AS local charities go, Stroud Valleys Project is something of a best-kept secret; plenty of Stroud residents know about it, but there are many who don’t.
The organisation has existed since 1988, when it evolved as a Community Development Trust.
Stroud’s community had recently come together in local action to prevent unwelcome developments, and Stroud Valleys Project (SVP) evolved to give local people both a voice and a means of taking action to protect the town and its landscape.
Today, SVP has around 15 projects on the go across the Stroud district, each involving volunteers and meeting a genuine community or conservation need – you can read more on the charity’s website at stroudvalleysproject.org. L
ast Sunday, SVP hosted two events – an evening Bat Walk in Stratford Park, which used bat detectors to identify four different species of the notoriously shy mammals, and Wildflowers and Grasses of the Commons, a morning stroll across Rodborough Common in collaboration with the National Trust (NT), to seek out the flora that make the area so special.
“Rodborough Common is a rare surviving example of species-rich unimproved limestone grassland,” explains SVP project officer Sharon Gardham, who organised the walk.
“NT rangers David Armstrong and Richard Evans guided 16 walkers on a relaxed wander through the dips and mounds of Rodborough Common, stopping regularly to examine flora and fauna.
“In terms of species variety, they offer an unusually rich habitat – it’s not just grass!”