Not That Kind of Flash…

On Thursday 11th January the volunteers joined Bobbie and I in Claycart, Wellesley Woodlands to start work on a flash alongside the Basingstoke Canal.  These flashes are low lying sections of land alongside the canal and are important little niches for wildlife.  They were created when the canal was original dug and flooded with water and it is important to make sure they don’t get overwhelmed with scrub and dry out.  This did mean the volunteers had to don their wellies to brave mud and water.

The first two photos were taken at the start of the day.  Can you tell where the canal is?  Whilst the volunteers tackled the scrub Bobbie used her chainsaw to cut up some fallen trees so I could squeeze the truck and chipper on to site.  She also made safe some hung up trees next to the path.

After tea break we started up the chipper and worked our way through the piles of scrub, mainly made up of willow and the non-native Western Hemlock which is prevalent in Claycart.  Every time I looked up I could see more and more canal!  In the words of a passing walker, ‘amazing!’.  By the end of the day the volunteers had cleared a good section of the flash, opening it up to let in more light, which will in turn help encourage more ground flora.

Thank you to everyone who came out to help with this muddy (and noisy) task.

Ranger Laura




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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