Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), all works and meetings are temporarily on hold.
Horsted Valley 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 and cycling routes, as well as interpretation trails, 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.
Our most recent drop-in session was 21 September 2019. This was a very successful event, attended by around 100 people at two sessions at the 25th Medway Scout Hut and Fort Luton.
On the day we had a questionnaire that more than 70 people filled out that let us know how local residents use Horsted Valley, whether they were happy with the proposals and their 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. We also had more than 20 people sign up to become a Friend of Horsted Valley, meaning the group can be re-established.
Work completed so far includes:
- successfully led bids to create a new pocket park in the Luton Millennium Green, in 2017. More than £40,000 was 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 keeping the site looking good
- improvements to Vale Drive and Barnfield play areas in 2018
- installed fencing and inhibitors to stop unauthorised motorbike access at the main entrance points and more works to follow
- an introductory meeting to the Friends of Horsted Valley took place on 25 January 2020 and over 20 people signed up to become Friends once established. After this a working group was formed
- Our Public Rights of Way Team has produced a walking route map which is useful for exploring the valley. Posts are in the ground to guide users through the walks. The leaflet will be available soon
Further works and steps include:
- An Extraordinary General Meeting will be held to form a new Friends of Horsted Valley group.
- The footpath construction from Concord Avenue to Walderslade Road is currently delayed.
- Interpretation boards, a Horsted Valley identity logo and welcome signs are being designed. Installation and supply will be delayed.
- We are working with Kent Wildlife Trust to make the area suitable for cattle to benefit the chalk grassland’s biodiversity potential. A grazing consultation will take place so that we can share ideas and hear your views.
- We are working with Medway Norse to manage the field next to Horsted Park, to create a mowing regime sympathetic to the reptile potential on the site and that maintains a circular walking route.
Our Public Rights of Way Team have produced a walking route map which is useful for exploring the valley. Posts are also in the ground to guide users through the walks.