Call for volunteers to muck in and help preserve Mole Valley countryside

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BEAUTIFUL: Norbury Park is one of several sites that the project will carry out schemes on in 2015

By Dorking Advertiser  |  Posted: January 07, 2015

By Alexander Robertson alexander.robertson@essnmedia.co.uk

BEAUTIFUL:  Norbury Park is one of several sites that the project will carry out schemes on in 2015

ORGANISERS of a countryside management project are hoping that people’s Christmas cheer can last into the New Year after they released their latest list of tasks.

Set up by Surrey County Council, the Lower Mole Countryside Management Project carries out work to enhance the beauty of green spaces in the north of Mole Valley and beyond.  The scheme has a small team of full-time staff but the majority of labour is provided by volunteers, who work year round carrying out jobs such as scrub clearance and coppicing.

Among the sites where environmental projects will be carried out from January to March are Ashtead Common, Headley Warren, Sheepleas in East Horsley and Norbury Park in Leatherhead.  Louise Wolford, an officer for the project, told the Advertiser the work carried out by the group was reliant on the time and effort of volunteers.

She said: “We can have up to 15 or 20 people helping us out on any single day and the effort they put in is really valued and vital to what we are doing.

“There is always a lovely atmosphere on any of the tasks we are doing and there is definitely a social aspect of it that a lot of the volunteers come for as well.

“Our new schedule of projects has just been released and we are really excited about it. As ever we are on the lookout for new volunteers to get involved.”

The project tackles specialist work including landscape enhancements, woodland management, pond restoration and access initiatives. In addition to practical work, it gives advice to private and public landowners.  The project is run as a partnership with neighbouring boroughs, districts and various external organisations and aims to co-ordinate hardworking volunteers throughout the area.

The Lower Mole Countryside Management Project has been in existence since 1983 and was the first project to be established in the north Surrey area.  It has built up a large and enthusiastic volunteer group which carries out a wide range of tasks four days a week, including weekends, throughout the year.

From January 6 to 8 and January 11 to 15, the team will be at Ashtead Common, where volunteers will clear scrub.

Coppicing will be carried out at Norbury Park on January 20 and 21, while more scrub clearance will take place in Sheepleas, Headley, from January 27 to 29.

Volunteers are then asked to meet at Headley Warren for chalk grassland management between February 24 and 26.

For more information, call 01372 743783 or visit www.lowermoleproject.org.uk