ROWHILL Nature Reserve Society is celebrating its 50th anniversary by creating a new pathway and bridge in the copse.
The new pathway and bridge is being installed in the lower part of the reserve near Heath End, where there was previously no path close to the perimeter.
The wooden planks that are used for the new pathway are recycled from trees within the copse, so that the whole area is sustainable.
The society was registered as a charity in 1968 and manages 55 acres of woodland for Rushmoor Borough Council.
Kathy Spink, who started walking her dog in the reserve in 1974, said: “I used to come here after working a rough day in the NHS, to relax in my favourite spot. It’s a very peaceful area with a diversity of habitats, there’s an atmosphere here I think.”
The newly appointed chairman of the society, James Byrne, said: “Rowhill nature reserve is a lovely space, very beautiful. It has three main areas: the woodland, the meadow and the heathland.
“It’s the only working woods in Rushmoor, where the volunteers actively coppice the area. The woodland has been coppiced since the 18th century.”
The society also celebrated its 50th anniversary with a family open afternoon on June 17, where children had an exotic animal trail to follow, as well as a lucky dip followed by a celebratory 50th anniversary cake.
James Byrne continued: “We would like more schools, Cubs and Brownies to come down and learn about their local area.”
Jackie De La Hey, the society secretary, said: “We need younger people in as volunteers to help with education, talks and maintenance of the copse, along with help the field centre.”
The field centre is open to the public every Sunday from 2pm to 4.30pm.
Conservation volunteers work on the first, third and fifth Sundays of the month, starting at 10am.