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Park Projects

Find out about the current projects going on in the Country Parks. Check back regularly for updates. 

Coppicing in Langley Park

Coppicing is an ancient system of woodland management.


The trees are cut close to the ground, which then regrow from dormant buds at the base of the stump. This creates dense stands of multi-stemmed trees. The new stems grow back faster to provide a sustainable timber supply.


The species we coppice in the Country Parks are mostly hazel and small-leaved lime.


The benefits of coppicing are many. It helps to increase biodiversity: when the trees are coppiced, this opens the forest canopy which allows more sunlight to filter through down to the ground, increasing the growth of ground flora.


This helps food chains thrive as these other species of plants will be eaten by invertebrates like caterpillars and crickets, who will then be consumed by birds or other mammals such as shrews or mice. Wildflowers such as bluebells, primroses, foxgloves and violets can thrive in coppiced woodlands, which in turn improves the conditions for bees and hoverflies.


We have compartmentalised the areas to be coppiced, with each compartment (or coupe) being coppiced on a cycle. The hazel in Black Park, for example, is cut every 7 years.  


With the coppiced lime in Langley Park we have used the materials to create log and woodchip piles, which will benefit wildlife further by giving suitable habitat for the park’s many deadwood-eating beetles and wasps.


Meanwhile the cut material from the hazel has been used to create dead hedges. These are great wildlife corridors, but also help to deter people and dogs from entering the area and potentially snapping off delicate new shoots.

South Bucks Country Park

South Bucks Country Park (working title) is currently being developed on the site of the old Lanes Golf Academy. This 59 acre country park will open to the public in 2024, offering local residents a wide range of new facilities and outdoor opportunities. It will include a Pay and Display car park, a new café, public toilet facilities, a new play area and a network of new countryside walks.


This site will enhance the local and regional ‘Green Infrastructure’ network, helping to connect up other existing pockets of green space, for wildlife.

Adopt a Patch

Do you care about your park and the wildlife living within it? Want to help keep our park litter free? Adopt a patch today!


We have split up Black Park and Langley Country Park and Denham Country Park into patches and are looking for people to help keep them clear from litter. We will provide you with all the equipment needed and even a little thank you gift!

For more information and to apply email

Colne Valley Landscape Partnership

Landscape Partnerships are a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant programme for the conservation and enjoyment of areas of distinctive character. 

The Colne Valley Regional Park Landscape Partnership ran from 2019 to end of 2022. It provided £1.6m of National Lottery funding and a further £900k of local funding to preserve and enhance the landscape for people and wildlife. The Landscape Partnership brought together wildlife organisations, local authorities, and water companies, and is led by community charity Groundwork South.

Bridge to the Country

The Colne Valley Regional Park covers 43 square miles and contains sites of recreation and biodiversity interest all the way from Staines in the south, to Rickmansworth in the north. Many people are unfamiliar with where the Colne Valley starts and finishes and often people don’t know they’ve entered the park. To help connect people to the Colne Valley Regional Park 4 sites have been improved as gateways. One at Batchworth Canal Centre in the north, at Langley Park Country Park in the west, at Denham Country Park in the east and at Lammas Recreation Ground in the south. These sites have been improved with new interpretation and signage that will help orientate people around the specific site and around the Regional Park as a whole. 

In 2021 Langley Park saw two new waymarked trails installed in and around the Temple Gardens. They offer a 1km and 2km distanced marked route to help visitors to explore the gardens and beyond with ease. Improvements to path works along the vista and outside the Tea Room, plus the installation of a new deadwood picnic space 'Destination Deadwood' were completed Feb 2022. There is also a wonderful new welcome shelter next to the car park, built by Black Park Shed, which was installed autumn 2021. It displays up-to-date park information, maps and notice board for visitors.

At Denham Country Park we have replaced the Brass Rubbings Trail offering a 1 mile circular trail for families to follow, with arrows to guide them. New maps, information and notice boards have been installed near the car park and play area. New seating was installed autumn 2022 plus new visitor centre displays for visitors have been created at the Colne Valley Centre.

Colne Valley Landscape Partnership

Black Park Spatial and Management Plans

In 2019/20 The Country Parks Team worked with The Environment Partnership (TEP) to finalise a spatial plan and management plan for Black Park. The plans will be used by The Country Parks Team to guide future decision making on infrastructure improvements and new projects. It will help to ensure that development is well planned, coherent and in keeping with the character of the park. The plans set out a vision and strategic direction for the park which can be used to guide longer term decision making up to 2070, with the interventions included primarily focused on the period up to 2040.


Following on from this, plans are now in place to develop both a spatial plan and landscape management plan for Langley Park in 2023. Watch this space!

Black Park Spatial Plan

Terrapin relocation and lake erosion project

In warmer months you may have spotted terrapins basking in parts of the lake in Black Park. These non-native animals were released here likely following the Mutant Ninja turtle craze, where many people kept them as pets. What people didn’t realise is they can grow to the size of a dinner plate so, very quickly outgrow most set ups! It is now illegal to release them due to the negative impacts on the environment they are now classed as an invasive species in the UK. The most common species to be spotted are Red-Eared Sliders, Yellow-Bellied Sliders and Cumberland Sliders.


Terrapins eat lots of water plants, which has a great impact on other wildlife; including newts which lay their eggs in these plants and tadpoles and other animals who hide amongst them. Waterfowl in the Parks also need these plants to make safe nests to lay their eggs. Alongside this, despite it looking like a lovely place for a terrapin to live, harsh winters have devastating consequences and many die.


Black Park lake is actually a reservoir with the southern section forming the Dam Wall and the northern section included in a local nature reserve designation which has been fenced off to afford protection. Most of the remainder of the lake edge has full public access and is made up of soil and gravel banks. Unfortunately this access for both visitors and their dogs and the increased pressure of large visitor numbers to the parks has caused the banks to erode.  This erosion has exposed tree roots which play a part in stabilising the bank and as these trees decline as a result of root damage, we not only lose the trees but it has a knock on effect of speeding up the erosion of the banks. 


The Country Parks Team are currently looking at solutions to minimise further erosion and hopefully reverse some of the damage already done. Works will take place over the next few years and will likely involve building out the banks and planting of native plant species to provide stabilisation of the bank.  This marginal vegetation will also provide vital habitat for wildlife that live in and on the lake, improving this space for nature and ensuring its future as a landscape feature for visitors. This work is still in the initial planning phase and more information will be made available once we move to a design and works phase.   


Aware of the problem caused by terrapins, the aim is to reduce numbers further before extensive work begins. We are working with The National Turtle Sanctuary who will rehome them. Last year they took in 12 that were caught from Black Park Lake. They have a great spacious set up and we hope our shelled friends will be very happy there. Over the next few weeks you may see some of the team out on the lake setting and checking the traps.


The trapping is completely humane. The terrapins climb up them to bask in the sun, naturally heading to the highest point and gently fall into the middle of the trap. When these are set properly later in the year, they will be checked daily to remove any terrapins trapped. The way it been designed means other wildlife could easily get out and we don’t trap anything other than then terrapins. 


We will be working with The National Turtle Sanctuary who are assisting us with the humane trapping and will also take them in. They have a great spacious set up designed by experts in herpetology to provide the turtles with the conditions they need to live healthy, happy lives. We hope our shelled friends will be very happy there. For more information head to their website -


Remember if you ever need to rehome a terrapin or any other animal which isn’t native to the environment there are charities out there who can help you rehome them. Releasing non-native species into the environment is not only illegal but has negative consequences and can be devastating to the wildlife that already lives there.

You can find out more about the 12 terrapins we caught last year by clicking on this BBC news article - 

Forestry Works

We have now started another significant piece of forestry work in Black Park, which is likely to run throughout October and November 2022.


The project started with a 10-year Woodland Management Plan being drawn up in agreement with the Forestry Commission – the Government department responsible for our woodlands in the UK. Once the vision for our woods was agreed, the work was divided up into manageable portions. We try to balance being practical and cost-effective without creating too much disturbance to our visitors and wildlife in one go.


The agreement in place allows for thinning of between 10% and 35%, depending on the size of the trees. Most compartments will be in the 20-25% bracket. We find that this is very sympathetic visually and doesn’t really notice unless you are looking for it.


The timing of the work is crucial. The main breeding season for birds and bats is spring through to summer, so this period must be avoided. But if we wait too long into winter the chances of the machinery getting stuck and making more dramatic mess in and around the woods increases enormously. So autumn, as soon as possible after the school summer holidays, is when we try to fit in projects of this kind.


We’re really pleased that the contractors we worked with in 2018 were available once again. Practicality Brown and Powell Forestry worked together to deliver some great results last time. It’s not easy doing this kind of work with such large machinery but still leaving relatively little collateral damage to the remaining trees, woodland floor, tracks and verges. The main machine, the ‘harvester’ has an operational weight of well over 20 tonnes. It is about 8m long and the arm that does the cutting adds another 8m to that! Weaving through the trees, away from hard surfaces, inevitably leads to some bumps, dips and scratches.


We do appreciate that many of our visitors would prefer not to see our trees cut down and removed. We use a form of woodland management called Continuous Cover forestry. Rather than clear-fell a whole section at a time and replant, we have been using a more sympathetic approach of thinning for many years. The idea is that when the machinery and timber leave site, what’s left is space for young trees to grow alongside their larger and older neighbours. This makes the woods more interesting structurally and visually as well as more biodiverse.


The richness of a woodland’s wildlife is mostly found at the margins, where light is most available. By removing some trees we let light reach the woodland floor even within the heart of the woods. This maintains the seedbank by allowing any dormant seed a chance to grow and therefore increases opportunities for wildflowers/grasses and young trees and shrubs. Our acidic soils host a whole range of native wildflowers, which need varying levels of light. For example, Lesser Skullcap (Scutellaria minor), Cat’s Ear (Hypochaeris radicata) and Tormentil (Potentilla erecta) are all found in Black Park. You will probably have seen around the park that the favoured locations for most of our butterflies, dragonflies and other invertebrates like hoverflies and bees tend to be where light levels are highest.


The timber sold from our forestry does bring in a relatively small income as well. The materials are processed and used for a combination of fencing, joinery, animal bedding and fuel – through biochip or firewood.


Whilst our forestry contractors are on site we need you to help them and us to get the job done safely.




  • Respect any signage and path closures. It’s never very far to find another way round.
  • Beware of and stay well away from the machinery. Just because you can see them clearly does not necessarily mean the operators can see you.
  • Keep your dogs under close control and within your sight at all times.

Please see map in photos for locations


YELLOW LINE denotes the approximate area of the forestry works zone, working

from north to south


RED STAR denotes most likely areas for timber stacking. Lorries will be loading timber periodically in these areas.