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Downlands Partnership – news and environmental education

Sanderstead to Whyteleafe Countryside Area (SWCA): environmental education, conservation volunteering and seasonal family fun

Downlands Partnership Countryside Project Officer Sarah Clifford works extensively with conservation volunteers of all ages, local schools and scout/cub groups, to pro-actively restore and manage the beautiful chalk downland landscape that comprises the Sanderstead to Whyteleafe Countryside Area (SWCA).

Sarah runs her popular practical conservation volunteering task days at the SWCA on Mondays and one Sunday per month throughout the year, in conjunction with the main Downlands Partnership volunteering task programme. Please refer to the Downlands Partnership volunteer task programme Spring 2019 (PDF) for details of the latest volunteering opportunities or call Sarah on 01883 341140 to find out more and to discuss how you could get involved.

Sarah also provides many special, fun and informative family environmental education events and seasonal exploration walks in partnership at the SWCA throughout the year. New summer dates will be posted shortly.

Please also have a look at the Sanderstead to Whyteleafe Countryside Area leaflet (PDF) for an overview of the SWCA area and Sarah's partnership work.

Dog awareness in the countryside event with guided wildlife walk at Oaks Park on Saturday 15 June 2019

On Saturday 15 June, Connor Harrison from the Downlands Partnership Grazing team will be raising awareness of dog worrying and attacks on livestock, plus providing other information related to dogs and the environment. Connor will be joined by the local London Borough of Sutton policing team. Some of the Downlands Partnership's ewes were viciously attacked by a dog back in 2018 at Old Lodge Farm, which is across the road from Oaks Park, so it is vitally important to encourage dog owners to be more considerate of their environment and to be mindful when walking with their dogs near livestock. A stall and information promoting this easily avoidable issue will be outside the Oaks Park café from 10am.

On the same morning David Warburton, Senior Biodiversity Officer for London Borough of Sutton will be leading a wildlife walk around Oaks Park. Please meet by the Oaks Park café for a 10am start. The walk will last no longer than an hour; please bring water and wear suitable walking footwear and clothing. Oaks Park is on Croydon Lane, Banstead, Surrey SM7 3BA.

Please contact the Downlands Partnership grazing team to find out more about this event:

Downlands Trust charity - supporting Downlands Partnership and our local beautiful countryside

The Downlands Trust is a registered charity, run by a small group of hard working, dedicated voluntary trustees. The Trust directly helps to support the work of the Downlands Partnership by raising essential funds through memberships and fundraising initiatives.

The Trust, working directly with the Partnership, has already successfully secured funding from Veolia Environmental Trust and the Gannett Foundation. It has also provided essential match funding towards the Partnership's successful SITA Trust grants, previously received for the restoration and creation of various ponds in the Partnership area and for Small Blue Butterfly habitat improvement works.

Lots of essential tools and equipment have been kindly purchased for the Downlands Partnership's practical conservation work. Recently contributions have been made towards the purchase of new livestock and shearing equipment to support the delivery of the conservation grazing programme and tree poppers to support scrub clearance tasks, as well as native hedging plants for Old Lodge Farm.

For the Trust to be a continued success it needs a strong core membership. The Trust currently has over 130 memberships but more would be very welcome. Please see the Downlands Trust membership form on their website. If you would prefer to make a one off donation there is of course this option as well.

The Trust is pleased to welcome legacy donations. If this is something you would like to consider to support the management of your local countryside for the continued enjoyment of future generations, please kindly contact the trustees directly. You can do this via their website or email: to further discuss. Many thanks for your support.

Fantastic corporate partnership news

The Downlands Trust is very pleased to have been selected as the "Our Environment" charity partner for Fidelity International for 2019/2020 from 1 January 2019. Fidelity International is based in Kingswood, Surrey and both the Trust and Downlands Partnership are really looking forward to working in partnership with Fidelity staff on fundraising initiatives and welcoming them for employee volunteering sessions at glorious local countryside sites. The first groups of employee volunteers joined in on Downlands Partnership countryside task days on 24 and 25 April, to celebrate Earth week 2019 and to support Keep Britain Tidy's #GBSpringClean month 2019. Further employee volunteering groups have joined in during May and are also scheduled in for June.

Voluntary trustee position available

The Trust is currently looking for an additional voluntary trustee to help with various administration tasks and to be part of the board; if you are interested in local countryside management matters and this sounds like an ideal volunteering opportunity for you, please do complete a contact form on the Downlands Trust website or email them direct as above.

Downlands Partnership task news and stories

Please have a look at our latest Downlands Partnership newsletter (PDF) to find out more about our local countryside management work in action. Also see our Downlands Partnership News 2017-2018 (PDF) with archived news stories.

Files available to download