Time to explore the updated Thames Down Link
The Thames Down Link, a popular 15 mile long distance route from Kingston to the North Down Way at Box Hill, has been fully reviewed and updated during 2018-2019 with a new Thames Down Link digital walk leaflet now available on Google Maps, new/replacement signage and walk discs installed along the route, plus a new information board designed and installed at Box Hill and Westhumble train station. The board also promotes the North Downs Way and the Mole Gap Trail which runs from Leatherhead to Dorking.
This was a joint project co-ordinated by the Lower Mole Partnership, working in partnership with the North Downs Way Trail, partners Epsom & Ewell Borough Council and Mole Valley District Council, Southern Rail and the production of the new board was also financially supported by the Surrey Hills AONB.
Now the sun is finally shining, why not go out exploring this enjoyable route that traverses the glorious countryside of North Surrey?
Great countryside partnership working to repair well-used Box Hill steps
The steps up to the summit of Box Hill are an iconic feature of the North Downs Way National Trail and so well-used by walkers generally that they were beginning to look in need of repair or replacement.
The Lower Mole Partnership worked together with the Mole Valley Ramblers, on behalf of our Surrey County Council Countryside Access team, to completely replace the first 76 steps (there are 275 from bottom to top) during the searing heat of August 2018. They notched up more than 540 volunteer hours between them - a great effort by all.
It was important that each step was completely replaced by the end of each day as this route is so popular. The team often had to dig deeper to keep the levels of steps constant and easy to climb, as well as repairing drainage gulleys. While on site, the team cleaned the steps and decking of the footbridge, cut back overgrown vegetation and left the whole area looking in a much better state than it had been.
We headed back to Box Hill at the end of July to continue with this great partnership renovation work. We will now be replacing the top flight of steps, to further improve access to this well-used path, so everyone can safely enjoy the stunning views and rich landscapes.
Lower Mole Countryside Trust says thank you to the Mayor of Epsom & Ewell 2017/18 and local Waitrose shoppers
The Lower Mole Countryside Trust (LMCT), the dedicated registered charity partner of the Lower Mole Partnership, was delighted to receive a total of £6,852.00 from the Mayor of Epsom & Ewell's charity fund 2017/18.
LMCT was one of three charities supported by Cllr Liz Frost during her term in office during 2017/18, alongside Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell and The Sunnybank Trust. Two voluntary trustees from the LMCT were part of the fundraising committee for the year. Everyone worked hard together to ensure all three charities had their profiles extensively raised, and that as many events as possible were held to ensure a significant amount of funds were raised. It was evidently a great success for all involved.
These funds to LMCT have provided much needed income to support the active management of the borough's countryside, and will help to encourage even further involvement by local communities to enjoy and protect the beautiful green spaces on their doorstep.
LMCT is also very grateful to have received a combined total donation of just over £1,600 from seven branches of Waitrose across the North Surrey and Kingston area during 2018, through their quarterly in-store Community Matters 'Green Tokens' scheme. Lots of shoppers to the stores kindly popped their tokens in to support LMCT, including Epsom, Kingston and Hersham branches. Many thanks to Waitrose for contributing these vital funds to support our local countryside management work in action and to the volunteer that kindly co-ordinated LMCT being nominated.
Lower Mole Partnership volunteer becomes a local TV star!
The Lower Mole Partnership was pleased to welcome That's Surrey TV to report on one of their scrub clearance task days in action at Epsom Common back in winter 2017/18. The TV crew chatted to staff and volunteers about the Partnership's local countryside management work and interviewed one of our stalwart volunteers, Pamela, about what she enjoys about the tasks and why she conservation volunteers with the Lower Moles.
Check out the YouTube film to see what she has to say; it is such a great film as Pamela is a natural star of the small screen!
Help us to monitor the water quality of the Mole and Hogsmill rivers
These two schemes are part of the Catchment Partnerships initiative, which was established to coordinate activity in the respective river basins. Both schemes offer training in order to fulfil the voluntary role.
The RiverWatch scheme on the Mole is always looking for more volunteers to regularly walk an assigned section of the river to report on species seen and notable features, as well as more detailed surveys for interested volunteers. Monitoring the River Mole is being coordinated by Surrey Wildlife Trust, under a scheme called RiverWatch, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The scheme on the Hogsmill River involves sampling the invertebrates present six times a year at a set location. Monitoring the Hogsmill River is being coordinated by the Zoological Society for London, via a scheme called the River Monitoring Initiative. Please contact us at email@example.com for further information.
This exciting and innovative project, which aims to support the sustainable management of local woodlands for the benefit of nature conservation continues to grow, even though the Heritage Lottery funding gained to establish the project has since finished.
The Lower Mole Partnership continues to work with landowners of local woodlands and traditional coppice workers, plus assists with maintaining infrastructures to enable targeted management to thrive.
Living Woodlands projects are now happening at several sites across the Partnership area: Sixty Acre Wood, Chessington; The Warren, Langley Vale; Watercut Copse, Oxshott; Butchers Grove, Horton Country Park and more.
Contact the Lower Mole Partnership team if you would like to find out more about Living Woodlands and all of our other Lower Mole Partnership local countryside management initiatives.