Updated Volunteer Programme for May

Volunteer task programme May 2017


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Volunteers recognised in Guildford award ceremony

Chris and Kathy joined us to accept an award on behalf of the Blackwater Valley Countryside Volunteers from the Mayor of Guildford Borough Council. As two of our longest serving volunteers, it was fantastic to be able to share the swanky Guildhall Reception with them. Also we caught up with old friends including Dr Sue Dent who was representing the Snaky Lane Volunteers.

Our award

The Guildhall Presentation Ceremony

The formal occasion also led to a rather startling moment for my colleagues when I changed in the office in to my suit. It was suggested that I roll up the trouser legs to feel more at home. Here’s photographic proof of the rare sighting of a smart ranger.

Chris, Kathy and I

Ranger Stuart

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Surrey Hills Spring Clean

Our latest volunteer task here at Blackwater Valley was to give one of our roadside sites by the Hog’s Back a spring clean.


The job of the day was to remove some old rabbit fencing that had no use anymore. This proved difficult as trees had ground through the fence and the wire had been dug into the ground and pegged down. So once Mike, Eric, Melvyn and Tony had removed all the staples and long bits of wire Duncan, Paul and Jon got to digging. We then used rope to attach the end of the fence to our ride on mower which proved to have enough grunt to pull the fencing from the ground (with a lot of help from Duncan’s digging and Paul’s pulling).

Whilst the fencing was coming out Chris got to strimming the path and the verge. Carefully missing the cowslips which had not yet gone to seed. Tony and Melvyn then provided the finishing touches by litter picking and blowing the path.


Cutting the verge now will reduce the more dominant faster growing species from taking over and give more wildflowers a chance to flourish. If your interested in wildflowers and invertebrates or just want a nice walk/cycle through the countryside its definitely worth a visit.

Ast. Ranger Jenny

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Nurturing a New Path at the Swan Lake Allotments

Last week Jenny, Andrew, the volunteers and I, finished off our project to lay a new path through the allotments. The old muddy central track was pot-holed, so it was good to be able to provide a new raised surface. Andrew and I popped down to take delivery of the first 20 tonnes of gravel, a spectacular sight until you realise it all needs to be moved.

We laid out weed-suppressing membrane along the 80m of track, and started barrowing the recycled hardcore material into place. We were lucky to have the help of 3 volunteers armed with wheelbarrows who did a fantastic job.

Laying terram material

By raking around the recycled material we covered up the rubbly patches with the dust fines to provide a more even surface. The rather bizarre sight of Phil hosing down the new track, was to reduce dust and help the surface bind when Andrew used the whacker plate.

Andrew tamping the surface

Watering the new path

Over the first two days we laid 40 tonne of material on the allotment path. After that we brought in our Kubota tractor to help us load our tipping trailer to lay a further 18 tonnes on the Swan Lake circular path. This was ideal to fill in the areas which were too wet to lay originally and to even out the dips. A huge thank you to the all the volunteers who joined us over the four day project, donating 14 volunteer days to help us.

Jenny tractor loading

Ranger Stuart

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Lost dog at Wellesley Woodlands

Whilst Andy and I were out litter picking today at Rushmoor Bottom a small, dirty white dog ran up to our truck. After a few moments, with help from a passing member of the public I was able to slip a lead onto him and get him in our truck.

If anyone knows who this sweet little boy is, please let us or Rushmoor Borough Council know.  We believe he’s a Bichon Frise.

Assistant Ranger Laura

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Stumping the Valley

We’ve now been working on the stumpery project alongside the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust for over a year now on the Stag Beetle Stumperies and we’re pleased with our results so far.  We will keep adding to the collection gradually as the habitat will always be needed but we thought you might like to see what we’ve achieved.

Assistant Ranger Laura

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New Volunteer Programme Published

Here is our new conservation task programme.

Volunteer task programme April to May 2017

Ranger Stuart




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