliotheca botanica. It was used again in 1766 in a work entitled Philosophiae naturalis sive physicae: tomus III, continens geologian, phytologian generalis, by Michael Christoph Hanov, a disciple of Christian Wolff; the first German use, was in a 1771 translation of Linnaeus' work. In 1797, Theodor Georg August Roose used the term in the preface of a book, Grundzüge der Lehre van der Lebenskraft. Karl Friedrich Burdach used the term in 1800 in a more restricted sense of the study of human beings from a morphological and psychological perspective; the term came into its modern usage with the six-volume treatise Biologie, oder Philosophie der lebenden Natur by Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus, who announced: The objects of our research will be the different forms and manifestations of life, the conditions and laws under which these phenomena occur, the causes through which they have been effected.
The science that concerns itself with these objects we will indicate by the name biology or the doctrine of life. Although modern biology is a recent development, sciences related to and included within it have been studied since ancient times. Natural philosophy was studied as early as the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, the Indian subcontinent, China. However, the origins of modern biology and its approach to the study of nature are most traced back to ancient Greece. While the formal study of medicine dates back to Hippocrates, it was Aristotle who contributed most extensively to the development of biology. Important are his History of Animals and other works where he showed naturalist leanings, more empirical works that focused on biological causation and the diversity of life. Aristotle's successor at the Lyceum, wrote a series of books on botany that survived as the most important contribution of antiquity to the plant sciences into the Middle Ages. Scholars of the medieval Islamic world who wrote on biology included al-Jahiz, Al-Dīnawarī, who wrote on botany, Rhazes who wrote on anatomy and physiology.
Medicine was well studied by Islamic scholars working in Greek philosopher traditions, while natural history drew on Aristotelian thought in upholding a fixed hierarchy of life. Biology began to develop and grow with Anton van Leeuwenhoek's dramatic improvement of the microscope, it was that scholars discovered spermatozoa, bacteria and the diversity of microscopic life. Investigations by Jan Swammerdam led to new interest in entomology and helped to develop the basic techniques of microscopic dissection and staining. Advances in microscopy had a profound impact on biological thinking. In the early 19th century, a number of biologists pointed to the central importance of the cell. In 1838, Schleiden and Schwann began promoting the now universal ideas that the basic unit of organisms is the cell and that individual cells have all the characteristics of life, although they opposed the idea that all cells come from the division of other cells. Thanks to the work of Robert Remak and Rudolf Virchow, however, by the 1860s most biologists accepted all three tenets of what came to be known as cell theory.
Meanwhile and classification became the focus of natural historians. Carl Linnaeus published a basic taxonomy for the natural world in 1735, in the 1750s introduced scientific names for all his species. Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, treated species as artificial categories and living forms as malleable—even suggesting the possibility of common descent. Although he was opposed to evolution, Buffon is a key figure in the history of evolutionary thought. Serious evolutionary thinking originated with the works of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, the first to present a coherent theory of evolution, he posited that evolution was the result of environmental stress on properties of animals, meaning that the more and rigorously an organ was used, the more complex and efficient it would become, thus adapting the animal to its environment. Lamarck believed that these acquired traits could be passed on to the animal's offspring, who would
Burnham Beeches is a 374.6 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest situated west of Farnham Common in the village of Burnham, Buckinghamshire. The southern half is open to the public, it is a National Nature Reserve and a Special Area of Conservation. The beech woodland has been pollarded, with many trees now several hundred years old, their age, the amount of deadwood in and around them, means that the woodland is rich in wildlife. More than sixty of the species of plants and animals here are either rare or under threat nationally; the area is protected as a National Nature Reserve, Site of Special Scientific Interest and a candidate Special Area of Conservation. Seven Ways Plain hill fort is located in the south west part of Burnham Beeches, it is a rare example of a single rampart earthwork used either as a stock enclosures or places of refuge. It comprises a range of earthworks which have been dated to Early Iron Age, it is a Scheduled Monument. The close proximity of Pinewood and Bray Studios and the outstanding natural beauty of the Beeches have made it a desirable filming location.
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, The Crying Game, First Knight, The Princess Bride, the 1952 Disney film The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Horrible Histories: The Movie are among the films and TV productions that have been shot at Burnham Beeches. Filming is controlled in recognition of the Beeches' international importance for wildlife. Filming is restricted to certain times of year. Filming in environmentally sensitive areas has been banned. Revenue from filming goes directly to fund the management of the Beeches. Burnham, New Zealand was named after Burnham Beeches. Burnham Beeches FC - An amateur football team who compete in the East Berkshire Football League. Burnham railway station Dropmore Park English Lowlands beech forests Burnham Beeches on the City of London website IMDb list of film and television productions which have used Burnham Beeches
Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve
Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve is located on the north-west escarpment of the Chiltern Hills, in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It has an area of 159.1 hectares, most of it is a 128.5 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is listed as a Grade 1 site in A Nature Conservation Review; the reserve is in several sections in the parish of Lewknor in Oxfordshire, with smaller sections in the parish of Stokenchurch in Buckinghamshire. The reserve is home to butterflies of chalk grassland; the flowers include a number of the Chiltern gentian. As well as chalk grassland, the reserve contains woodland with beech and juniper. Overhead, reintroduced red kites are resident; the Aston Rowant reserve is managed by Natural England assisted by the Oxford Conservation Volunteers. It offers a nationally important habitat of chalk grassland and juniper scrub with significant areas of hanging beechwood at Aston Rowant Wood. Aston Rowant is noted in spring and summer for the wildflowers and orchids associated with close-cropped chalk grassland, managed by careful grazing regimes.
Orchid species recorded include common spotted orchid, fragrant orchid, pyramidal orchid, bee orchid, frog orchid, early purple orchid and greater butterfly orchid. Other flowers include eyebright, marjoram, Chiltern gentian, yellow-wort; the chalk grassland habitat is attractive to many species of butterflies such as the Adonis blue, the chalkhill blue, marbled white, silver-spotted skipper, the dark green fritillary, the silver-washed fritillary. Over 30 species of butterflies have been recorded on the reserve. Butterflies at Aston Rowant NNR Muntjac and roe deer are found on the reserve, as are the brown hare. Aston Rowant is an important conservation site for the endangered hazel dormouse. In 1989, the Aston Rowant NNR became one of the initial four sites selected by the RSPB and Natural England for the reintroduction to England of the red kite, which had become extinct in England and Scotland due to persecution since the early 1900s, reduced to a residual population of a few dozen pairs in central Wales.
Birds were brought in from Spain but the reintroduction programme based in the Chilterns was so successful that the local population has now self-generated to a level of 200 pairs and chicks are now taken from the Chilterns population for reintroduction projects elsewhere in the UK. In the summer of 2004, seeds of the interrupted brome grass, which had become extinct in the wild, were dispersed at the Aston Rowant NNR; the plants germinated and persisted. This marked the first extinct plant to be re-introduced into the wild in British history; the M40 motorway passes through the reserve, where a cutting, the Stokenchurch Gap, drops the motorway down onto the Oxfordshire plain between Junction 5 Stokenchurch and junction 6 Watlington. This section of the "Midlands Link" motorway opened in 1974 after a Public Enquiry; the event helped to motivate conservation groups to oppose infrastructure projects that would damage protected natural habitats, such as the M3 cutting through Twyford Down near Winchester, which could have been protected by tunnelling
The Chiltern Hills or, as they are known locally and the Chilterns, is a range of hills northwest of London. They form a chalk escarpment across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire. A large portion of the hills was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1965; the Chilterns cover an area of 322 square miles stretching 45 miles in a southwest to a northeast diagonal from Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire to Hitchin, Hertfordshire. At their widest, they are 12 miles; the northwest boundary of the hills is defined by the escarpment. The dip slope is by definition more gradual, merges with the landscape to the southeast; the southwest endpoint is the River Thames. The hills decline in prominence in northeast Bedfordshire; the chalk escarpment of the Chiltern Hills overlooks the Vale of Aylesbury, coincides with the southernmost extent of the ice sheet during the Anglian glacial maximum. The Chilterns are part of a system of chalk downlands throughout eastern and southern England, formed between 65 and 95 million years ago, comprising rocks of the Chalk Group.
In the north, the chalk formations continue northeastwards across north Hertfordshire and the Lincolnshire Wolds ending as the Yorkshire Wolds in a prominent escarpment, south of the Vale of Pickering. The beds of the Chalk Group were deposited over the buried northwestern margin of the Anglo-Brabant Massif during the Upper Cretaceous. During this time, sources for siliciclastic sediment had been eliminated due to the exceptionally high sea level; the formation is thinner through the Chiltern Hills than the chalk strata to the north and south and deposition was tectonically controlled, with the Lilley Bottom structure playing a significant role at times. The Chalk Group, like the underlying Gault Upper Greensand, is diachronous. During the late stages of the Alpine Orogeny, as the African Plate collided with Eurasian Plate, Mesozoic extensional structures, such as the Weald Basin of southern England, underwent structural inversion; this phase of deformation tilted the chalk strata to the southeast in the area of the Chiltern Hills.
The dipping beds of rock were eroded, forming an escarpment. The chalk strata are interspersed with layers of flint nodules which replaced chalk and infilled pore spaces early in the diagenetic history. Flint has been mined for millennia from the Chiltern Hills, they were first extracted for fabrication into flint axes in the Neolithic period for knapping into flintlocks. Nodules are to be seen everywhere in the older houses as a construction material for walls; the highest point is at 267 m above sea level at Haddington Hill near Wendover in Buckinghamshire. The nearby Ivinghoe Beacon is a more prominent hill, although its altitude is only 249 m, it is the starting point of the Icknield Way Path and the Ridgeway long distance path, which follows the line of the Chilterns for many miles to the west, where they merge with the Wiltshire downs and southern Cotswolds. To the east of Ivinghoe Beacon is Dunstable Downs, a steep section of the Chiltern scarp. Near Wendover is Coombe Hill, 260 m above sea level.
The more sloping country – the dip slope – to the southeast of the Chiltern scarp is generally referred to as part of the Chilterns. Enclosed fields account for 66% of the "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" area; the next most important, archetypal, landscape form is woodland, covering 21% of the Chilterns, thus one of the most wooded areas in England. Built-up areas make up over 5% of the land area; the Chilterns are entirely located within the Thames drainage basin, drain towards several major Thames tributaries, most notably the Lea, which rises in the eastern Chilterns, the Colne to the south, the Thame to the north and west. Other rivers arising near the Chilterns include the Mimram, the Ver, the Gade, the Bulbourne, the Chess, the Misbourne and the Wye; these are classified as chalk streams, although the Lea is degraded by water from road drains and sewage treatment works. The River Thames flows through a gap between the Berkshire Downs and the Chilterns. Portions of the northern and north-eastern Chilterns around Leighton Buzzard and Hitchin are drained by the Ouzel, the Flit and the Hiz, all of which flow into the River Great Ouse.
A number of transport routes pass through the Chilterns in man-made corridors. There are over 2,000 km of public footpaths in the Chilterns, including long-distance trackways such as the Icknield Way and The Ridgeway; the M40 motorway passes through the Chilterns in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire sections, with a deep cutting through the Stokenchurch Gap. The M1 motorway crosses the Bedfordshire section near Luton. Other major roads include the A413, the A41 and the A5. Railways include the Chiltern Main Line via High Wycombe and Princes Risborough, the London to Aylesbury Line via Amersham. Nearby the West Coast Main Line runs through Berkhamsted and the Midland Main Line with Thameslink calls at Luton; the Great Western Main Line and its branches such as the Henley and Marlow branch lines link the southern side of the Chilterns with London Paddington. The Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway is a preserved line
Bradenham Woods, Park Wood and The Coppice
Bradenham Woods, Park Wood and The Coppice is a 129.1 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Bradenham in Buckinghamshire. It is in the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is described in A Nature Conservation Review; the site is part of the Bradenham Estate, owned by the National Trust. It is designated a Special Area of Conservation. Grim's Ditch, a Scheduled Monument, runs through the site; the site is beech woodland, with a rich ground flora including rare species. Twenty-eight species of butterfly have been recorded. There are areas of chalk grassland. There is permanent access to the site. List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Buckinghamshire