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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To the top of the hill – Circular Walk 20 May
Giants (possibly), cows (disinterestedly), and brick walls (puzzlingly) featured in our third circular walk led by Paul Sanders, on the way to the top of Caesar’s Camp where a trolley of welcome refreshments awaited. Read Hilary Godber’s account under the News tab above ….

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Michael Gove avoids BVCT stand at Surrey Heath Show

Our Surrey Heath MP and famed Brexiteer was apparently at the SHS on Saturday 20th May, but somehow didn’t manage to stop by our stand. Never mind – we had plenty of visitors without him. The show was very well attended despite the erratic weather, and we were able to use the opportunity to spread the word about our work.

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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.