Chiltern Open Air Museum re-opens its gates to families – and dogs!

Posted On March 5, 2021
March 05, 2021
Chiltern Open Air Museum will be re-opening its grounds and gardens from the 26 MARCH as a green space and dogs are welcome!
Visitors and their four-legged friends can explore the grounds, traditional gardens, allotment and woodlands. The outdoor museum has been awarded Gold in the Dog Friendly Business of the Year Award and Estate Assistant, Rachael Maytum, has scooped an Unsung Hero Award.
Museum Director, Sam Hatfield, said:
‘We have always welcomed dogs with their owners and are delighted with the award acknowledging this especially in a year when access to the wonderful space we have at COAM was a real benefit to so many visitors with their dogs.’
Dogs on leads are welcomed at the museum, they are offered a treat on arrival and their owners can purchase special dog ice cream. The traditional heritage site has a flock of rare-breed Oxford Down sheep and sheep dogs are used to help manage them. Volunteer Shepherd, Steve Stone, writes a regular museum blog about training his sheepdog pup, Jess, on-site. In the early noughties, Steve helped TV presenter, Matt Baker, train his collie, Meg, to be a sheepdog at COAM. Meg was a regular on the BBC’s Blue Peter during Matt’s tenure.

Estate Assistant, Rachael, was nominated for the Unsung Hero Award due to her exceptional work during 2020. When lockdown began, the majority of the museum’s experienced volunteers (who usually support them during lambing period) had to shield. Rachael quickly taught unskilled members of staff how to lamb – which resulted in one of COAM’s most successful lambing seasons ever. During 2020, with the help of volunteers, she created a traditional garden which formed part of the interpretation of a reconstructed earth cottage. This turned out to be a lifeline for the charity run museum, which was only able to open its grounds and gardens due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Museum Director, Sam Hatfield, said:  

‘Rachael’s award is reward for all her hard work and dedication at COAM – she is passionate and knowledgeable and is now an indispensable member of our team’

Tickets must be pre-booked online at

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