Blackwater Valley Countryside

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Hawley MeadowThe conservation of the landscape and wildlife habitats in the Valley has been of prime importance since work to improve the Valley began in the 1970s.

Great effort has been taken to identify and protect the many sites already rich in wildlife such as the remaining undamaged ancient meadow and woodland areas. This has allowed the establishment of two nature reserves at:

Nature reserves based on the old gravel pits have been specially created at:

But the approach to conservation in the Valley is much wider than the demarcation of nature reserves as the whole Valley has a role to play as a unified wildlife corridor.

Opportunities to protect and enhance wildlife is taken where ever they arise, whether it be an old landfill site or alongside a busy road.

Identifying grasses at Lakeside ParkNew wild flower rich meadows are being created, hedges planted and ponds excavated. Ecological principle are considered important when establishing the new recreational sites for instance the Blackwater Valley Golf Course has a network of ponds and predominantly native trees planted whilst a bat cave has been constructed within one of the angling venues.

The result of 30 years work has been to create Valley rich in wildlife; but work is in no way regarded as finished:

  • Biological Action Plans will drive future conservation work in the Valley
  • The Service is working in partnership with other interested parties to produce the Loddon Catchment Biodiversity Strategy to ensure future projects are co-ordinated and achieve maximum benefit for our wildlife

Further information

For example of specific conservation actions on the various habitats see:

For information on the incorporation of ecological principles across the Blackwater Valley and the identification of Biological Action Plans see the special projects page.