Natural England’s Words on Wellesley

‘Wellesley Woodlands is a new Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) which has been provided as part of the Aldershot Urban Extension project now known as Wellesley. Natural England have been involved with this project since 2005, when heathland in the vicinity of the development was notified as the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA). Since that time, Natural England have worked with Grainger, The Land Trust and the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership to assist with the design of a large area of woodland green space, which will not only avoid and mitigate effects upon the integrity of the SPA, but also offer biodiversity enhancement to the local area.  Easy access to this quality woodland will be a great benefit to existing residents and those new residents moving into the new housing.

On 6th July 2015 members of Natural England’s local Area Team were invited to see some of these green spaces and the work already underway to open them up to the public.  It was good to note the high quality of work which has already been undertaken and how these spaces are becoming very welcoming places to visit.    Natural England are looking forward to continuing to work with the partners on this project.  We are increasingly confident, particularly having seen the work on the ground, that these green spaces will meet the objective of providing people with attractive, informal greenspaces whilst  protecting the integrity of the SPA.’

Andrew Smith

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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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