The Downlands Partnership works with volunteers to carry out countryside management work across NE Surrey (Tadworth to Tatsfield) and in the neighbouring boroughs of Croydon and Sutton.
Why not join us in this valuable and enjoyable work by checking out our current volunteer task programme to see what great activities we have on offer to try this springtime during April to June 2018.
This season we have step construction and small scrub clearance tasks plus everyone's favourite countryside workout... invasive ragwort pulling! We recommend trying a scrub or ragwort clearance task first if you are new to practical conservation work, but all tasks are suitable for all ages (over 16s unless accompanied by an adult please) and abilities. We will also be starting our chalk grassland species monitoring sessions in June, which are ideal for those that like to get up close to the rare flora to be found on beautiful sites across the Partnership area.
Please do give us a call on 01883 341140 for a chat if you have any questions about volunteering with us or alternatively email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no fixed commitment, you can come and enjoy our free, sociable 'green gym' as often as you like. Getting out and exercising in the great outdoors with like-minded people has recognised widespread health and well-being benefits for all ages and of course to the glorious rare habitats too... and it is fun!
Everyone is welcome and we can accommodate corporate and local/school groups by arrangement, plus students completing their Duke of Edinburgh awards and work experience/voluntary training placements. For corporate group telephone enquiries please call 01737 733931.
Full details on how to get involved, what to wear/bring etc and site information can be found in the programme. Also take a look at our Countryside Partnerships Volunteer information page for general information on what to expect from countryside volunteering.
To gain a real insight in to our Downlands volunteering task days, please visit our Facebook page plus we recommend you have a look at our short YouTube film as well. Our thanks to Alice from VARB (Voluntary Action Reigate and Banstead) who kindly produced the film for us.
We look forward to welcoming you along very soon.
Conservation grazing - sheep, goats and cattle
The Downlands Partnership has its own grazing family led by Grazing Officer Sean Grufferty and Grazing Assistant Connor Harrison.
We currently have a flock of over 160 animals, comprising Herdwick, Beulah Speckled Face and Jacob sheep, Sussex cattle and British Feral goats.
We will shortly be welcoming some new additions to the grazing family too at our private farm near Carshalton, in the form of fleecy, springy bundles of joy as our lambing season has now commenced (from April).
We manage an extensive conservation grazing programme to maintain and restore rare chalk grassland habitats for our partners, including many Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) across NE Surrey, Croydon and Sutton plus in Bromley too.
Should you be interested in helping us to look after our animals, we currently have around 90 voluntary stock checkers that we have trained to help us to monitor our animals when they are grazing on sites across the partnership area and more are always welcome. The voluntary stock checkers work on a rota arrangement seven days a week, 365 days a year, so their support is vital, rewarding and much appreciated by the Downlands Partnership. Please contact the Grazing Team direct on 07968 832692 if this is of interest and to find out what current rota opportunities are available.
We also welcome voluntary placements from students studying animal/countryside management, so please do contact Sean or Connor if you would like to join them on day release from college or for short or longer work experience/training placements.
The Downlands Partnership Grazing team can also be contacted direct by email: email@example.com.
You could support us from your armchair too!
We are always looking for further monetary support please to fund the purchase of essential items such as tools, materials or even more animals to help us to continue conserving the lovely local landscape.
If you are unable to help by taking part in practical conservation work, you could please kindly consider supporting the Downlands Partnership by taking up a membership or by giving a donation to our registered independent charity partner instead, the Downlands Trust.
The Trust was established in November 2008 and is run by six voluntary trustees to support our countryside management work; they work hard raising funds through memberships and fundraising initiatives in partnership with us.
The Downlands Trust recently funded the purchase of a selection of new tools and equipment to support our work, including tree poppers! The Trust also made generous match funding contributions in 2017 to essential targeted winter scrub clearance work by contractor at Quarry Hangers SSSI in Chaldon and to the supply and installation of replacement livestock fencing by contractor at Stagbury Field, part of glorious Chipstead Downs SSSI.
Many thanks for your support.