A charity dedicated to protecting the Chilterns has given its backing to an idea to turn it into a national park. 

The Chiltern Society has written to Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan to offer its support for her idea to give the Chilterns designated national park status. 

The MP blamed pressure from the National Infrastructure Commission, HS2 and Government house-building targets for pushing her to consider the move. 

However, housing development in the Chilterns is increasing year-on-year, while the controversial HS2 route is due to cut straight through the AONB.

The charity’s backing for the plan comes in the same week as Michael Gove launched an national park and AONB review. 

An independent panel will decide whether there is scope for the current network of 34 AONBs and 10 national parks to expand.

The review, led by writer Julian Glover, will also explore how access to these beloved landscapes can be improved, how those who live and work in them can be better supported, and their role in growing the rural economy.

Environment Secretary Mr Gove said: “Amid a growing population, changes in technology, and a decline in certain habitats, the time is right for us to look afresh at these landscapes. 

“We want to make sure they are not only conserved, but enhanced for the next generation.”

A Bucks Free Press poll found that 89 per cent of readers agreed that the Chilterns should become a designated national park.