Horsted Valley open space is a mosaic of natural habitats ranging from rare chalk grasslands to ancient semi-natural woodland. Along with important landscape and ecological features it includes amenities such as football pitches, play areas and walking routes.
We are working on a project aiming to promote access through Horsted Valley by formalising walking routes, as well as interpretation panels, so that users can learn while exercising or enjoying the site.
This project also aims to encourage community involvement, grow existing and new partnerships, and increase the value of our natural capital.
Please report any sightings of illegal vehicles in Horsted Valley to the police non-emergency number, 101, or on the Kent Police website.
Let's Talk Horsted Valley events
These events are a chance for local residents, businesses, Kent Wildlife Trust, the Friends of Horsted Valley, councillors and others to come together. At these events people can share ideas for potential enhancements to the valley in terms of management, access, walking and cycling, wildlife and interpretation.
Over 100 people attended our 2019 event at 25th Medway Scout Hut and Fort Luton. Over 70 of them responded to a questionnaire about how they use Horsted Valley, the update on proposals and if they had any concerns.
The results have been collated and the majority are happy with the proposals for promoting walking and cycling as well as getting cattle back to manage the grass and scrub.
Work completed so far includes:
- successfully led bids to create a new pocket park within the Luton Millennium Green. Over £40,000 has been invested in creating an area of natural play, raised flower and vegetable beds, the planting of 30 orchard trees alongside new paths, fences and increased maintenance. Local volunteers have played an important role in maintaining the site for everyone’s enjoyment
- Vale Drive and Barnfield play areas have benefited from updates and improvements
- Village Green Status has been approved to include Daisy and Coney Banks as well as Barnfield
- new motorbike restriction has been built in August 2020 on the Public footpath next to Vale Drive play area
- a new bench paid for by Ward Improvement Funding was installed at the top of Horsted Farm with views over to Snodhurst Avenue
- 4 new welcome signs and 7 interpretation boards were installed in August 2021.
- fencing and inhibitors have been installed to stop unauthorised motorbike access at the main entrance points and more works will follow
- an introductory meeting to the Friends of Horsted Valley took place earlier this year where over 20 people signed up to become Friends once established. A working group was formed that looked at memberships, committee members and next steps moving forward
- our Public Rights of Way team have produced a walking route map which and is a useful way to help explore the valley. Wayfinding signs have also been installed along the routes to keep walkers on track
- a new crushed stone footpath from Concorde Avenue entrance meeting the existing path to the Walderslade Road entrance was completed in August 2020
- new fencing to restrict motorbikes around the Horsted Park development area entering Horsted Farm fields was installed in October 2020
- new restriction signs have been put up around the greenspace to enforce no Littering, no unauthorised vehicles and no dog fouling.
Further work and next steps
Further work includes:
- exploring options to get cattle grazing on the grasslands
- using the remainder of the money from the pitch or pavilion improvements at Barnfield.
Our Public Rights of Way Team have produced a walking route map which is useful for exploring the valley.
For more information about Horsted Valley open space please contact: email@example.com