Dashing Dragonfly Ditch

On Tuesday whilst Jenny was welcoming our cows, the volunteers and I headed down to Blackwater Meadows, by Shepherd Meadows in Sandhurst.

We’ve worked hard to remove encroaching scrub from these four meadows over the years, since they are designated for their grassland wildflower interest as a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). A few years ago we felled a double row of mature birch and alder along one of the ditches, to reduce shading of the meadow and promote aquatic and riparian vegetation. The volunteer task this week was to cut back the scrub regrowth.

Elevated fire site

Surprisingly open-aspect ditches are quite rare, as they often get filled in or scrubbed over, so the volunteers’ work has made a real difference to restoring the ditch habitat. Last year I saw dragonflies coursing along the ditch there, so it will be interesting to see what other wildlife arrives.

A ditch emerges from the meadow

freshly opened up ditch

Senior 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’.
This entry was posted in Blackwater Valley SSSI, Conservation, River, Volunteers, Wildlife and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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