Volunteers contribute many hours to maintaining and enhancing our open spaces in the parish.
We would particularly encourage people to explore The Marshes Local Nature Reserve at Riseley Common. It is open for all to enjoy. Dogs are welcome at all council owned spaces as long as they are on a lead and owners pick up and dispose of mess responsibly.
If you are interested in joining our volunteers at any of the sites please contact the Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org or(01189 885 929)
A small footpath joining Foxborough to The Street. Trees and scrub have been removed to make the area lighter and more inviting to work through. Wildflower seeds were planted last year and we hope these will flower again this year.
Swallowfield Meadow Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
In the mid 1990’s the Parish Council took ownership of this land and planted trees, shrubs and wild flowers. In 2003 it was declared an LNR. Swallowfield Meadow contains a wide variety of habitats including native hedgerows, a small copse, ditches and seasonal ponds as well as the meadows themselves. The meadow is now rich in plant and wildlife such as oxeye daisies, field scabius, silver birch, field maple and hazel. As the site incorporates four balancing ponds and ditches to prevent flooding, they have attracted water voles, which are an endangered species. Pathways are cut in amongst the long grass during growing months to enable people to enjoy the meadow without destroying the wonderful variety of wild flowers. The meadow is a beautiful and tranquil place to take a stroll or simply sit on the hexagonal bench and read a book, or watch the comings and goings of the birds.
The Marshes Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
Once a gravel pit in the late 19th Century, this land is partly wooded and partly marshland, so lent itself to the construction of ponds to create a wetland area. Between 2001 and 2004, with the help of grants, the council started transforming this area, previously rented for grazing horses. Volunteers planted 1,500 native trees and shrubs. Two ponds were created, and work began to establish a wildlife haven which could be registered with Natural England as a Local Nature Reserve. This was achieved in 2016. In 2018 a group of local residents, the Riseley Commoners, began work again. They meet every couple of months and have spent many hours clearing scrub and brambles to keep the space accessible. The LNR is accessible via a gate along School Road and is open for everyone to enjoy .
11 acres of grazing land by a public footpath, from Part Lane to Devil’s Highway. The Parish Council is working with Wokingham Borough Council on a project to plant trees and hedging on this site.
In 2011 40 trees were planted, funded by lottery money as part of a healthy eating initiative. Volunteers are now applying some tender loving care to the trees. They have been trimming and bark mulching all of the trees. They have also replaced a number which were not performing. They will shortly be erecting fences around all the trees to prevent deer damage.
Run on behalf of the council by Swallowfield Parish Allotments Association (SPAA) - see Allotments.