Author Archives: blackwatervalleycountryside

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’.

Common Carder Bee

This fluffy bumblebee looks like a Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum), with the ginger top of the thorax and cream & black hairs in the abdomen. ID can be a challenge as colouring varies a lot between individuals, location and … Continue reading

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Is it a Podgy Hoverfly?

There’s been a bizarre black buzzing insect in the garden. It zips speedily around flowers then loiters with expert hovering, like a podgy Hoverfly. In a few lucky photos, I managed to identify it as a Hairy-footed Flower Bee (Anthophora … Continue reading

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Reopening Ash Green Meadows and Wellesley Woodlands Car Parks

In line with the new government guidance today we are reopening the car parks at Wellesley Woodlands and Ash Green Meadows. Enjoy the fresh air but please keep your 2m distance from other users.

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Enjoying the outdoors and being tick aware

Now we’re into the warm spring, it’s useful to know how to keep safe from ticks and reduce the possibility of catching Lyme Disease when you’re exploring the countryside, local park or your garden. Only a small number of ticks are infected … Continue reading

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Unlikely place to find Bees #1

I’m now attracting strange looks from the neighbours as I stare at the patio in my back garden, – not the first place you’d think of to discover wildlife. An insect was darting around the holes dug between the patio … Continue reading

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Post Storm Boardwalk Repair

After the last storm a month or so ago the Blackwater Valley rangers had a call of a broken section of boardwalk at Ash Green Meadows. I thought this would be a good test and some training for our regular … Continue reading

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The Birds and the Bees

Well it didn’t take long for the solitary bees to start breeding, after only starting emerging a couple of weeks ago. The Red Mason Bees (which I’ve found out have been renamed to Osmia bicornis) are already nesting in holes in … Continue reading

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