Welcome to BVCT


Welcome to the website for the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust


You can turn to the ‘About’ page to find out more about our aims and objectives, but put simply we’re a group of trustees and volunteers (membership at present approaching 350) doing all we can to look after the South’s hidden environmental gem – the Blackwater Valley.  

We’ve grown robustly since we started in 2006 but we always need more people to get involved with our work – whether as a Trustee, a member or a volunteer. Joining is quick, easy and cheap – just click here, or here for more information about us.  

Please scroll down for the latest news, and then take a few minutes to stroll round the rest of our website. If you are one of the 300,000 people fortunate to live in the Valley, we hope it will make you want to help.

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Just below you’ll find details of everything that’s coming up – our AGM (16th February), Yateley Ponds Walk (18th February), Tice’s Meadow Bird Walk (25th February), Grants Moor work parties (three dates in February and March) and our flagship event, the Big Valley Ramble (23rd April)!

 


Trust Annual General Meeting – 16th February 2017

Find out how to manage a wood …

Perhaps if we could find another name, it wouldn’t sound boring. Because it’s not. All of us come from a world of business AGMs which can make you lose the will to live, so we are determined to make ours as interesting and entertaining as possible, while still giving you all the information about what we’ve done in the past year. The icing on our cake is always a speaker with a different slant on nature and the environment – and this year we’ve excelled ourselves.

20151117-agmOur speaker is Julian Evans OBE, author of ‘A Wood Of Our Own’, giving an entertaining presentation about buying and owning a 30 acre woodland. Professor Evans bought a woodland 30 years ago and recounts with humour the ups and downs of managing it, including selling timber, caring for wildlife and even the hassles of fly-tipping. He is past president of the Institute of Chartered Foresters, and the author or principal editor of 16 books, mostly on tree or forestry related themes. He was appointed OBE for services to forestry and the third world in 1997.

The Trust’s AGM is open to anyone who is interested in our work, whether you are a member or not. If you only go to one AGM this year make it ours! Thursday 16th February, 7.30pm, Sandhurst Memorial Hall GU47 9BJ.

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The Ponds of Yateley Circular Walk – 18th February

Paul Sanders kicks off his 2017 programme of BVCT Circular Walks with a tour of four ponds, three lakes, a stream, a spring, a river and a church, all in the space of six miles! It will start at 10.00am at the Gravel Pit car park on the A30 a mile west of Blackwater centre, and lead over mostly good surfaces of forest tracks and surfaced paths, with no stiles or steep gradients.

Paul has been leading walks in the Valley area for many years, and we are delighted that he has taken over our walks programme from the late Clive Andrews.

Book your place now by going to the Events tab above and clicking on 2017 Events. _________________________________________________________________________________________

WATCH THE BIRDIES – 25th February

Tice’s Meadow is one of the best sites in the Valley to see a wide variety of birds, and occasionally the odd rare one (though we cannot of course guarantee Nature’s full co-operation. I went whale-watching off the Boston coast once, but someone had forgotten to tell the whales).
But the best person to find them is Richard Horton of the Tice’s Meadow Group, and he and other members will be on hand to guide you on:
Saturday 25th February, from 10.00 to 12.30. Meet at Pea Bridge, Lower Farnham Road, Badshot Lea. GU11 3RJ or OS Map Ref. SU867490
Book your place now by going to the Events tab above and clicking on 2017 Events.
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Grants Moor Heather Restoration Project

IMG_5503Here’s the first chance this year for the more ‘hands-on’ among you to get involved. Trustee Bernard Baverstock is leading three work days at Grants Moor clearing the heathland and extending the beetle bank. The dates are:

Thursday 16th February                       Tuesday 7th March                    Tuesday 28th March

Meeting at the level crossing by Farnborough North Station, the tasks run from 10 to 3pm each day. Gloves and training, hot drinks and biscuits, are all provided, but you will need to bring your own lunch and suitable footwear.

If you are interested, ring BVCP on 01252 331353, or email blackwater.valley@hants.gov.uk.

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 LOGS, LOGS, LOGS

firewood-P1090464Winter is no longer round the corner, it’s beating at your door. But don’t panic, Mr Mainwaring, we’ve got plenty of wood at Ash Lock for your wood-burning stove..

All our wood is recycled from the Partnership’s work around the Valley, and is offered at below commercial prices – starting at just £3 for a rubble bag up to £30 for a tonne sack. And all proceeds go to the BVC Trust, so you are helping our work at the same time.

You can just turn up at Ash Lock Cottage, but we’d prefer it if you rang first on 01252 331353 to let us know you’re coming.

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The Big Valley Ramble is coming!

Brush the mud off those hiking boots, start massaging the calf muscles, ring round your walking friends. They say you should quit while you’re ahead, so following yet another brilliantly successful Walk The Path last year, we’ve decided to show you how spectacular some other parts of the Blackwater Valley can be.

On Sunday 23rd April we are staging the Big Valley Ramble, a 12-mile circular walk starting and finishing at Sandhurst Memorial Park and going through Wildmoor Heath, Swinley Forest, Ambarrow Court and along the river. Come and be amazed at the diversity of habitats right on your doorstep.

Bookings will open on 13th February and if previous years of Walk The Path are anything to go by, places will go fast. Put both dates in your diary now – and get ready to ramble!

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BVCT Small Grants Scheme
image003At our AGM last November we launched our Small Grants Scheme, to help other local community groups less well funded than ourselves to finance small projects. But nobody has taken us up!
The minimum grant is £100 and the maximum is currently £3000.  The money can be used for anything from equipment to improving access to creating new habitats. Go to the Grants tab at the top and see how easy it is.

BVCT builds new hotel chain!

Ross Bower 4Our 2016 Appeal has taken us into the construction industry. We are creating a network of habitats (known as stumperies or log pyramids) throughout the valley so Stag Beetle populations do not become isolated.

BVCP pyramidAs well as building 50 of these habitats our target is to get other local groups involved as well as recording sightings and producing a detailed report. Go to the Support Us tab at the top and see how you or your group can get involved.

18 AprilWe’re gathering momentum! Go to the Support Us page and see how many have already been built!

4th June Find out how to build a stumpery.

16th September – we’re now up to 37, and are aiming to reach our target of 50 by the Trust’s AGM next February! See the blog on the Partnership website at www.blackwatervalleycountryside.wordpress.com