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 – 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)!

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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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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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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