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Heavens Valley Action Group

Matilda Jones
By Matilda Jones
13th March 2024

The Heavens Valley Action Group is inviting everyone to a Future of the Heavens Valley event at the Sub Rooms in Stroud at 7.30pm on 25 March.

The event will invite the community to have their say and be a part of the community action to secure this beloved area in the heart of Stroud for permanent public use. The group, consisting of residents, local councillors and environmental charities and experts, was formed in response to the expected sale of the 100-acre beauty spot known as the Heavens Valley in Stroud.

The Heavens Valley Action Group aims to raise enough money to buy the site – used by generations of the town’s residents for walking, leisure or simply enjoying the tranquillity of the woods, hills and unique biodiversity – on behalf of the community.

Read on to find out how you can help purchase this beautiful piece of land – or help preserve public access to it.

Members might have seen recent coverage in the local media of the recently formed Heavens Valley Action Group.

The group was formed in response to rumours that Thrupp Farm, also know as the Heavens Valley, in Stroud, was to be put up for sale. The group’s mission is:

“To protect and enhance the environmentally and socially important area know as the Heavens Valley. We aim to ensure it it flourishes for the benefit of both nature and the whole community of Stroud, through stewardship on our own or with complementary partners.”

The aim is to preserve public access, nurture its unique biodiversity and protect it from inappropriate development. The group also started exploring possible options for purchasing the land to bring it into community ownership.

Members of the group include residents with particular knowledge of the Heavens and expertise in aspects such as biodiversity, public rights of way and land management, as well as local councillors.

The land was subsequently confirmed to be likely to be put on the market sometime in the middle of March – for about £750,000 – and the HVAG has been talking to potential major donors, as well as taking pledges for smaller sums of money, with a view to making an offer.

Several organisations with an interest in the countryside have expressed their support, including Stroud Valleys Project, the National Trust, the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trusts, Natural England, Stroud Common Wealth and local councils.

HVAG coordinator Karen Thomas said: “We have had amazing support from organisations who share our goal of preserving the natural landscape of this beautiful site and protecting public access.

In particular, we are grateful for the support expressed when we met with local representatives of the CPRE.

The response from the community has also been extraordinary. In just seven days after the Facebook page was created as the launchpad for the campaign, it gained more than 1,400 likes and follows, and hundreds of people have shown an interest in attending a public meeting on March 25.”

The campaign has also really caught the attention of the press: the campaign was the front-page lead in the Stroud News & Journal [on March 6], it was featured on the BBC website and at the time of writing we are arranging to do a video interview with the Stroud Times.”

Ways you can help

1) Follow the Heavens Valley Action Group (HVAG) Facebook page:

HVAG Facebook page

2) Respond to the HVAG community survey, where you can share your memories of the Heavens, offer help and pledge financial contributions:

Respond to survey

3) Attend the public meeting on Monday March 25 at 7.30pm (doors open from 7pm) at the Subscription Rooms, Stroud. The HVAG coordinating committee will explain the situation in more depth and seek support and involvement for some form of community purchase:

Book your place

4) Share memories and photos of the Heavens. HVAG is especially keen to hear from people who have used the Heavens for a very long time (20 years-plus), and from people who have gathered in groups there (for example, school trips, history walks and organised rambles). All this can be used as evidence of long-standing historic use by the community. Send your contributions to

5) Introduce the HVAG to potential major donors, who might be willing to provide large donations or loans. (Please email about this).