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.


You know you’re going to over-indulge at Christmas, so, as we have only your best interests at heart, we’re staging a chance for you to walk it off soon after the event.

It’s on 29th December, and is a 10-mile scenic walk along the Blackwater Valley Path and through the Wellesley Woodlands, with a refreshment stop at Ash Lock Cottage along the way. We’re asking just a nominal contribution of £3 towards costs. You don’t need to book but it was heavily subscribed last year, so it might pay to go to the Events page on this website and get your name down now.



Notice a bit of a chill in the air? Switched the central heating setting to ‘all day’? There’s a reason for that – it’s autumn, and winter is round the corner. So now’s the time to start stocking up for your wood-burning stove, and we’ve got what you need.

As with last year, 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.


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

Trust Annual General Meeting

Those of you who have been regular attenders of our end of year ‘shindig’ may be wondering what has happened to the advance notices. Well, we have changed the date this year, mainly in order to give us more time to prepare the accounts and have them audited. In the past it has always been a bit of a squeeze for our Treasurer, but now he has until the 16th February next year to get them ready. We do already have a speaker lined up, and he promises to provide a fascinating evening – we’ll give you details nearer the time.

Have a seat!

The first bench to be installed as result of our 2015 Benches by the Blackwater Appeal went in the ground on 11th April. Three more were then put in places where they are now providing a welcome resting-place for Path walkers, and the fifth and final one was lowered into the ground in October.

See the ‘Support Us’ tab for photos.


A walk around a (big) pond

At this time of year the weather is always a risk, but it smiled on us today – frosty to start but soon warmed up with not a spot of rain in sight. Led by Mike Burns and yours truly acting as back marker seventeen of us, all signed up BVCT members, did a tour of Fleet Pond in what turned out to be a nice brisk walk (~ 5m). Read More