At the start of the 21st Century the population of the enlarged Parish stood at 679 people living in 265 households (2001 census). By the time of the 2011 census this had increased again to 698 people living in 299 households. These households continue to be subjected to a mix of influences.
Much of the land around the village is still actively farmed, albeit with considerably fewer employees than before. This landscape continues to have a strong influence on village life.
The villages’ many long-established organisations and societies also continue to shape activity. The Lee Flower Show was first established in 1892 and is still as vibrant today. The first cricket match was played in The Lee in 1875 and the Women’s Institute met continuously from 1919 until its recent closure.
However, the village has also been influenced by more recent developments. Convenient railway stations, in particular at Great Missenden, and the end of the Metropolitan underground line at Amersham and Chesham have put The Lee within easy reach of London for commuting. Motorway and trunk road developments, including improved access to Heathrow airport, have also now put the whole world within easy reach of The Lee.
Finally, of course, the advent of the Internet and Broadband provides increasing opportunities for people in the 21st century to ‘visit’ The Lee and also to live and work in the village without ever leaving it – much as the population would have done hundreds of years ago!
This balance between ‘old’ and ‘new’ influences on the village continues to be a delicate one.
Described in The Lady as: ‘the prettiest village amongst a host of pretty villages in the Chilterns‘, The Lee has become a great attraction for visitors on foot, on bicycles and on horseback – as well as in motor cars. Also filmed in a great many episodes of Midsomer Murders, some parts of the village are now immediately recognisable – even to first-time visitors.
Those who live in the village value this beauty and The Lee’s heritage. They are determined to continue to preserve the best of the past, whilst also offering a sanctuary in the Chilterns that is as relevant to the 21st century as it was to the 13th.