Surrey Countryside Partnerships team

An established county-wide countryside management service, supported by volunteers and local communities.

Working together to restore and maintain chalk grassland, woodland and heathland habitats for biodiversity, wildlife, access and enjoyment by all.

Since June 2014 the three partnerships, Downlands, Lower Mole and Surrey Heathland, provide a combined service under the Surrey Countryside Partnerships (SCP) team umbrella, whilst still retaining their individual partnership branding and working areas.

Downlands Partnership

Downlands Partnership logoWorks primarily on chalk grassland but also ponds, woodlands and improving public access in northeast Surrey from Tadworth to Tatsfield and in neighbouring areas of Croydon and Sutton. Also in Bromley and parts of north Surrey with its conservation grazing service.


Lower Mole Partnership

Works primarily in woodlands but also on grasslands, commons and improving public access in north Surrey, spanning Cobham, Epsom, Esher, Leatherhead and Dorking, and into Kingston.


Surrey Heathland Partnership

Works on lowland heathland in west Surrey, with key sites in Guildford and Woking. Also provides contract management work and specialist advice on heathland restoration.

Service information and annual report

Please contact us to receive a copy of our SCP Our Services Guide, which details the wide range of countryside management services we can offer to our current and potential new partner organisations.

We recently published our SCP Annual Report for 2022-23 and copies of this report and our annual reports for previous years from 2015-16 onwards are also available by emailing us: countrysidepartnershipsteam@surreycc.gov.uk.

We are very pleased to report that the countryside management partnership work of our whole team was supported by an impressive, combined total of 23,013 volunteer hours during 2022-23.

This represents another successful year of local community involvement by our regular conservation volunteers and all the corporate, school and community groups we have been pleased to welcome too during the year.

The Downlands Partnership provides a busy conservation grazing service on around 25 sites. The grazing service is essentially supported by over 100 voluntary livestock checkers that help to look after our sheep, goats and cattle, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. These volunteers, alongside our dedicated farm volunteer crew, contribute a significant number of volunteer hours per year, notably 6,506 hours for 2022-23. All the livestock contributed an impressive 1,883,400 hours of grazing during the year too!

The SCP team also provides environmental education sessions for young people, particularly in the Sanderstead to Whyteleafe Countryside Area and at Surrey County Council owned Old Lodge Farm near Banstead, and these young volunteers make a great contribution in looking after and learning about their local countryside.

During 2022-23, a total of 437 task days/events were provided by our team, with positive feedback from all of our service users. We worked on over 100 different sites for public and private landowners, including National Nature Reserves, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Local Nature Reserves and Local Wildlife sites.

Our thanks to all of the volunteers that join in with our work, for their vital support in helping our service to continue to maintain and restore all of the beautiful habitats in our partnerships' area.

Outline map of our current partnerships' working area across Surrey and South London:

Map of the area covered by the Surrey Countryside Partnership showing Surrey Heathland Partnership in the west of the county, Lower Mole Partnership in the north and Downlands Partnership in the northeast.

Conservation volunteering with us is great for health, happiness and habitat

Volunteers play a vital role in our service delivery and we extend a very warm welcome to anyone wanting to become involved with any of our three partnerships.

Please visit the Downlands Partnership - Volunteering Opportunities and Lower Mole Partnership - Volunteering Opportunities pages for full information on how you can join in and to view our latest selection of seasonal, weekly volunteer task sessions on offer.

We are very pleased to now be offering a new regular volunteer task programme with our Surrey Heathland Partnership as well from October 2023. We are very keen to welcome new volunteers in the Guildford and Woking areas, to form a great new conservation crew in this partnership area. Please visit our Surrey Heathland Partnership - Volunteering Opportunities page for full details.

Our friendly countryside volunteering crews help our teams with all types of practical countryside management work, woodwork, species monitoring and livestock checking, come rain or shine, and all help is greatly appreciated.

We are developing great corporate partnerships with many local and county-wide based companies, including Fidelity International, Toyota, Nestlé Purina PetCare and Firebolt Group Ltd. We offer excellent employee conservation volunteering opportunities for teams and individuals, helping companies to deliver their employer supported volunteering schemes and to meet their corporate social responsibility targets. We can accommodate larger corporate, community and school groups by arrangement.

Please email us at countrysidepartnershipsteam@surreycc.gov.uk to find out about the great opportunities we can offer for team or individual employee volunteering sessions, team building, sponsorship and environmental education days.

See the Countryside Partnership's Volunteer Information page and our service specific SCP Health and Safety Guide for Volunteers (pdf) for general countryside volunteering guidance.

We have our own Surrey Countryside Partnerships' Privacy Policy which fully complies with GDPR.

Voluntary internships and training placement opportunities

We offer voluntary internships and work training placements throughout the year (short and long term), so please do get in touch if you wish to join us for a specific period or would like to gain some regular or one-off voluntary experience if you are interested in/studying for a career in countryside management or livestock management. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any advice to find out what opportunities we currently have available and how you could get involved.

Charitable trusts directly supporting our work

We work closely in partnership with both the Downlands Trust and Lower Mole Countryside Trust.

These are both independent, registered charities run by small boards of dedicated voluntary trustees that directly support two of our partnerships. They both provide essential financial and profile-raising support for our local countryside management work. The Downlands and Lower Mole Partnership staff work closely with both trusts on fundraising initiatives and membership recruitment. We work together to increase public awareness, encourage further voluntary and community involvement and are building county-wide corporate support for our countryside management work.

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