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 what we’ve been doing and what we’re planning to do

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Oh, how they rambled ….

Residents around Snaprails Park and other points in the Sandhurst area might have done a double-take on Sunday 23rd April, as a procession of over 150 walkers paraded before their eyes. We had told them to get ready to ramble, and that’s exactly what they did over 12 miles through local natural spaces such as Wildmoor Heath, Swinley Forest, Caesar’s Camp, and Ambarrow Court. They went up and down the Devil’s Highway, skirted Horseshoe Lakes, and dallied in Shepherds Meadows on a 4-hour jaunt that included a close-up of Broadmoor (from the car park, where welcome refreshments – including choccy biscuits – were available). The weather was perfect – dry, not too hot, a light cool breeze. Lots of positive feedback and some cash in the coffers for the current appeal made all the effort that went into the preparation worthwhile. We’ll have some photos for you soon.

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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.

At the Basingstoke Canal Centre on 26th April, 30 people listened to Trustee Colin Wilson give some alarming

facts as he explained how the Trust is playing its part in a national movement to arrest the decline. Read more

about these amazing birds, our project and how you can help here.

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Eversley, Bramshill and the confluence of two rivers – 18 March
Paul Sanders’ second walk for the Trust started with  a fly past by a red kite and included a visit to Warbrook House, a Grade 1 listed  mansion. Click on the link to the left under Latest News to read Hilary Godber’s report.

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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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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