The Downlands Trust supports practical conservation through financial donations. One of its key partners and beneficiaries is the Downlands Partnership, which undertakes work at a number of sites across northeast Surrey and the adjoining urban fringe, including Addington, Caterham, Chelsham, Woldingham, Warlingham, Salt Box Hill, Kenley, Riddlesdown, Woodmansterne, Chipstead Downs, Banstead Woods and Merstham. This is not an exhaustive list but gives a representation of the range of sites covered.
Many of these sites managed by the Downlands Partnership are of high conservation and scientific significance and encompass a wide variety of environments (including rare and valuable chalk grassland and ancient woodland), each with its own management requirements and restrictions.
Some of these sites are managed in partnership with groups such as: Surrey Wildlife Trust (e.g. Quarry Hangers, Caterham), London Wildlife Trust (e.g. Hutchinson’s Bank Nature Reserve and Salt Box Hill), the Woodland Trust (e.g. Marden Park), City of London (e.g. Rydon’s Wood, parts of Riddlesdown and Kenley Common) and local councils and conservation groups (e.g. Banstead Woods and Blanchman’s Farm).
The work carried out by the Downlands Partnership staff and volunteers varies enormously and includes: scrub clearance; gate, stile and fence construction and maintenance; hedge and tree planting; hedge laying; coppicing; path and step construction and maintenance; pond maintenance; and ragwort and invasive species (e.g. Rhododendron) clearance. Volunteers also assist with the maintenance, movement and checking of the Project’s grazing livestock – sheep, cattle, goats and ponies.
The gallery below shows a number of the many and varied tasks carried out by the Downlands Partnership volunteers, as well as some of the sites regularly visited (click "play" in the top left corner or scroll the thumbnails beneath the main picture).
Become a Downlands Partnership Volunteer
The Downlands Trust itself does not undertake any practical conservation work, but our partners at the Downlands Partnership would love to hear from you, should you like to join their friendly conservation crew and become a Downlands Partnership volunteer.
To find out more and to view the latest volunteer task programme, please visit our How you can help - Volunteering page or the Downlands Partnership website.
Alternatively please call the Downlands Partnership task leaders direct on 01883 341140 for an informal chat and find out how you can get involved. If you would prefer to send an email, please contact them at: email@example.com.
If you are interested in voluntary livestock checking opportunities, please contact the Downlands Partnership Grazing Team direct on 07968 832692 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.