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Spennells Valley

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Spennells Valley Local Nature Reserve covers an area of 15.7 hectares (39 acres). Located along the banks of the Hoo Brook and its tributaries, the site is fragmented and interspersed with the Spennells Valley housing estate.

The site is facilitated by ample car parking, which may be accessed from Heronswood Road, DY10 4DG (grid reference SO 84397 75036). The site has a way-marked circular board walk trail which is extensively used by local residents and visitors.

The habitats of Spennells Valley include marshland, dry woodland and damp woodland. The damp woodland is dominated by alder and willow, as well as fine examples of the nationally rare black poplar. The extensive wetland areas on this site form an important corridor link between Wilden Marsh SSSI to the south and the upper Hoo Brook pools to the north. Compartments of the site are periodically grazed by our Shetland cattle as part of our management objective; to conserve the marshland habitat.

An exciting project is underway to extend the existing nature reserve through the reclamation of a section of the neighbouring sports field. The project is being run in conjunction with the Environment Agency and aims to significantly increase the biodiversity of the Hoo Brook and the surrounding area. Several ponds will be constructed; of these, some will be isolated and others linked to the brook itself through a small inlet. This will provide diverse habitats for plants, invertebrates and other fauna.

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