Bags of Help for Canons Wood!

Canon's Wood

Above: This part of the Chess Valley Walk is feeling the pressure of its popularity - note the eroded river bank

Conservation group Impress the Chess is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative. Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 - all raised from the 5p bag levy - being awarded to local community projects. Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to the following stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant: Tesco Amersham, Tesco Express on Hill Avenue, Amersham and Tesco Express in Little Chalfont. 

Impress the Chess is one of the groups on the shortlist and plans to install ‘dog steps’ along the River Chess in Canon’s Wood. This spot by The Moor is part of the Chess Valley Walk and is popular with dog walkers. The intensity of use means that the riverbank has been eroding, which is bad news for both the river and visitors to the site. Putting in dog steps will help to protect the riverbank from erosion whilst allowing easy access in and out of the river for dogs to enjoy a splash about. 

“We have a chance to improve this popular beauty spot for walkers, their dogs and the wildlife that lives there. Depending on how much money we raise, we also want to enhance the river habitat, coppice trees and replace old seating, which will improve the area for all” said Kathryn Graves, Impress the Chess secretary. 

Voting is open in stores throughout May and June. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop. 

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £28.5 million to more than 4,000 projects up and down the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for May and June. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between. We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit

Published: 5 May 2017