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’.

Roving at Rowhill – a transformed boardwalk

Today I popped down to Rowhill to see the newly-installed replacement boardwalk, and took some comparison photos to show the dramatic transformation. The earlier wooden boardwalk through an area of wet woodland, was showing it’s age and had become uneven … Continue reading

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Rowhill Boardwalk

This week the Blackwater Valley Rangers went to Rowhill Nature Reserve to install the long awaited Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is made of recycled plastic which in the very wet condition will last for many  years, opposed to the wooden version … Continue reading

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Goldfinch

I spotted this tame Goldfinch harvesting seeds from Forget-me-nots. Senior Ranger Stuart

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Stu’s Back.

Good Morning All, Tuesday was my first day back at Ash lock. For me and my family it has been a very long lockdown. Working from home for me was interesting, as you know I am a practical go out … Continue reading

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A gripping saga!

It all started during lockdown! When restrictions were lifted slightly and we were classed as keyworkers, I was able to visit some of our sites to carry out inspections, which included looking at everything such as the fences, gates, bins, … Continue reading

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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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