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Downlands Partnership

Now in its 30th anniversary year, the Downlands Partnership provides an established urban fringe countryside management service, maintaining and enhancing the local environment for people, biodiversity and wildlife.

The Downlands Partnership team has hosted two special celebratory public events this summer/autumn 2018 to mark its landmark anniversary. The first event was held on Sat 7 July at Chipstead Downs in partnership with the Downlands Trust, also marking the fourth annual National Meadows Day as well as Fields in Trust's #Haveafieldday. Over 30 visitors braved the intense heat to enjoy the two wildflower guided walks, discovering the glorious Local Nature Reserve alive with rare plants and butterflies. The second event was held on Sat 13 October - the Big Scrub Bash at Addington Hills - in partnership with Croydon Council and TCV Croydon. Everyone enjoyed a practical conservation volunteering day together to open up the rare heathland, made even better by the tasty celebratory cake and no rain.

The aims of the Downlands Partnership encompass the whole range of countryside management activities relating to access, landscape, biodiversity, sustainability, information and community involvement. The Partnership area contains a variety of habitats and features, but is dominated by the rare chalk downland habitat found on the scarp and dip slopes of the North Downs. Its area of operation covers countryside sites, many being LNRs and/or SSSIs (Local Nature Reserves/Sites of Special Scientific Interest) in NE Surrey and adjoining parts of Croydon and Sutton. The rolling chalk hills and associated valleys give rise to stunning scenery; the sites are managed in partnership with local authorities and private land owners.

The Downlands Partnership has been extremely successful in achieving a wide range of countryside improvements and generating support and involvement in practical conservation from local communities, including many corporates locally and from further afield.

A dedicated, enthusiastic group of countryside volunteers help support the work of the Partnership and new volunteers are always very welcome, plus corporate groups; why not check out the varied programme of volunteer tasks on offer throughout the year?

Also have a look at our countryside volunteers Facebook page, which features news and photos from our weekly task programme and more.

Volunteering in the glorious local countryside is great for happiness, health and habitat. Come & join our happy conservation crew!

The Downlands Partnership also has its own flock of sheep (breeds: Herdwick, Beulah Speckled Face & Jacob), Sussex cattle and British feral goats, that seasonally graze the chalk downland as part of the long-term countryside management partnership programme. Find out more about our conservation grazing work by visiting @downygrazers and Downlands grazing on Facebook.

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