Volunteers putting in a flood alleviation system on a main access path into Castle Hill

Volunteers from the Lower Mole Partnership(LMP) putting in a flood alleviation system on a main access path into Castle Hill, a Royal Borough of Kingston (RBK) site managed under agreement by LMP. 

The Trust provided a grant for the work on this important scheduled ancient monument.

The Trust is looking for a new Treasurer !

Who we are looking for, to join the Board as Treasurer

The last 2 years have been a challenge for the Trust as it has been for everyone in the country.  We have had to face the difficulties of working remotely and adjusting our existing practices.  Coupled with that, our long term Chairman and Treasurer both retired in 2021. 

We are determined to look on these challenges as an opportunity to evolve and are looking at how we can fulfil the aims of the Trust by recruiting Directors with relevant experience and from diverse backgrounds to help us meet our aims and key performance indicators.

In a Treasurer we are looking for someone with financial expertise, knowledge of financial packages and procedures and who is computer literate. Of great importance to us is the commitment any applicant has to the aims of the Trust and a willingness to work with the other Directors to take the Trust forward to ensure that we access funds to ensure the continued good work the Trust carries out and to widen the scope of its activities.

Role of the Treasurer

The Treasurer must formally become a trustee and the duties include the following:

  • Monitor the income and expenditure and prepare figures for board meetings
  • Manage the grants scheme
  • Report on grants given and current applications at board meetings
  • Prepare annual accounts and summarised versions
  • Prepare and supply accounts for Companies House and Charity Commission
  • Write the financial aspect of the Annual Report
  • Manage Trust members’ finances. The vast majority of members pay by direct debit.

 

We are a small charity but the role of the Treasurer complies with the requirements of the Charity Commission and guidelines can be found at www.honorarytreasurers.org.uk .

To contact the Trust to show interest in this role please either:

email LowerMoleTrust@outlook.com

or write to us:

The Lower Mole Countryside Trust

2 West Park Farmhouse, Horton Country Park,

Horton Lane, Epsom, Surrey KT19 8PL

or

for an informal chat telephone Pamela Harwood on 07739747807

 

 

Young Street Conservation Verge

Over the last few years, the Lower Mole Partnership (LMP) has been working to restore an area of chalk grassland known as Young Street Conservation Verge. Supported by Mole Valley DC initially and especially the Lower Mole Countryside Trust (LMCT), which has awarded several important grants to allow the work to continue, the site has been transformed into a high quality chalk grassland with great numbers of plants and particularly butterflies.


In the early 2000s, LMP volunteers had cleared the scrub along Young Street conservation verge and installed a new tractor access so the area could be maintained by SCC Countryside Estate. However, the maintenance stopped soon after and the scrub returned. Following conversations with Mole Valley DC in 2017 about managing good quality verges, LMP resolved to tackle this area again.

Volunteers hard at work 2018


In February 2017 LMP returned to Young Street Conservation Verge. Since then LMP has had several volunteer tasks aimed at clearing the scrub and mowing the resultant grass sward every autumn to restore the chalk downland. This has involved cutting back established scrub and small trees including birch, buckthorn and hawthorn, to open up the surviving grass sward below. Volunteers used bowsaws, loppers, and brushcutters to clear the scrub, with the stumps being removed by chainsaw, while all the brash was fed into a chipper to dispose of it. Pesticide was the applied to the stumps to reduce the regrowth the following year and the large meadow mower has been used to take a late season cut of the sward each autumn. Since 2017, Volunteers have given 641 volunteer hours to help clear 1ha of scrub and mow and rake the same area each autumn. Each year the open grassland sward and the biodiversity has increased.

The downland mown and raked late summer 2018


The result has been staggering with many chalk downland butterflies and wildflowers responding to the new regime. This included in 2018, over 200 spikes of pyramidal orchid! Other plants include Field scabious, St johns Wort, Agrimony, Creeping cinquefoil, Wild strawberry, Bladder campion, Ox-eye daisy, and Wild marjoram.  Butterfly species recorded here include common blue, brown argus, small copper, brimstone, small heath, dingy skipper and grizzled skipper, while banded demoiselles have also been recorded.

The verge in full flower summer 2019


SCC Ecologist, John Edwards, recently described the site as “fantastic”. He said “Looking at the verge, I have no doubt it would meet the favourable status we used for monitoring, it has a really good range of species. I was really not expecting that it would look so good so do pass the message on to the team”.
The work would not have been possible without the support of MVDC and LMCT who have funded the works. The LMCT has provided grants of £1700 over the last five years. The Lower Mole Partnership would like to thank the Lower Mole Countryside Trust for their support in carrying out this restoration, which has allowed this wonderful project to succeed.

Common Blue butterfly(Helen Middlemas)


(Many thanks to Helen Middlemas who has regularly visited the site to photograph and record the plants and butterflies)

Conor Morrow,
Lower Mole Partnership,
June 2021

Reports on work done in 2017

Tree poppers

A grant of £495.00 has been given to the LMP for the purchase of two Tree Poppers.  A revolutionary new item of equipment that enables one person to extract scrub, woody plant species, ragwort and trees, roots and all.  This method of removal avoids the problem of multi-stem regrowth, and removes the need for herbicide treatment.

Young Street Verge

The LMP have been awarded £600.00 to enable the completion of scrub clearance at Young Street Road verge, including chipping the cut material. This will help maintain an area of valuable chalk grassland

Woodcote Millennium Green

The Trust awarded a grant of £1000.00 to the Woodcote Millennium Green Trust for tree clearance and dredging of the pond to restore it to it’s previous habitat.

The Woodcote Millennium Green is the only one in Surrey, and can be found at the rear of Epsom General Hospital.  In 1999 the Harwood family donated a large portion of land including the pond to be held in perpetuity by the Trustees of the Woodcote Millennium Green Trust.

For more information visit woodcotemillenniumgreen.org.uk

 

Epsom RDA hedge

The Trust has contributed £500.00 to Epsom Riding for the Disabled, towards the cost of a 300 metre hedge of native species.  This will create a valuable habitat for wildlife in addition to protecting their site from the wind  and improving security.

 

Personal Protective Equipment

The LMP have made a successful application to the Trust for £722.00 for the purchase of safety helmets, gloves, and safety goggles. This essential kit is to be used by their hardworking volunteers, to keep them protected whilst out and about in the countryside.

 

Small Blue Butterfly Project on the North Downs

The Trust awarded £2000.00 to Butterfly Conservation towards the overall cost of £62,700.00 for establishing a series of stepping stones to link up colonies of the Small Blue butterfly on the North Downs.

For more information visit butterfly-conservation.org

 

 

 

Events at which the Lower Mole Countryside Trust will be/was present

 

Events which the Lower Mole Countryside Trust attended  in 2012:

Oatlands Fair, Weybridge  –  Saturday 19th May

Surrey County Show, Guildford –  Bank Holiday Monday 4th June

Ashtead Village Day –  Saturday 9th June   Details

Chessington World of Adventure  Conservation evening –  Saturday 23rd June  Details

Long Ditton Village  Fair (St Mary’s Junior School, Sugden Road)  –  Sunday 8th July

Banstead Countryside Day –  Sunday 9th September   Details 

Surrey Hills Wood Fair – Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th October  Details

Living Woodlands Fayre, at Horton Country Park  –  Sunday 21st October  Details

.

There were also Living Woodlands walks and events:

Tuesday 13th March – Castle Hill –  10am John Sharrock

Friday 16th March -NonsuchPark  –  10am.  Nick Owen

Saturday 14th April – Nonsuch Park – 2pm  Nick Owen

Saturday 14th April -NonsuchPark –  morning Nick Owen.

Tuesday 19 June   –  Chessington Countryside Walk, led by Louise Wilford  (5 miles)

Annual General Meeting – Thursday 8th March 2012

Annual General Meeting

The  ninth Annual General Meeting of the Lower Mole Countryside Trust was on Thursday 8th March 2012 at the New Room, Horton Country Park. The meeting was followed by an interesting talk by Stewart Cocker, on the history of the Horton Light Railway.

The  are links to the agenda, minutes of the last AGM and the annual report below.

Agenda for 8th March 2012

Annual Report 2011

Minutes of the March 2011 AGM

Progress at Stokes Field, Long Ditton

The Project volunteers spent three weeks working at Stokes Field Local Nature Reserve in summer 2011, surfacing two sections of path, totalling 200m in length funded by a grant to the Trust from Elmbridge Borough Council and donations including one from the Long Ditton Village Hall Trust.

The volunteers also constructed a pond dipping platform for school and youth groups to use.  The later was funded by a grant from the Orchid Environmental Trust and the Community Foundation for Surrey.