Hawley Meadows receives a boost

Hawley Meadows has been a hive of activity over a three day task thanks to colleagues from a local company, Blackwater Valley Volunteers, students and trainees. With such a large work force of 48 volunteers we tackled lots of outstanding jobs on the Meadows including; clearing vegetation off the boundary fences, removing fly-tipping, digging out invasive bramble and litter-picking the Covebrook by boat.

The larger projects included installing a bench just south of the concrete bridge, which harnesses locally sourced and sustainable green oak. Together with the Dave Pilkington Memorial Bench, there are now 4 benches in Hawley Meadows to provide spots to rest and enjoy the view along the Blackwater Valley Path.

Installing new bench in Prior's Meadow

Installing new bench by concrete bridge

The volunteers also repaired broken fences and removed another section ready for replacement later in the year.

Repairing fence

Repairing fence

Removing damaged fence

Removing damaged fence

On the second day two keen volunteers dug out a bomb-proof but redundant gate post in the north end.  They were surprised to discover that it was 4ft tall with another 4ft buried underground, so a real test of determination and cunning levers to shift it!

Triumphant volunteers by excavated post

Triumphant volunteers by excavated post

The final endeavour was to install stag beetle stumperies.  Thanks to the combined effort over the three days and another task, we now have 7 stumperies at Hawley Meadows and are well on the way to our target of 50 along the Blackwater Valley.

Creating stag beetle stumpery

Creating stag beetle stumpery

To find out more about BVC Trust Stag Beetle Stumpery Project please click on the link, to discover why stag beetles need our help and how you can build your own stumpery. It would also be great to hear from anyone who’s built one in the valley,  like in a garden or school.

Ranger Stuart

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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