BCV organised two of the longer walks in this year's National Forest Walking Festival programme.

On the first Sunday of the festival our 10-mile Coton & the Mease Valley route took in five villages on the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border: Coton-in-the-Elms, Edingdale, Harlaston, Haunton and Lullington. We had an excellent turnout of 22 people (including seven from BCV), encouraged by the glorious weather. All seemed to enjoy the walk, particularly the welcome pub stop at the Colvile Arms towards the end.

On the second Saturday, the weather had unfortunately taken a turn for the worse for our annual 12-mile Washlands to Walton Walk, with occasional heavy showers the order of the day. Twelve people did the walk, slightly down on previous years. The route has evolved over the years, now showcasing the new Branston Leas wildlife site - and the entire walk is now stile-free!

Lawrence was also involved in a few of the other festival walks on behalf of the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and the Tatenhill & Rangemore parish council.

The pictures below show the River Mease near Edingdale, and Lawrence showing off his favourite tree in the Burton Mail Woodland.

(May 2017)

River Mease

Burton Mail Woodland


Here are a couple of pictures from our work day at Barton Blount Hall, a country house estate in rural Derbyshire. As a follow-on from a project that we started the previous year, we did some garden restoration work and cleared a section of the watercourse, the aim being to create an outdoor area suitable for people with mental welfare problems. (April 2017)

Barton Blount

Barton Blount


In 2016 we carried out a total 563 volunteer work days - these included local work tasks in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire, and weekend projects further afield in Herefordshire and Lancashire. Details are in our Annual Report and Task List - links below. (June 2017)

Annual Report 2016 | Task List 2016


Burton Conservation Volunteers are organising three walks as part of the 2017 National Forest Walking Festival. All of the walks are free of charge.

COTON AND THE MEASE VALLEY - Sun 14th May 10.00am (9 miles)

A chance to explore the rural southernmost part of Derbyshire including some attractive villages on both sides of the River Mease on this circular 9-mile walk. Bring food and drink for the walk - stop for lunch break along the route. There may also be a pub stop if there is sufficient interest. Meet at 10.00am outside St Mary's Church, Coton-in-the-Elms, DE12 8HG (grid ref. SK 243 154). On-street parking on Elms Road. All welcome including well-behaved dogs. Arrive back at Coton by around 3.30pm.

REAP WHAT YOU SOW WALK - Wed 17th May 2.00 pm (1.5 miles)

Another chance to see fruit trees planted for the Reap What You Sow project, and the series of black poplars planted as a "living map" to mark out the old Peels Cut waterway across the Washlands. Meet at 2.00pm at the Burton Mail Woodland car park (free of charge) off Watson Street behind Tesco (grid ref. SK 250 220).

WASHLANDS TO WALTON WALK - Sat 20th May 10.00 am (12 miles)

Our regular 12-mile circular walk from Burton Washlands, following the River Trent to Walton, then crossing to Barton Marina for a lunch stop, and then returning along the Trent & Mersey Canal towpath, through Branston Water Park and Branston Golf Club, back to the Washlands.

Along the route there are many projects that BCV have worked on over the last 24 years including a woodland and orchard on the golf course, a community orchard at Paget School, hedge-laying on the Trent Washlands, and a newly-planted woodland for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust at Branston Leas. We will also see fruit trees planted for the Reap What You Sow project, and the series of black poplars planted as a "living map" to mark out the old Peels Cut waterway across the Washlands.

As the route follows lots of water features it is mostly flat, but if you don't want to do the whole 12-mile walk, you can just do the first half from the Washlands to Barton Marina (6 miles) or alternatively the return half (6 miles). There are hourly buses on Saturdays (Midland Classic 812) between Burton and Barton Turn.

Meet at Burton Washlands at 10.00 am in the Burton Mail Woodland car park (no charge), accessed via Watson Street (grid ref. SK250220, behind Tesco). Or, for just the return half of the walk, meet at the Barton Marina picnic area (near the entrance) at 1.30 pm. Bring suitable clothing and footwear (be prepared for all weathers!). Also bring water and a packed lunch (or, if you prefer, there will be time to have lunch in the pub or café at Barton Marina). All welcome including well-behaved dogs. Arrive back at around 4.30 pm.

In addition to these walks, Lawrence is invloved with a few other Festival walks for Staffordhsire Wildlife Trust and Tatenhill & Rangemore Parish Council. Details of these are on our Diary page.

The 2017 National Forest Walking Festival runs from May 13th to 25th, and offers a programme of more than 90 walks across our local area and throughout the National Forest. The festival has walks that cover all interests, ages and abilities, and the distances range from just 1 mile right up to 12 miles.


Thirteen people took part in a 7-mile circular walk from Staunton Harold up to the church on top of the hill in Breedon, and then returning via the café (or the pub instead, in some cases) back to Staunton Harold. The walk was originally scheduled to be last year's New year walk but we were forced to postpone it then on more than one occasion due to flooding, snow, etc. No such problems this year - a dry and mild January day. (Jan 2017)

More pictures

Staunton Harold


We had a good turnout of 13 people for our annual working and camping weekend at the Broome Farm cider orchards in Herefordshire. On the Saturday we pollarded the overgrown willow trees alongside the lane below the farm, carefully saving the thin branches to use for creating willow sculptures on the Sunday.

The idea was to create willow fruit shapes in the form of apples and pears, but it didn't go quite to plan! Despite everyone's best efforts, including some assistance from Summer the farm dog, it soon became apparent that crack willow is not the most suitable willow type for forming the smaller circles needed, so in the end we had to settle for a kind of cider glass shape - if you stretch your imagination a bit!

The weather was fine for camping - not too cold, dry but cloudy on the Saturday and gloriously sunny on the Sunday.

Many thanks to Mike and his team for looking after us so well over the weekend - a great time was had by all. (Oct 2016)

More pictures

Broome Farm


Bob has set up a new BCV Facebook page - it is a group page which means it is now more user-friendly for BCV members to add their own messages and photos. However, you do need to have a Facebook account in order to be able to view the page. This new page replaces the original one which was a business page and did not seem to be an easy format to use. The link to the new page is:


Despite cutbacks in Government and council spending, 2015 was another busy and successful year for Burton Conservation Volunteers. Details are in our Annual Report and Task List - links below. (May 2016)

Annual Report 2015 | Task List 2015


Burton Conservation Volunteers enjoyed another busy and successful year in 2014, working with many different local and national organisations on old and new work projects, whilst also investing heavily in training. Details are in our Annual Report and Task List, presented at our recent AGM - links below.

Annual Report 2014 | Task List 2014

Thornton Reservoir

Gilwiskaw Brook, Ashby
. BCV has been working with the Canal & River Trust to improve this little-known brook on the edge of Ashby that forms part of the River Mease catchment. The brook runs along the edge of the Ashby Park business park. We had an initial midweek session there with four of our BCV members working alongside four volunteers from Siemens who have a facility there on the business park. We then followed this with a full Sunday task day with more clearance and improvement work, removing some of the overgrown trees and greenery to open up the brook and let in more light. (Mar 2015)


BCV's website was recognised at the 2015 East Staffordshire CVS Star Volunteer Awards, when Richard Sanville was presented with the IT Champion award for his work on the group website. Richard set up the BCV website exactly ten years ago this month and he has been maintaining it ever since. Over the years the website has been a tremendous publicity tool for the group leading to many enquiries each year, not only from prospective volunteers who are keen to lend a hand, but also local organisations, councils and landowners offering potential projects for the group to become involved in.

BCV were represented by six volunteers at the awards evening which was held at Ashfield House. (Mar 2015)

Thornton Reservoir

Thornton Reservoir


BCV members have been walking the newly-opened National Forest Way in sections from east to west over the last eight months or so when we have had the occasional free Sunday. The 75-mile trail runs across the length of the National Forest, starting at Beacon Hill. The route took us via Thornton Reservoir (pictured below) and Ashby (pictured right) to the National Memorial Arboretum. More pictures to follow. (Mar 2015)

Thornton Reservoir

Loudoun monument, Ashby

Thornton Reservoir

Branston Leas - planting native black poplar trees and bluebells for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust on their new woodland and wet grassland site alongside the River Trent just south of Branston (Mar 2015).
The site is on the route of our Washlands to Walton Walk which we do annually as part of the National Forest Walking Festival.

Thornton Reservoir

Ashby Canal at Shackerstone
A midweek hedgelaying course run by Burton Conservation Volunteers for the Canal & River Trust.
(Feb 2015 - photo by Stuart)

Thornton Reservoir

Hedgelaying at Darnford Park - a large public open space on the eastern outskirts of Lichfield (Feb 2015)

Thornton Reservoir

Hitching a lift on a farm trailer on the way to replacing an old hedgerow at a Hadley End farm
(Jan 2015 - photo by Tom)

Thornton Reservoir

Scrub clearance at Coton Park near Linton
(Jan 2015)

Thornton Reservoir

Planting a new hedge above the brook at Bank Walk, Horninglow, with the help of local people. We prepared the planting area using landscape fabric and compost made from the recycled green waste from our brown bins. The hedge is made up of evergreen shrubs that will enhance the biodiversity of the site, offering a good habitat to birds and small mammals. (Dec 2014)