Swild daffodiltroud Valleys Project is 30 years old this year! I have been with the organisation for 12 years (I can’t believe it!) and we have seen so many changes with the times. We started in 1988 and I recently looked at the original letter sent out inviting people to the very first meeting to set up Stroud Valleys Project at the Sub Rooms. We plan to celebrate throughout the year and hope you will join us. We will be looking back over the last 30 years, and if you have any past memories of working with us, or photos you can share I would love to hear from you.

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Stuart Singers PhotoI love Christmas but about now I notice how much extra waste and recycling we have generated so I thought it would be good to think about a few Christmas recycling ideas to take us into a greener New Year.

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 Pumpkins and Plastics

 Save your pumpkins for the competition! Pumpkins

This year’s event takes place on Sunday 29 October 2017. As in past years, there will be Apple Pressing Workshops in The Walled Garden at The Museum in the Park from 11-12.30pm and 2-3pm. You are welcome to bring some of your own apples and have a go at making your own juice. There will be a pop up cafe from 11 to 4pm, and later there will be music, hot apple juice and pizza.

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Green burial pr imageLocal environmental organisation, Stroud Valleys Project, are hoping to create the areas first green burial ground, and are on the look out for a suitable piece of land.

Chief Executive Clare Mahdiyone said, “We want to create a burial ground without headstones, where trees and wildflowers flourish and wildlife thrives, a place of peace and reflection where those who have lost someone dear to them can find solace and healing in nature.

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Organic Seed CatalogueWe are very grateful for the lovely support we have been offered by the Organic Seed Catalogue which enables us to have organic shallots and onions in the new year to sell in our shop.  These will be the perfect accompaniment to our collection of Biodynamic Seeds which we always have.

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We are excited to be starting work on phase 2 of our Sensory Garden in Stratford Park. We are working in partnership with Stroud District Council and id verde who undertake grounds maintenance on the site. We worked with Daisybank Garden Design to develop a plan and over the coming months we will need volunteers to join us to work in the garden. Please get in touch if you are interested in getting involved. In the future we will also be looking for community groups to come and help us develop our ideas and take on parts of the garden.

Are you looking for summer holiday activities? We have lots of things planned in and around Stroud including our Family Pond Dipping Sessions on Wednesday 16 August. There are three sessions at 10am, 10.45am and 11.30am where families will have a hands-on opportunity to get a closer look at the exciting variety of creatures that live in our ponds. Or why not join us for a Family Walk on Wednesday 23 August 10am - 1.30pm. We will spend the morning walking from playground to playground with fun activities along the way (sorry but this event is not suitable for pushchairs). The cost for each of these events is £2/child per session (adults free) – all children must be accompanied by an adult! DSC6473

We also have a Fossil Walk on Saturday 2 September 1pm - 3pm. The Gloucestershire Geology Trust will be taking us on a guided walk along the shore of the Severn at Hock Cliff to find fossils embedded in the mud shale. This can be a muddy and slippery walk so good shoes or boots are essential. This is a family event suitable for children (cost for this event is £5/adult & £2/child).

Booking is essential for all the above events - call Stroud Valleys Project on 01453 753358.

Photo : © John Ockham

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I have spent the last five days doing work experience with Stroud Valleys Project. Through the course of the week I have learnt lots, discovered more about the charity and what is does as well as finding out more about work in conservation.

At the beginning of the week, I worked with Tamsin and some volunteers at the allotments, Queen Elizabeth ii Playing Fields and the eco shop. On these days I learnt:

  • About Stroud Valleys Project’s work with the local communities to give people the opportunity to build healthier and greener places, for example the allotments allow people access to fresh fruit and veg and the park gives locals green, wildlife rich places to go.
  • The maintenance of green spaces to encourage a greater biodiversity in the area.

I have spent the remaining days with Richard and many other volunteers. During these days we have worked at the sensory garden in Stratford Park and the Omnitrack gardens in Rodborough Court. I have learnt a lot about management of green spaces and seen the massive improvements and differences their volunteer groups make. I have also got to know the volunteers better and enjoyed talking and working with them and have seen the positive benefits that the work has on the volunteers and their well being.

I have very much enjoyed my time with the Stroud Valleys Project and think that it has benefited me greatly and allowed me to get some genuine experience with a local environmental charity that works effectively with local communities. I would definitely recommend this work experience to anyone who has an interest in the environment, conservation, sustainable living and working with people.

Amber Uttley



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sfn-final-logo-2015-copy-2Stroud Festival of Nature 2017 officially started at the weekend and for the next 3 months there are plenty of lovely events and activities happening in the Stroud area that you can join in with – programmes are available to pick up around the town, including from our eco shop. 

Our commons are special places, especially at this time of the year with all the orchids coming into flower. If you would like to learn more about them you could join us on our Annual Orchid Walk on Edge/Rudge Hill Common on Saturday 10 June from 6pm -8pm. The walk will start with a short introduction from Paul Griffiths about the history of the common, what wildflowers and orchids may be seen and a brief introduction to the grazing and management of the common for the rare Duke of Burgundy butterfly.

On the same weekend we have the Hidden Gardens and Sculptures of Rodborough Trail Saturday 10 and Sunday 11June, 11am to 5pm. Over two days this year, it promises to be a visual extravaganza, and is an exciting addition to Stroud’s calendar of key cultural events. Gardeners will be throwing open their garden gates to welcome hordes of garden enthusiasts and art lovers. We will have an eco shop stall on the Sunday for all your gardening needs so come along and find us. We are delighted to say that we are a charity beneficiary of this event.

But before that, why not come along to our Plant Swap on Saturday 3rd June at SVP eco shop from 10.30am to 1pm. Perhaps like mine, all your seedlings have grown two leaves and died; or maybe you have a glut of tomato seedlings that you would like to swap. Bring along your surplus seedlings and exchange them for different flowers or vegetables. I will be hoping some of you turn up with some beans and courgette plants! Even if you have nothing to swap, you can still take some for a donation. It’s a great way to meet other gardeners and to share advice and knowledge.


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Spring is here! The natural world is waking up and it’s a fantastic time to get out and about to learn more about your local environment. We are running some great events to celebrate the spring – so do come into the eco shop and pick up our new events programme.

MinchinhamptonCommonMarkingDay CopyrightDeborahRoberts 35.P1050143resize

We all love the beautiful open spaces of Rodborough and Minchinhampton Commons. This year we are delighted to be working with the National Trust, Natural England and Stroud District Council to help secure their future enjoyment by us all.  Increasing numbers of visitors can have a damaging impact on this delicate wildflower-rich limestone grassland, so together we are working to produce a leaflet explaining what we can all do to help take care of the Commons.  

Photo : © Deb Roberts

The sight of cows on the common is familiar to us all – but not everyone will realise that they play an essential role in grazing the Commons and maintaining the rich wildlife. ‘Marking Day’, the traditional day the cows go out to graze for the summer is on Saturday 13th May. This year, there will be activities for all the family and the opportunity to learn about the wildlife and history of the Commons, to celebrate Marking Day, including a talk by National Trust butterfly expert Matthew Oates. Come and join us around The Old Lodge on Minchinhampton Common between 11am and 3pm!  

Or join us for our annual great crested newt survey of Stonehouse newt pond. We will set newt traps the evening before from 7.30pm on the 28th April and conduct a torch survey. Next morning from 7.30am we will inspect the traps to see what we have in them.  After getting up so early, join us for a networking breakfast at Stonehouse Court Hotel where we will be interested to hear your views on the conservation and preservation of Great crested newts across the County. Cost for the survey Adults £5 Children £3, for the breakfast Adults £15 Children £5.


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At last it’s starting to feel like spring; it’s warmer and the daffodils are always cheering when they appear everywhere. Customers in our eco shop are all buying seeds which has become a sure sign of spring for us! We had a busy seed swap last month and now we are preparing raised beds and planting at our allotment for our Plant Sale on 3 June. If you are sowing seeds and growing seedlings please plant a few extra for our Plant Sale which helps to raise funds for our charity.

We have started our new project working on Rodborough Common in partnership with National Trust, Stroud District Council, Natural England and the graziers on the commons. We are organising a joint event for Marking Day when the cows are released on the commons on Saturday 13th May and we are looking for volunteers to work with us on organising and running this event.

Wild daffodils are flowering at Queen

Elizabeth Playing Fields and Capel’s Mill

It’s your last chance to book a place on Water Butts our Drain Pipes workshop on Saturday 25 March 2017 from 10am to 12. Come and learn how to install a water butt on a shed and fix some drain pipes, too. Cost is £15. Please call us to book a place.  

We are concerned about the future of the Sub Rooms. Now is the time to get involved and show your support for this lovely venue in the centre of Stroud. Please get involved with the Subscription Rooms consultation. Deadline for expressions of interest is 12th April.

Finally, do join us to herald the spring and hear the birds in the Chalford Valley Walk on Wednesday 26th April at 10am-12.30, finishing at the Lavender tea rooms in Chalford.


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Stroud Valleys Project is a limited company,
registered in England and Wales

Registered number: 2224016    

Registered charity number: 900107


Stroud Valleys Project

8 Threadneedle Street




Tel: 01453 753358

Email: info@stroudvalleysproject.org

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instagram@svpcharity / @svpecoshop