The words of a volunteer…

Hampshire County Council send out a Countryside Service Volunteer Review (sounds posh doesn’t it?) filled with snippets from volunteers and Rangers.  In the latest edition Chris Bean was kind enough to write about us, so thank you Chris!  I will share what he wrote below.

‘I joined the Tuesday Volunteer Group of the Blackwater Valley Partnership shortly after I retired in later 2006.  I felt it was important that, as a retired person, I remained active, meet new people and learned some new skills.  Volunteering has provided all three of these in abundance!

As volunteers we undertake a wide range of tasks within the Valley, including hay making, constructing and repairing fences, building bridges, establishing reed beds as well as the more mundane, but important tasks of litter picking and general maintenance of the Blackwater Valley Path.  I have also learnt how to lay a hedge, operate a motor scythe, strimmer and hedge strimmer as well as handle a small boat and outboard. I’ve also taken part in surveys of the flora and fauna within the Valley. There are certainly plenty of opportunities to get involved.

The Tuesday Volunteers are a friendly bunch and we all help each other to get tasks done.  None of this would be possible without the positive leadership, skill, supervision and, at times, patience of the Partnership’s rangers who organise the tasks and provide the essential tea and biscuits to keep us going throughout the day.’

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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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