About

The Lower Mole Countryside Trust

The Lower Mole Countryside Trust is a registered charity, which exists to support the provision of a high quality countryside management service for the benefit of landscape, wildlife and people

The Trust supports the work of the Lower Mole Countryside Partnership and other local community groups and organisations and covers the boroughs of Elmbridge, Epsom & Ewell and northern Mole Valley District in Surrey and the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

The aims of the Trust are to:

Educate – to help the public learn about the countryside and its management through talks, walks, leaflets and on-site information.

Conserve – to promote the conservation, restoration and the management of the countryside, wildlife habitats and characteristic landscapes.

Involve – to encourage the participation of the public in practical countryside management work.

Access – to improve public access to the countryside for informal recreation through publicising walking, riding and cycling routes and by promoting the establishment of new routes.

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If the pandemic and lockdowns have shown us anything, it is how essential to our wellbeing it is to be able to walk in woodlands, marvel at butterflies on chalk downland, spot camouflaged reptiles among the heather on heathlands or wander along the banks of a healthy river. But these precious environments need managing to retain their biodiversity and that is where the Trust comes in.

By providing grants for countryside management we aim to assist in ensuring that our local countryside and our own natural environments receive the essential management that allows us to enjoy their glories.

Our primary beneficiary is the Lower Mole Partnership, established in 2008 to introduce and maintain countryside conservation and management across Northeast Surrey and Kingston upon Thames.  Work is carried out by volunteers, thereby not only giving value for money, but ensuring the volunteers benefit from all the health advantages of outdoor working and companionship. We also provide grants for schools, allotment holders, residents associations and many others within the area.

Our Treasurer has recently retired and we are looking for his replacement.  We are searching for someone with up to date knowledge of financial practises, packages and procedures to assist the Directors in taking the Trust forward in this challenging time, when pressures on the environment have never been clearer and actions more urgently needed.

Funding Policy of the Trust

The Board meets approximately once every 2 months at Horton Country Park, Epsom.  Applications for grants of up to £500 may receive full funding.  Larger applications can be considered, but the budget available is small and a percentage of the total is more likely to be offered.  The total grant fund available each year is based on the total income of the Trust, minus predicted annual running costs for the next two years.

The Board will consider applications up to £500 submitted on the grant application form supplied by the Trust or in the case of larger sums a full outline, costing and benefits to the countryside and communities.  A monitoring form is sent to grant recipients, which must be returned to the Trust on completion of the grant funded activity.

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The following are the criteria for applications:

  • Must be in accordance with the aims of the Trust
  • Should be visible to the public and/or of benefit to the public
  • If the proposal relates to conservation interest it must be in line with the relevant Habitat Action Plan or Species Action Plan
  • If the proposal improves public access it must not be detrimental to any conservation interest
  • It should be supported by the local community.

Role of a Director of the Trust

All Directors are volunteers and their key role is to publicise the charity’s aims, make contact with corporate groups and other fund-giving organisations and agree priorities for fulfilling the stated aims of the charity.

There are three roles within the Trust that have specific duties in addition to any further activities from the general requirements: Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary.

The Trust is currently (March 2022) recruiting a new Treasurer. Please see this link for details.