Farnham Quarry Work Party Update

The 1st of December was the start of Tices Meadow/Farnham Quarry volunteer work parties.  There was a great turn out with 18 volunteers who managed to clear the size of a football pitch of the self seed willow in the Wheatear field.  Also having the Blackwater Valley tea wagon on site was a great help, thanks to Tony.

The wheatear field is in front of viewing mound and if left to the willow we would not have this important habitat for migrant bird ie Wheatear, Windchat as well as nesting Little Ring Plover, Sky Lark. Also if left, wonderful views across meadow and lake would be obscured from viewing mound.   On a birding note all were treated to fine if not distant views of Snow Bunting; a 1st for Tices.

Friday 13th December: 12 volunteers including Blackwater Valley staff were on site to again attack the self seeded willow. Its not as easy as it looks as aching backs and arms are proving.  On a nature note, 7 Roe Deer were seen in the meadow as well as 4 Jack Snipe which are very rare with 40 Common Snipe and a Peregrine Falcon.

Both work parties in January had to be cancelled due to the heavy rain and the site being flooded, we were advised to stand down for Health and Safety reasons. It was good to have Andy, our own HSE advisor and Tices Birder as part of the team.

We hope that the weather on the 2nd and 14th February is better for next work parties.  We have added a date of the 20th March for planting and works to new river channel with the Environment Agency.

Thanks to all the new volunteers commitment.

Richard Horton
Farnham Quarry volunteer

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About blackwatervalleycountryside

The Blackwater Valley is located on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire and runs for approximately 30km from the source near Aldershot, northwards to Swallowfield. At its confluence it joins the rivers Whitewater and Loddon. The Loddon eventually flows into the River Thames near Reading. Work in the Blackwater Valley is co-ordinated by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership on behalf of the local authorities that border the Valley. Despite being surrounded by urban development the Valley provides an important green corridor for local residents As well as the Blackwater Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a small part of the Basingstoke Canal SSSI, three nature reserves within the Valley catchment and many other areas have been recognised for their ecological importance. The local planning authorities covering the Valley have designated 31 other areas as ‘Wildlife Sites’.
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