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27 September 2007
Dutch Government visits Colne Valley Park

On Tuesday 2nd October, the Colne Valley Park will be visited by a group of 40 representatives of the Dutch government and other official Dutch groups.

The group are in the UK for a study trip to help with the development of national parks in Holland.  They wanted to visit the Colne Valley Regional Park because of Colne Valley's experience in developing a historic landscape successfully.

Aat Bal, the Dutch Government's Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment will lead the group, and will be accompanied by Sander Bersee, director of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, the Agency for Rural Areas and the National Service for Archaeology, Cultural Landscape and Built Heritage, amongst others.

Groundwork's Stewart Pomeroy, Team Manager of the Colne Valley Park, said, "We are delighted to welcome the Dutch government group to the beautiful Colne Valley Park.   We are proud to be recognised as examples of best practice and hope that they will enjoy the talks and visits we have arranged for them."

Stewart has arranged a fascinating itinerary for the group.  They will visit the West London Floating Classroom, (the electric canal boat) to see their educational and environmental work at first hand.  Councillor Bruce Allen, Chairman of the Colne Valley Partnership will talk to them about rural/urban fringe issues in the Colne Valley Park.  They will visit Langley Park and hear about self-financing in country parks from Mike Woods.  John Whitby will show the impact of  farming in the rural/urban fringe when they visit Rowley Farm.  Paul Jarvis will present the wider picture of landscape and planning history when they visit Harmondsworth Moor Country Park.

Tim Knight, Groundwork Thames Valley's Director of Development and Innovation, said, "It is an honour for us to have the Dutch government group here.  We hope that this visit will be a chance to exchange good ideas in a way that will benefit us all."

For more information, please check our websites - or or call Vicky Tustian on 01895 839855.

For more information about the Colne Valley Park, please contact Stewart Pomeroy on 01895 839857 or email:

For more information about Groundwork Thames Valley, please contact Ruth Boyer at Groundwork Thames Valley on 01895 839852 or email:


Notes to editors

The Colne Valley Park covers 43 square miles of countryside right on the edge of London - it is a mosaic of farmland, woodland, water and villages.

The Park covers parts of the following:

· Counties of: Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Surrey
· The Unitary Authorities of: Slough and Windsor & Maidenhead
· The London Borough of Hillingdon
· The Districts of: Chiltern, South Bucks, Spelthorne and Three Rivers

The Colne Valley contains many valuable wildlife habitats and many opportunities to get up close with rare wildlife. The Colne Valley Park also includes many countryside attractions including Denham Country Park, Black Park, Rickmansworth Aquadrome, Staines Moor, Iver Nature Study Centre and the Chiltern Open Air Museum

The Park acts as a focal point for local groups and in particular the wildlife and natural history groups who recognise the Valley as an ecological unit and have formed the Colne Valley Wildlife Action Group.

Groundwork Thames Valley is an independent local charity, committed to social, economic and environmental regeneration.  Groundwork works with partners to improve the quality of the local environment, the lives of local people and the profitability of local businesses. 

Projects focus on building stronger neighbourhoods, training, stimulating enterprise, integrating the economy and the environment and realising young people's potential. The Trust works in partnership with government, local authorities, businesses and the local community. 

As part of the Groundwork federation of nearly 50 local Trusts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Groundwork works on small community schemes to major national and regional programmes that use the environment to engage and motivate local people to improve their quality of life. For more information please visit and


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