Lower Mole Partnership - volunteering opportunities

Practical conservation volunteering activities this spring season 2023

The Lower Mole Partnership has a great selection of practical conservation volunteering sessions to try across north Surrey and into Kingston.

There is something for everyone to get involved in, with different seasonal countryside tasks taking place on numerous, glorious sites across the partnership area. We recommend trying a scrub clearance or balsam pulling task first if you are new to practical conservation work, but the majority of our tasks are suitable for all ages (over 16s unless accompanied by an adult please) and abilities, as you can work at your own pace and you will be shown exactly what to do. You do need to be fairly fit and enjoy getting out and about in the great outdoors.

How to get involved and find out more

If you have any questions or concerns, please just give us a call for a chat before deciding which task would be best for you to start with. There is no fixed commitment with our conservation volunteering crew, you can join in on task days as often as you like, for full or half days. Our task sessions run from 10am and end by 4pm, with lunch and tea breaks. Exercising whilst socialising in the great outdoors with friendly, like-minded people has recognised widespread health and well-being benefits and of course, supports the maintenance and restoration of the beautiful local countryside and its rare habitats too.

Please call our task team on 01372 743783 or email us: mole.project@surreycc.gov.uk for further information and to let us know in advance when you would like to come and join in.

To gain an insight into our Lower Mole Partnership conservation volunteering task days, please visit our Lower Mole Partnership Facebook page.

Please also see our Surrey Countryside Partnerships' Health and Safety Guide for Volunteers (PDF).

We look forward to welcoming you along with our fantastic conservation crew very soon.

Spring 2023 volunteer task programme

During April to June 2023 we have the following conservation volunteering task days on offer that are suitable for new volunteers to consider. However, please note that in July we carry out further balsam and ragwort pulling task sessions which are ideal for new volunteers to try.

Scheduled task dates Countryside site location Practical conservation volunteering activity
18, 19 and 20 AprilEpsom CommonGate and cattle pen repairs, in preparation for the annual arrival of the cattle to graze the grassland
2, 3 and 4 MayCastle Hill, ChessingtonRaking up after meadow mowing and estate maintenance
16, 17 and 18 MayHogsmill Wood, Elmbridge Meadows, Tolworth

A new worksite for the Moles. We will be carrying out access improvements and installing new countryside furniture.

23, 24 and 25 MayClaygate CommonAccess improvements to the trackside
20, 21 and 22 JuneCowey Sale, Walton Bridge

Himalayan Balsam pulling

27, 28 and 29 JuneHogsmill Open Space, West EwellRemoval of non-native invasive plants along the bankside, to improve access for river surveys

Please note that we do not run practical conservation volunteering task sessions at the weekend, but our colleagues at the Downlands Partnership do offer some weekend tasks at the Sanderstead to Whyteleafe Countryside Area.

Extra heathland habitat helper sessions back on offer in Guildford on 6 and 7 June

The Surrey Countryside Partnerships team have been running extra monthly volunteer scrub clearance task days during the autumn and winter seasons for their Surrey Heathland Partnership partners on three rare heathland sites in the Guildford and Woking areas. These task sessions have proven very successful and well received by the local communities, so we are going back again this summer in early June to do some balsam pulling as well.

We will be running these special conservation volunteering task sessions at Pirbright Common, Guildford on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 June. We will be pulling targeted areas of invasive non-native Himalayan Balsam. Please let us know if you would like to join in and find out more about these extra heathland sessions by emailing mole.project@surreycc.gov.uk.

Corporate and community groups volunteering offer

We are pleased to welcome corporate and local community/school groups by arrangement, plus students completing their Duke of Edinburgh awards and work experience/voluntary training placements.

Please kindly note that not all of our scheduled task locations and dates are suitable for groups, so please get in touch and we can further discuss the best available options for your specific group size together and to explain the booking arrangements for groups.

During April and May we unfortunately do not have any suitable tasks for groups to get involved with, as we are busy carrying out fencing improvements and countryside furniture construction work. Autumn and winter are the best seasons to join in as a group, especially for larger numbers, as we run lots of scrub clearing sessions, and this is the ideal countryside volunteering activity for team challenges.

We have a separate Surrey Countryside Partnerships corporate employee volunteering brochure which fully explains our corporate offer, which you will receive when you make a group enquiry. We look forward to hearing from you and to developing new corporate partnerships with local companies and with those from neighbouring counties and London as well.

How you could support us from your sofa instead!

If you are unable to join in with our practical conservation tasks but would like to show your support from indoors for our local countryside management work, then please do kindly consider becoming a member of our charity partner the Lower Mole Countryside Trust.

This independent, registered charitable trust is run by a small group of dedicated volunteers and they raise funds through memberships and fundraising initiatives, principally in partnership with the Lower Mole Partnership staff. The Trust also provides small grants to other local countryside voluntary groups to support their targeted conservation work, for biodiversity, access and environmental education. Full information on the Trust's charity work and details on how to join can be found on the Lower Mole Countryside Trust website or please call the Lower Mole Partnership office on 01372 743783.

The Trust is currently looking for a new volunteer to join them as a trustee in the treasurer position. If calculations and countryside are your passion and you have a few hours to spare each week, then they would love to hear from you. Details of this great voluntary opportunity can be found on the Lower Mole Countryside Trust website.

The Trust is always very pleased to welcome one-off or legacy donations, so if you would like to consider this to support the management of your lovely local North Surrey countryside (rather than or as well as becoming a member - your choice) so it can continue to be enjoyed and accessed by future generations, please do contact the Trust to further discuss. Many thanks for your support.

Files available to download