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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Below you’ll find details of everything that’s coming up, including our March circular walk (18th March), the final Grants Moor work party, and our flagship event, the Big Valley Ramble (23rd April)!

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 Eversley, Bramshill and the confluence of two rivers – 18 March
       Paul Sanders’ first walk for the Trust, last month around the ponds of Yateley, attracted a record turnout of 50 (see below), so the man must be worth following! There’s still time to join him this Saturday on a scenic route with many lakes in plantation now more open than previously, and the river at its most interesting including the picturesque New Mill. Hopefully there will be many displays of spring flowers too. The walk is about 9 miles and starts at the Church of St Mary in Eversley. Details and booking form are on the Events page.

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The Big Valley Ramble is coming!

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 opened on 13th February and places are already going fast. Brush the mud off those hiking boots, start massaging the calf muscles, ring round your walking friends – and get ready to ramble! Go to the Events tab above or Click Here and follow the instructions.

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SAVING OUR AMAZING SWIFTS

We are starting a project this year to help our swifts – numbers have been declining seriously in recent times. Breeding swifts are hard to count but a massive decline of up to 50% in the last twenty years is thought to be accurate. Read more about these amazing birds, our project and how you can help here.

To learn more come to our talk on 26 April at the Basingstoke Canal Centre – details are on our

Events page.

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Grants Moor Heather Restoration Project

IMG_5503Trustee Bernard Baverstock has just one more work day at Grants Moor clearing the heathland and extending the beetle bank – Tuesday 28th March.

Meeting at the level crossing by Farnborough North Station, the work will run from 10 to 3pm. 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-P1090464You may think winter has gone but some of us have seen snow at Easter. Why take a chance? We’ve still 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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Trust Annual General Meeting – 16th February 2017

There was standing room only at our AGM – see here for a full report.

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The Ponds of Yateley Circular Walk – 18th February

Paul Sanders kicked off his 2017 programme of BVCT Circular Walks in spectacular style with a tour of four ponds, three lakes, a stream, a spring, a river and a church, all in the space of six miles! Around 50 people took part, which we believe is the most since we started staging the walks. Full report 

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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