There are a great many parks, recreation grounds and green spaces in Surrey that belong to local councils and quite of few of them have 'Friends of local park' groups, small bands of dedicated local people who care for their parks and local wildlife in collaboration with the local councils. These voluntary groups have an important part to play in overseeing all matters relating to their local park; they are often the ears and eyes for local park rangers and local councils, ensuring that any maintenance needs are reported as soon as possible so that they can be dealt with swiftly. The groups also carry out their own projects to enhance our enjoyment of parks and also to support and conserve local wildlife.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and wildlife organisations, such as RSPB, Surrey Wildlife Trust, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Butterfly Conservation, lead campaigns to remind us all that we share our green spaces with many different species of wildlife and whether we are planting in our own gardens or in parks, it is important to remember their message of selecting a good many pollen-rich plants to sit amongst our favourites to provide food for bees and butterflies, with many pollinators, particularly bees being in decline and butterflies too through loss of habitat. Many of the local park groups plant wildflower gardens and carry out their own wildlife projects. As an example of what these local park groups have achieved, a few examples from the borough of Epsom and Ewell are shown below along with information about other boroughs and districts parks and how to get involved.
Borough and district park information and park groups
Epsom and Ewell
Epsom and Ewell Borough has 17 parks, recreation grounds and green spaces and four of these have active voluntary groups who care for their local parks and have done so for some years - Alexandra Recreation Ground; Friends of Court Recreation Ground; Friends of Ewell Court Park and Friends of Shadbolt Park and Pond.
Elmbridge have 100 parks, recreation grounds and green spaces.
Mole Valley has 23 parks, recreation grounds and open spaces and a number of the larger countryside sites are managed and maintained by Surrey Wildlife Trust. These include Ashtead Park Local Nature Reserve, Inholms Lane Open Space Local Nature Reserve in North Holmwood, and Deepdene Terrace, The Glory Woods, Milton Heath and The Nower in Dorking.
Reigate and Banstead
Reigate and Banstead have more than 70 parks, recreation grounds and open spaces, including wildlife fields, nature reserves and woodlands that provide good habitats for wildlife. There is a Friends of Priory Park Group.
Runnymede has a number of parks, gardens and open spaces and there is a Friends of Hythe Park Group.
The borough has over 750 acres of parks and open spaces, including several miles of riverside walks.
Surrey Heath has 34 parks and open spaces with many wildlife projects.
Tandridge have 69 parks, recreation grounds and open spaces. Wildlife and voluntary projects associated with these green spaces are carried out in partnership with the Downlands Management Project, a voluntary group who maintain conservation and management schemes in North-East Surrey and South London.
Waverley has 30 parks, recreation grounds and open spaces with Farnham Park Volunteers caring for Farnham Park and Phillips Memorial Park Voluntary Group who help carry out work throughout Phillips Memorial Park.
Woking have 21 parks, recreation grounds and open spaces. Goldsworth Park Community Association have been carrying out improvements works around Goldsworth Park Lake for some years. This has included bank reinforcement, building viewing and fishing platforms, installing a floating island as well as other works. They are also planning to improve the enclosed wildlife area on the north side of the lake. Find out more about Goldsworth Park Community Association.
How to get involved with your local park or green space projects
If you are interested in helping out with your local park group or would like to set one up, please contact your local borough or district council.
If your local park does not have a voluntary group, there are other green space and countryside projects that you can get involved with:
- Lower Mole Project - volunteer information
- Downlands Project - volunteer task programme
- Surrey Wildlife Trust - volunteer
- Surrey Hills Society - volunteer
- Join the Downlands Trust
The Green Flag Award website lists award winning local parks and green spaces and enables you to search for local parks with specific facilities.