Our Riverside Nature Area

This area is a hidden gem accessible from the bottom of Don Street in Springvale. It is around an acre on the bank of the River Don. Springvale Community Garden hold this land in trust for the benefit of the community. There is a path leading down the bank, across the marshy area and along the riverside until it climbs up again. Near the riverside there are picnic benches.

Anyone is free to visit and it is open access

This lovely testimonial will show you why we love it here so much …..

Visited Springvale Riverside Nature Area last Thursday 22nd April. 
Had a marvellous time in the sunshine. 
No-one there except me (save one dog-walker). Everywhere was very dry, but lovely sunny and warm. 
I was very thrilled to see two Dippers flying fast and low, downstream in unison, together side by side in formation. 
Shortly afterwards then came a magical streak of blue – a Kingfisher,  flying low upstream and then a little later, it flew low along the river again, returning back downstream. (Or was it its mate?). 
The sound of the River Don, slowly,  gurgling gently and rippling on its way was very tranquil and soothing. The river was quite low at this point and perhaps these water birds were visiting deeper stretches of the river. Other birds seen and singing were Chiffchaff, Song Thrush, Wren, Blackbird, Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Magpie, Woodpigeon and 2 Mallard were on the river. 
Spring Butterflies were in promising numbers: 16 Orange Tip, 4 Brimstone, 6 Peacock, 6 Comma and 2 Small White. Flowers included Buttercups, Lesser Celandines, Wood Anenomies, Butterbur, Dandelion and some Bluebells were showing through. Mostly bare trees at this stage were punctuated by some lovely Blackthorn in full, glorious, white spangled blossom. 
This restful, unspoilt area has much potential and promise. 
Unfortunately, I didn’t take my camera. 
More visits needed soon. A memorable visit and a relaxing antidote to locked-down blues. 

Thank you Alwyn …. and for your amazing photographs!

Over the years volunteers from Springvale Community Garden and occasional corporate volunteers have kept the site reasonably accessible. It’s not an easy task! We’ve also cleared areas on the bank and allowed the bluebells to flourish again. Older residents fondly remember sledging down this bank and that is a possibility again.

We have planted around 400 native species trees donated by the Woodland Trust and plan planting more. Our goal for this amazing green space is that the access and paths are kept safe. We want to encourage more people to use it and enjoy it. Now more than ever we are appreciating the value of open, green spaces for our physical and mental wellbeing.

We want to encourage schools and local groups to take advantage of the area for fun and education. Hopefully they can go hand in hand!

The structural work on the paths and walkways has been started with help from BMBC and Ward Alliance and the Co-op Community Funding will mean we can carry on renewing and replacing worn out and unsafe timbers and filling.

We also plan to install new signage to let everyone know what to look out for and what is special about the Riverside Nature Area.

We plan to create a resource pack to download from our website so families and schools can appreciate the area and have an enjoyable and educational visit.

You can nominate us as your good cause with the coop by following this link https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes/48746

Our aim is to engage and enthuse the local community to help look after the area. That has been difficult with the area being neglected. The great thing is that volunteers can help out anytime as the site is always open.

We envisage the area being well used by schools, scouts, brownies, dog walkers, families and anyone who wants to explore this natural pocket of Springvale.

Get in touch if you have ideas or would like more information!

Contact Springvale Community Garden on springvalecommunitygarden@yahoo.co.uk

Visit facebook/SpringvaleCommunityGarden