Black Water Valley

The Blackwater Valley is maintained as an open space between the borders of the English counties of Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey. It runs for approximately 30 km, from the source, near Aldershot in the south, northwards to Swallowfield and the confluence with the rivers Whitewater and Loddon.

As well as the Blackwater Valley SSSI, a small part of the Basingstoke Canal SSSI, and three nature reserves and many other areas have been recognised for their ecological importance. The local planning authorities have designated 31 other areas as Wildlife Sites.

Their are also many other recreational and countryside opportunities available in the valley.

The Blackwater Valley creates a valuable wildlife corridor between local towns along the River Blackwater on the borders of Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire, from Farnham to Eversley.

The Valley supports a large variety of wildlife, flora and fauna within a diversity of habitats including:

  • · grasslands
  • · river
  • · lakes and ponds
  • · wetlands
  • · woodlands
  • A full colour guide to the 30 species of Dragonflies and Damselflies of found in the Valley has been recently published and retails at direct from Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership.

BLACKWATER VALLEY SPORTS CENTRE This site has been created through the restoration of former gravel pits and is now a complex of 3 lakes that are used for:

· water-skiing

· wakeboarding

· jet-skiing

Facilities also include:

· club boat slalom course on a

sheltered lake

· private boat owners lake

· jet ski members lake

The site is managed by Blackwater Valley Watersports and they have recently been granted planning permission to build new and improved facilities on site.

For further information

Contact Len or Dean Russell, telephone 01252 871182

Angling in the Blackwater Valley

The Blackwater Valley ranks as one of the best regions for coarse fishing in England. Within the 20 miles, along the county borders of Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey, there are:

  • · almost 60 still waters
  • · an improving River Blackwater
  • · the Basingstoke Canal.
  • The still water has been created over a long period due to gravel extraction and now many of the still waters in the Valley are lined with mature trees. Typical of these are Yateley Lakes  contains some of Britain’s largest carp, as well as a wide variety of other species.
  • Willow Park and Gold Valley Lakes  are commercial day ticket fisheries, which are well stocked and popular with all types of angler, but they are especially famed for the match angling opportunities they provide. The premiere sites are well known in the fishing world and attract anglers from all over Britain and Europe.

    The River Blackwater, which was once badly polluted has been the subject of a sustained clean up campaign and now supports healthy stocks, with barbel and trout returning to the lower stretches of the river in recent years.

    From the avid match angler, specimen hunter to the absolute beginners, anyone with an interest in fishing will find something on offer to them in the Valley.

    A number of local clubs and commercial fisheries offer coaching and loan tackle. Many have facilities and are able to provide assistance for juniors and people who have a disability.

Blackwater Valley Golf

This is a 9 hole, 2,245 yard Par 34 golf

course with a 30 bay driving range
which is floodlit and under coverfor all
year round use. Clubhouse facilities
include a pro-golf shop, changing rooms
and licensed bar.

The Club offers a variety
of lesson and membership

  • · Academy Membership costs Ł49 per year
  • · Lessons for Juniors (8-14 years old) take place on Saturday mornings
  • · Private and nine week beginners courses are held.
  • · Turn up and Pay as you Play from as little as Ł7.
  • Full membership of the club is currently open and in becoming a full member all green fees are paid for the year.
  • For further information

  • · Telephone: 01252 874725
  • · Website: Blackwater Valley Golf

Horse riding in the Blackwater Valley

Many horses are kept in the Valley and riding is a popular activity. Bridleway links in the South and the North of the Valley allow horse riders to enjoy hacking over the local countryside and heathlands.

To increase links for horse riders new bridleways are being created and footpaths upgraded to bridleway status when the opportunity arises. New bridleways have been opened at Horseshoe Lake

Due to the potential conflicts with other users we request that horseriders do not use the riverside footpath.

Riding Schools

Hawley Equitation Centre

Hawley Park Road
Tel: 01276 31990

Ryecroft School of Equitation

New Mill Lane
RG27 0RA
Tel: 0118 973 2761

Children’s lessons for 5 years old & up, BHS exam centre, good hacking over Bramshill Common.

Kiln Cottage Stables

Kiln Cottage
Badshot Farm Lane
Badshot Lea
Tel: 01252 333200

Cycling in the Blackwater Valley

Cycling is a very enjoyable and exciting pursuit and is fast becoming the most popular recreational pastime nationally.

Recognising this the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership is developing recreational cycle routes in the Valley that will link to cycle routes already established by many of the local authorities.

The northern part of the Blackwater Valley Path has multi-user sections that are suitable for cycling (but please take care of other Path users):

  • · Pea Bridge to Shawfields
  • · Shawfields to Hollybush Pits
  • · Hollybush Pits to Coleford Bridge
  • · Coleford Bridge to M3 Bridge
  • There are on and off-road cycling opportunities nearby:
  • · Surrey Cycleway (from Farnham)
  • · Ash Ranges
  • · Bracknell Forest
  • · Hawley Common
  • · Yateley Heath Wood
  • · Warren Heath
  • · Basingstoke Canal towpath


Blackwater Valley Path

This is a new long distance path following the River Blackwater from its source in Rowhill Nature Reserve to Swallowfield and the confluence with the rivers Whitewater and Loddon.

A guide booklet  entitled ‘Blackwater Valley Path’ contains detailed information and maps to help you find your way.

FROM   Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership
Ash Lock Cottage, Government Road, Aldershot, Hampshire GU11 2PS

Much of the conservation and practical habitat management tasks in the Valley are carried out by volunteers and there are many local groups working to improve the Blackwater Valley area.

[Hampshire Attractions]