Valley Park Local Nature Reserve
The primary aims of the management of Valley Park Woodlands are as follows:
- Conservation - the woods are a valuable resource of flora and fauna. Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW) is locally and nationally important. Active management will be sympathetic to existing habitats whilst creating new ones to enhance the conservation value of the site.
- Recreation - due to the proximity of the housing development to the woodland, pressure on the woodland is high, with the site already well used by local residents for dog walking and informal recreation. It is vital that the woodland habitats are not degraded by public access and are protected with a visual presence of Countryside Officers and education.
- Archaeology - Historically the woodlands formed part of the New Forest and through development and forest clearance has now become separated, and is therefore an important relic of the past. Various upstanding archaeological structures still exist which are classed as nationally important and for which Scheduled Ancient Monument Status will be sought from English Heritage. One such feature is an iron age enclosure within Zionshill Copse, with interpretation boards located on-site explaining this archaeological feature.
The woodlands are as rich in wildlife as they are in history and archaeology, with bluebells and early purple orchids blooming through the spring and summer feeding a variety of insects, birds and mammals. For more information on the management of Valley Park Woodlands, please see the most recent Management Plan for the site via the link.