The definitive guide to Buckinghamshire's mystery big cats
For years there have been sightings of big cats inhabiting the Chiltern Hills and the surrounding Buckinghamshire countryside. From these the urban legend of the Beast of Bucks has been born.
The Chiltern Hills consist of 450 square miles of undulating, rural British countryside 30 miles North West of London. The underlying chalk geology of the region gives host to many important and various habitats such as calcareous grassland, chalk streams and beech forests.
Walking through the Buckinghamshire hiking trails and woodland glades it is easy to assume the naturalistic landscape of the Chilterns have remained undisturbed by man for millennia. The truth is of course that much of the woodland was planted during Edwardian times to facilitate the growing furniture industry. Nonetheless the patchwork of agriculture, forestry, private estates, public footpaths, nature reserves, chalk quarries, golf courses and areas of outstanding natural beauty provide a utopia for all whom may rest upon it, man or beast. But how is it that every year local people report sightings of large predatory cats even though endangered in their own native countries somehow manage to survive in a high human density environment such as Britain? The sheer volume of official reports and evidence alone in Britain and the Chilterns indicates living breathing populations of three species of big cat.
I personally became interested in Buckinghamshire’s big cats in 1997 when I was at high school in North West London. It was activities week and all the worst behaved students were given last choice of activity trips to go on. All the good students were going skiing and paintball. Little did anyone know my first choice was the Chiltern walk as I loved nature and walking in the countryside. During the walk my science teacher who lived in the Chilterns commented on how he often saw large cats while walking his dogs in the hills around High Wycombe. He went on to say that years ago there were many private zoos in the area which all fell into decline with animals escaping or being turned loose. He explained that he often would see a mother with cubs in the summer time along the edge of a particular field. I never once doubted him as he was a very educated proud man who was very respected even by young men of our disposition.
This website represents my on-going 13 year research into the Buckinghamshire, Chiltern region and the big cats which secretly stalk the landscape. Big Cats of the Chilterns welcomes you to:
• Report your sightings and experiences in confidentiality
• Follow my online blog regularly updated with findings from field trips.
• Access the history and locations of sightings
• Follow my literature on mapping the movement of these animals and their lifestyles in an attempt to discover patterns which could lead us to sustained levels of video footage.
Further reading on the subject of Big Cats living wild in Britain!
If you are interested in this subject and want to read more we highly recommend Rick Minters Book: Big Cats, Facing Britain's Wild Predators.
.I hope you enjoy Big Cats of the Chilterns from the author Paulo.
Help Our Research!
Big Cats of the Chilterns is completely a self funded research project. We want to expand our camera trap campaigns and research work so we can share our evidence with our followers. If you like our work and want to help us feel free to donate via the button below and please keep your sightings coming in!
The Chiltern Panther Project.
After 15 years of research into the big cats which inhabit the Chilterns I have become very familiar with certain hotspots and sightings clusters. Although I actively maintain the website, various camera trap campaigns, the Facebook page time and resources are limited. I am now in a position to be bold and state if I had 6 months full time, tracking, responding to sightings and camera trapping I could possibly secure some decent camera trap footage of some of the species living in the Chilterns.
My proposal would be to shut down my business for 6 months and go full time large cat tracking and camera trapping in our areas of increasing activity. Am very confident with a full time effort I could get the camera trap footage we all need to recognise the cat population.
My proposal would be to raise £20,000 for new camera traps, and night vision equipment. I would be able to survive on the bare minimum funds to go full time for 6 months from October 2018 to March 2019. I would undergo a daily schedule 6 days per week using every tool available to get the evidence large cats live in Buckinghamshire and the British countryside.
In return for the funding I will film an hour long documentary every week uploaded to the YouTube channel every Saturday Night or Sunday morning. A typical week will start driving around current hotspots every morning at dawn with a dash cam to try and capture a scenario of a cat crossing the road. This is one of the most common sightings of these animals. The day will be spent looking for physical evidence. And talking about various camera trap projects, sightings clusters, concepts and theories on this truly amazing subject. Every Saturday I would use my knowledge of video editing and put together the hour long weekly documentary including checking that weeks camera campaign and findings. The documentaries will also include video chats with big cat experts from around the world on what I have found and the ongoing investigation.
If you feel this is a worthwhile cause and have any idea on this proposal please make contact via our contact page. Hopefully working together we can get the camera trap video footage we all want to see. If we can prove large cat species have established on a over populated Island such as the UK it would give huge international hope for these species. Please help me make this a reality.
Big Cats Of The Chilterns.
Big Cats Of The Chilterns.