One or two facts about our Parish
There are some 398 households home to around 950 inhabitants, of
whom 20% are aged under 16 and another 20% are over retirement age.
There is no shop or post office locally so people must visit nearby
towns for their provisions. Cars are owned by over 90% of
households, and there is an infrequent bus service to Chesham.
Changes in the local economy
The 20th Century unlike any other which has preceded it has seen
the most dramatic change in the rural economy of this part of
Britain. Now only two large working farms remain. Most agricultural
land has been divided up, usually to keep horses or sheep but
Highland cattle, alpacas and ostriches can also be found.
These days there are relatively few people still employed within
the villages, although there is a blacksmith, a farrier, livery
yards, dog boarding kennels, a car repair business, and an
The majority of people in employment now commute to surrounding
towns or the 35 or so miles to London, and there is a growing trend
for home-based workers who exploit the benefits of technology to
connect with the outside world.
What community activities take place in the parish?
Local people can come together through a variety of community
pastimes and activities. There are three churches and four pubs.
Football is played at St Leonards, and Hawridge and Cholesbury
Cricket Club have their pitch and pavilion on Cholesbury Common.
There is also a playgroup, a nursery and a Sunday school.
Two halls in the parish provide the focus for the Local History
Group, Women's Institute, Horticultural Society, Senior and
Thursday Clubs, not forgetting 'fund-raising' Cream Teas and the
Christmas parties for younger and older inhabitants.
During the summer months two fêtes take place, one on St Leonards
playing field, the other alternating between Hawridge and
Cholesbury Commons, the partly wooded heathland stretching more
than a mile along the ridge, which is looked after, on behalf of
the Lord of the Manor, by the Commons Preservation Society.
There are 61 footpaths in the parish which are enjoyed by walkers,
often with dogs. The beauty and relative peace of the villages also
attract cyclists and horse riders.
Cricket on the Common
What concerns local people?
However, a survey of local people has also revealed concerns
that this same tranquillity is being increasingly threatened by
fast cars, aircraft noise and encroaching 'suburbanisation'.
More information is available in the Wikipedia articles for
Common, and St