The Landscape Partnership: In 2018, The Colne Valley Regional Park was successful in its bid for £1.6m worth of National Lottery funding. This will be augmented by a further £900k of local funding. The Landscape Partnership brings together wildlife organisations, local authorities, and water companies, and is led by community charity Groundwork South. The partnership has identified 19 projects to be delivered by 2022.
Positive Management Project
The aims of this project is to improve and enhance several sites across the Colne Valley to make them more attractive to both people and wildlife. At the heart of every project is the idea that we want people to feel better connected to the countryside around them. As a result; increased information, clearer signage and the creation of better walking routes are central to each site that we’ve selected for improvement. The Landscape Partnership Scheme is also passionate about allowing wildlife to thrive and has put the needs of nature at the forefront of the positive management project. The creation of open woodland glades for bats and the erection of bird and bat boxes are 2 good examples of positive management that directly benefits our native wildlife. In total this project is going to improve 5 sites across the valley and we have included an example of one site, Denham Quarry Woodlands, below.
Denham Quarry Woodlands:
Denham Quarry is an area of woodland located just off Moorhall Road in Harefield, Hillingdon. It serves as an important site through which the Colne Valley Trail connects Harefield to Denham and Uxbridge further south. The site contains a mixed species woodland, areas of scrub and bramble and backs onto a lake managed by a local fishing club. Unfortunately the site has suffered from vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the past and the the main entrance off Moorhall Road has become particularly unsightly. This project aims to remove any litter, erect new fencing and an accessible kissing gate and tidy up the messy vegetation obstructing the footpaths. It is also hoped some artwork fencing containing the name of the site will at the entrance will enhance the street scene.
This should serve to improve the whole experience for visitors and encourage more people to engage with what is a lovely site and help us care for the site in the future. The mixed woodland and scrub is already home to a variety of native birds. Selective tree thinning will be carried out to increase the diversity of the woodland and improve the habitat even further. This will be complemented by new bird and bat boxes which will provide a home for some of our fascinating local wildlife. All in all we hope that Denham Quarry Woodlands and the other 4 sites chosen will bring the countryside and nature closer to people and provide wildlife with more homes in our Colne Valley.
Denham Quarry entrance which needs improvement
We have been working hard to improve a small strip of unmanaged woodland along Swallow Street in Iver to provide local people with a pleasant and safe walk away from the busy main road. As the site had been unmanaged for some time, it was heavily overgrown, had no established footpath and was covered in litter and rubble. With support from South Bucks and Chilterns District Council we have removed a lot of the rubble and cleared a path through the previously inaccessible woodland. We’ve graded the surface and installed a new gravel footpath along the length of the site. This is now bordered at both ends by new secure metal fencing and disabled access kissing gates. This should serve to reduce the risk of fly tipping and increase the use of the site. Along with this we have removed some potentially dangerous trees and installed a bench half way along the site with a viewpoint over the adjacent field. We have just got to put the finishing touches to the site with carved wooden entrance signs that we hope will be finished in the coming months.
Footpath before and after at Swallow Street
South Entrance before and after at Swallow Street
Maple Lodge Marsh-Pond Works
As part of the Positive Management Project, with funding provided by Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and the Lottery Heritage Funding, we have made some important improvements to Maple Lodge Marsh near Maple Cross. Find our more here.
Maple Lodge Ponds Before and After Photo