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Apprentice Training
The Trust agreed a grant towards the cost of chainsaw training at Merrist Wood for the Surrey Countryside Partnerships team apprentice.  This further increases the skills that he has gained during his time with the Partnerships.

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Living Woodlands
The Trust continued to support the Lower Mole Partnership’s Living Woodlands scheme, and awarded a grant to the Nonsuch Park Volunteers (a living Woodlands site) for the purchase of a pole saw to replace the existing one which was no longer serviceable.  This allows the volunteers to undertake more effective tree pruning and maintenance.
Pollarding a willow with a pole saw

Pollarding a willow with a new pole saw

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Castle Hill LNR

The Trust received a Neighbourhood grant from the Royal Borough of Kingston for the purchase and installation of a metal pedestrian gate, with a wooden kissing gate style box around it.  This is to stop motorcycles entering the site and also to give it a more cared for look.  This was part of an agreed plan with Historic England and the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.

New gate at Castle Hill

New gate at Castle Hill

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Teazle Wood

The Teazle Wood Trust was founded in 2015 by the Friends of Teazle Wood, who formed in 2011 to campaign to save Teazle Wood, 57 acres of woodland in Leatherhead.  It is a very valuable site with an interesting history.  A grant was awarded to them to continue with their habitat management work this year.

Managing scrub in Teazle Wood

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Power polesaw training
Previously the Trust funded an application from the Lower Mole Partnership to purchase a powered polesaw.  However, its use was limited as only one member of staff was trained to use it.  The Trust has now funded training for two volunteers to be trained in its use.

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Lamberts Orchard Pond
In 2013 the Trust raised funds from Surrey County Council members’ allocation, the Friends of Horton Country Park and a contribution from Epsom and Ewell Borough Council to enable the LMP to undertake the first stage in its restoration.   In 2015 the same funders gave further funding to enable the LMP to undertake a second phase.

Pond restoration

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Friends of Ashtead Rye Meadows Wetlands
An increased volunteer workforce meant that the Friends had an insufficient number and variety of tools, especially when joined on task by other organisations.  The Trust agreed a grant to enable the Friends to purchase the necessary items.

Ashtead

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First formal corporate partnership with Kantar Worldpanel UK

 

Debbie Hescott, Surrey Countryside Partnerships Business Development Officer , writes:           

We are very pleased to announce our first formal corporate partnership with Kantar Worldpanel UK, based in Epsom town centre and with a second office in Hangers Lane, West London.Kantar Worldpanel is the global expert in shoppers’ behaviour and the company has the UK’s largest consumer panel. Comprised of 30,000 households, the panel enables the company to offer the largest single source of continuous consumer and shopper insights.

The company has a strong corporate responsibility, nationally and internationally. Their Helping Hands’ initiative was established in 2010 as a way for Kantar Worldpanel UK to give back to the local community in a more personal way. Volunteers from across the business drive their UK charitable work through fun internal activities and formal partnerships with local charities.  The Lower Mole Countryside Trust is proud to be the first charity now being formally supported local to their Epsom office.

Staff have already provided their ‘helping hands’ during the last couple of years, joining in with Lower Mole Partnership summer Himalayan Balsam bashing at Bonesgate in Chessington.  For 2016 we will be offering four, varied Lower Mole task days for staff to join in with, plus we are aiming for a large number of staff to come out for a nice spring task on ‘Give and Gain Day’ on 20 May.

We also hope to work on future fundraising initiatives in partnership with Sophie Quinn, an Analyst based at their Epsom office, who leads on organising the staff volunteering activities.  Sophie is a keen practical conservation volunteer and will be encouraging lots of colleagues to come out volunteering with us in the glorious local countryside.

Hema Patel, Employee Engagement Leader for Kantar Worldpanel UK said “We are very pleased to strengthen our partnership with the Lower Mole Countryside Trust and continue making a difference to our local environment in 2016.”

Debbie Hescott said “We are very grateful to Kantar Worldpanel for their continued enthusiastic support of our Lower Mole work. We are really looking forward to further developing our relationship with Sophie and the team and to welcoming staff out on task with us throughout the year.  We will be encouraging many more local companies to establish similar corporate partnerships with us as well”.

 

 

Rifle Range Path

Last year Elmbridge Borough Council asked if the Moles could help reconstruct the Rifle Range Path on West End Common, which the Project originally worked on back in the late 1980s!

The Trust received a grant from Elmbridge’s Medium Grant scheme to cover the cost of working on about 100 metres of the path which was completed last summer.  This August the Project completed another 90 metres.  This year the funding came from Elmbridge’s Community Infrastructure Levy fund and went straight to the Project.

SCC Staff & vols2-RifleRangePath7-15

Also this summer another successful application was made to the CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) fund for the next 100 metres to be completed in summer 2016, so the Moles will be back there again!

The regular Moles volunteers were joined on the Rifle Range project by a group from SCC’s Strategic Partnerships team (shown in the photo).

Thank you to them for joining in so enthusiastically.

The Project has been working at Castle Hill local nature reserve in Chessington for many years carrying out a wide variety of work, most recently via a management agreement with Historic England to ensure this scheduled ancient monument was removed from their ‘At Risk Register’.

Now that has been achieved the Project has a new management agreement which includes further woodland management through the Living Woodlands scheme and also maintenance of the meadow.

CastleHillFence3-Vols5.15

The Trust funded a section of new fencing along a boundary to prevent fly tipping of garden waste, and is hoping to secure the funding for a kissing gate to go at the end of this.

Tools

The Trust funded the purchase of two Transbank-Chem containers for transporting herbicides safely in the Lower Mole Project’s vehicles.  As part of its work the Project is often required to treat the stumps of scrub the volunteers have cleared to prevent re-growth. The new boxes are much lighter then the old one which needed two people to lift it!

transbank

A grant has also been agreed to buy two new combi drills for the Project, following heavy use this summer with bridge constructions, revetments, noticeboards etc.

Otter Holt

The Trust has funded the cost of purchase and installation of an artificial otter holt on one of the islands in the River Mole at Thorncroft.    It is hoped that as otters continue to spread across Surrey this will help them to become established on the River Mole.  July 2015

CompletedOtterHolt7.15

Apprentice training

The Trust used the funds which it had previously allocated to the Countryside Partnerships team apprenticeship to purchase protective clothing for chainsaw use, for the apprentice, Connor.

He will be doing maintenance and cross cutting as part of his college course, and then further chainsaw training in felling small trees to be  funded by Surrey County Council this autumn.

Lambert’s Orchard Pond

In September 2015 the Project will be carrying out phase 2 of the restoration of the pond in the orchard at Horton Country Park, this will be funded by the Trust along with a SCC Members Allocation, Friends of HCP and Epsom and Ewell Borough Council.

Phase 1 was carried out in September 2013, and this year’s work should see the pond restoration completed.