Lower Mole Partnership - volunteering opportunities

Practical conservation volunteering activities this spring season 2024

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 plant 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, subject to weather, 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 Surrey Countryside Partnerships Facebook page.

Please also see our Surrey Countryside Partnerships' Volunteer Handbook 2024 (PDF).

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

Spring 2024 volunteer task programme

During April to June 2024 we have the following conservation volunteering task days on offer that are suitable for new volunteers to consider. Please note this table was updated on 14 May 2024.

Scheduled task dates Countryside site location Practical conservation volunteering activity
16, 17 and 18 AprilEpsom CommonSite preparations for the annual grazing season, including gate repairs
30 April, 1 and 2 MayMolesey Heath, West MoleseyStep construction, to replace existing steps in multiple locations
7, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16 MayThe Ledges, EsherRebuilding a set of steps to improve access to the River Mole and non-native Himalayan balsam pulling
21, 22 and 23 MayMolesey Heath, West MoleseyContinuing with step construction, to replace existing steps in multiple locations
28, 29 and 30 MayEpsom CommonPath repairs
4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13 JuneHorton Country Park, EpsomFencing installation around Hollymoor Pond and associated scrub clearing
18, 19 and 20 JuneElmbridge CommonsNon-native Himalayan balsam pulling
25, 26 and 27 JuneAshtead ParkCreation of a new surfaced path to improve access to a pond

Please note that the Lower Mole Partnership does not run practical conservation volunteering task sessions at the weekend.

However, task leader Tasha at the Surrey Heathland Partnership provides one weekend scheduled task session per month, held on the first Saturday, taking place in the Guildford or Woking area.

Task leader Sarah at the Downlands Partnership also offers some selected, seasonal Sunday task sessions at the Sanderstead to Whyteleafe Countryside Area.

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 tasks, locations and session dates as detailed above 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.

The autumn and winter seasons are the best time to join in as a group, especially for larger numbers, as we run lots of scrub clearing sessions and can often offer bespoke separate team volunteering days as well. Scrub clearance is the ideal countryside volunteering activity for staff team challenges.

Note that during April and May, peak bird nesting season, we have very limited task sessions on offer that are suitable for corporate groups, so please aim for getting involved from June onwards.

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 to help with PR, marketing and attendance at occasional public events. If you have a few hours to spare each week and would like to help with promoting the great work of the Trust, then they would love to hear from you. Please email the Chairman Rodney Shaw with a short description of your background and experience and to find out more: lowermoletrust@outlook.com.

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.

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