‘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.’