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Volunteering in the Countryside

Waverley's countryside rangers lead practical conservation tasks across the borough, all year round, with the help of our dedicated volunteers. Together, they are involved in the management of many of Waverley's fantastic open spaces. 

Last year volunteers gave us an incredible 2738 days of their time - a remarkable achievement which is greatly appreciated by our staff and site users.

Why volunteer?

  • Help improve your local wildlife habitats and make a real difference to the animals and plants that live there.
  • Meet new people interested in looking after the countryside.
  • Conservation volunteering is a great way of keeping fit, getting fresh air and relieving stress.

All tools, protective equipment and supervision are provided by the countryside rangers. They will also explain how to use hand tools safely and give the reasons for the work being carried out.  Most importantly, they will provide tea and coffee (please bring your own lunch).

Who can become a volunteer?

Everyone is welcome to come along and help us with our conservation tasks, but  under 16's must be accompanied by an adult.

No experience is needed, just plenty of enthusiasm and some elbow grease.

New volunteers are always welcome. 

Please do not attend any of our volunteer sessions if you have symptoms of COVID-19. This includes the symptoms of cough, fever, and loss of taste and smell, but also more generic cold-like symptoms such as a sore throat, runny nose, and headache. We will provide hand sanitiser which we encourage you to use during our volunteer sessions.

What to expect

Spring and summer

Tasks include:

  •     removing invasive plants by hand such as ragwort, himalayan balsam and bracken
  •     improving paths
  •     creating steps
  •     installing seats for visitors
  •     litter-picking
  •     hay-making

Autumn and winter

Tasks include:

  •     hedge-laying 
  •     coppicing (cutting down poles of hazel and chestnut to regenerate woodland)
  •     pulling out stray Scots pine sapling
  •     removing gorse and birch on heathland
  •     planting trees
  •     clearing ponds of excess vegetation

Register as a volunteer

Before becoming an Waverley Countryside Volunteer, you will need to register as a volunteer

Register as a volunteer

More information

To find out more, please contact the Parks and Countryside team, email parks&countryside@waverley.gov.uk or call 01483 523394.

Check out the Waverley countryside locations for more information on our activities and when they take place.

Volunteer sessions normally take place every Wednesday morning from 9:00am – 12:30pm to assist in the management in this historic deer park. Meet at 9am at the locations below, parking can be found at the main car park on Folly Hill (GU9 0AU). Sessions led by Nick.

Dates and tasks are subject to change – please check with site noticeboards or the ranger beforehand by calling 01252 717047.

Meeting point map

The map available via the link below will help you find the meeting points each week.

Farnham Park map

Tasks and dates 2024

Wednesday 17 April

Path maintenance: Cutting back and widening paths.

Meet at Friend’s Pond (G3 – help.chosen.spring)

Wednesday 24 April

Path construction: Building a new path and maintaining a nearby ditch

Meet at Oast House Lane gate (J10).

Wednesday 1 May

Path clearance: Clearing vegetation from next to a path and litter picking.

Meet at St. James’ Avenue (B8 – area.luck.maker)

Wednesday 8 May

Path and fence clearance: Cutting vegetation back from a fence, gates and paths.

Meet at Royal Pond (I8 – cared.risks.suiting)

Wednesday 15 May

Path maintenance: Cutting back vegetation from paths and adding woodchip surfacing.

Meet at Farnham Park Drive Entrance (N5 – villager.hang.honest)

Wednesday 22 May

Bracken control and path maintenance: Pulling up bracken and improving paths

Meet at Raspberry Field (N6 – tweeted.region.dare

Wednesday 29 May

Bracken control and path maintenance: Pulling up bracken and improving paths

Meet at College Copse, south – Whitebottom (E8 – focal.hook.minus)

Wednesday 5 June

Invasive species control: Searching for and pulling out invasive Himalayan balsam

Meet at Halfway Glade (L8 – scary.built.curl)

Wednesday 12 June

Invasive species control: Searching for and pulling out invasive Himalayan balsam

Rupert’s Glade (K8 – pilots.bagpipes.existence)

Wednesday 19 June

Invasive species control and path maintenance: Searching for and pulling out invasive Himalayan balsam and maintaining paths.

Meet at Royal Pond (I8 – cared.risks.suiting)

Wednesday 26 June

Invasive species control: Searching for and pulling out invasive Himalayan balsam

Meet at Sidney’s Glade (F10 point.gasp.purely)

Wednesday 3 July

Invasive species control and path maintenance: Searching for and pulling out invasive Himalayan balsam and maintaining paths.

Meet at Whitebottom east (D10 – riders.spins.judges)

Wednesday 10 July

Invasive species control and path maintenance: Searching for and pulling out invasive Himalayan balsam and maintaining paths.

Meet at Yoyo Pond (G9 – method.coherent.panel)

Wednesday 17 July

Invasive species control and path maintenance: Searching for and pulling out invasive Himalayan balsam and maintaining paths.

Meet at the Motorway bridge (K6 – wildfires.executive.deeds)

Wednesday 24 July

Invasive species control and path maintenance: Searching for and pulling out invasive Himalayan balsam and maintaining paths.

Meet at Nutshell Lane Coppice (M8 – even.universal.infuses)

Wednesday 31 July

Invasive species control and path maintenance: Searching for and pulling out invasive Himalayan balsam and maintaining paths.

Meet at Friend’s Pond (G3 – help.chosen.spring)

Wednesday 7 August

Invasive species control and path maintenance: Searching for and pulling out invasive Himalayan balsam and maintaining paths.

Meet at Hoghatch Vale (L4 – swan.discusses.arming)

Wednesday 14 August

Invasive species control and path maintenance: Searching for and pulling out invasive Himalayan balsam and maintaining paths.

Meet at College Copse, north (F8 – petal.uses.exit)

Wednesday 21 August

Invasive species control and path maintenance: Searching for and pulling out invasive Himalayan balsam and maintaining paths.

Meet at Halfway Glade (L8 – scary.built.curl)

Wednesday 28 August

Invasive species control and path maintenance: Searching for and pulling out invasive Himalayan balsam and maintaining paths.

Meet at Sidney’s Glade (F10 point.gasp.purely)

Volunteer sessions normally take place every Wednesday from 10am-3pm, except for the second Wednesday of the month when we instead work at Mare Hill Common. Meet at 10am at the Frensham Great Pond Car Park off Bacon Lane, GU10 2QB, unless otherwise specified in the listing. Sessions led by Darren.

Tasks and dates 2024

Wednesday 17 April

Fencing: Following on from winter clearance of the gorse that was obstructing our progress last year, today we will be finishing off the renewal of some chestnut paling fencing which is protecting ancient burial mounds.

Meet at the Great Pond visitor centre, GU10 2QB, at 10am or at the Kings Ridge Barrows at 10.30am.

Wednesday 24 April

Sand habitat management: Today we will be refreshing sandy traces to provide habitat for sand lizards and invertebrates.

Meet at the Great Pond visitor centre, GU10 2QB.

Wednesday 1 May

Wildlife surveys: Today we will continue with our programme of biological surveys. Across the season we will be looking at various groups from invertebrates to birds to plants and habitats in general.

For meeting details, please contact the Ranger at darren.hill@waverley.gov.uk

Wednesday 15 May

Post and rail fencing: We will be replacing post and rail fencing around the Great Pond. These areas provide a refuge for wildlife in the busier areas of the common.

Meet at the Great Pond visitor centre, GU10 2QB

Wednesday 22 May

Signage construction: Today we will be creating various signage frames for installation across the common.

Meet at the Great Pond visitor centre, GU10 2QB

Wednesday 29 May

Site maintenance: Today will be dedicated to visiting overlooked areas on the common to litter pick and fix any issues that have arisen during the season so far.

Meet at the Great Pond visitor centre, GU10 2QB

Wednesday 5 June

Wildlife surveys: Today we will continue with our programme of biological surveys. Across the season we will be looking at various groups from invertebrates to birds to plants and habitats in general.

For meeting details, please contact the Ranger at darren.hill@waverley.gov.uk

Wednesday 19 June

Signage construction: Today we will be creating various signage frames for installation across the common.

Meet at the Great Pond visitor centre, GU10 2QB

Wednesday 26 June

Litter picking: Today will be spent undertaking a site wide litter pick to help keep the common tidy in preparation for the peak of the season.

Meet at the Great Pond visitor centre, GU10 2QB

Wednesday 3 July

Wildlife surveys: Today we will continue with our programme of biological surveys. Across the season we will be looking at various groups from invertebrates to birds to plants and habitats in general.

For meeting details, please contact the Ranger at darren.hill@waverley.gov.uk

Wednesday 17 July

Site maintenance: Today will be dedicated to visiting overlooked areas on the common to litter pick and fix any issues that have arisen during the season so far.

Meet at the Great Pond visitor centre, GU10 2QB

Wednesday 24 July

No task today

Wednesday 31 July

No task today

August

Due to the high visitor pressure typically experienced at Frensham during the summer school holidays, there will be no formal volunteer sessions here in August. We always welcome volunteer litter pickers during this time - speak to the Ranger to find out more!

All tasks are 10am – 3pm unless otherwise stated, though there is no requirement to stay all day. Meet at the small car park off Roke Lane, Witley, GU8 5NZ (SU 936 399). Tools are provided, as are tea and coffee.

Tasks and dates 2024

Wednesday 8 May

Bird and reptile survey and general estate maintenance: We will have an early start and spend the first few hours carrying out a survey of the many bird species which can be found on Mare Hill, including a number of heathland specialists. If the weather is good we will spend the remainder of the morning checking specially laid metal sheets for reptiles. If the weather is not suitable for the wildlife surveying, we will instead carry out general site maintenance, such as cleaning signs, re-instating dislodged posts and litter picking.

Please note an earlier start and finish time - meet at 7:45am for an 8:00am start. We will be finished by 1:00pm.

Wednesday 12 June

Bracken pulling: We are exploring non-herbicide methods of bracken control. We will trial pulling up the bracken to prevent it spreading at the expense of the valuable heathland vegetation.

Wednesday 10 July

Pond clearance and bracken pulling: Assuming that water levels are low enough, we will take the opportunity to clear out the water retention ponds at the bottom of the site. Once finished, we will continue with the bracken pulling started last month.

Wednesday 8 August

Invertebrate survey: We will be joined by a local expert to search for and learn about the small and inconspicuous, but often rare and specialised insect species that make Mare Hill their home.

Volunteer sessions take place from 10am-3pm on the second Wednesday of every month and also the last Friday of every month during the autumn and winter. Sessions led by Lucie. 


Tasks and dates 2024

Wednesday 24 April

Bracken pulling: We will be pulling bracken to control its spread.

Meet: 10am lay-by along Sample Oak Lane, W3W sample.maple.daunted

Wednesday 8 May

Bracken pulling: We will be pulling bracken to control its spread.

Meet: 10am lay-by along Sample Oak Lane, W3W sample.maple.daunted

Friday 24 May

Fence repairs: We will be repairing the Blackheath Lane car park fence in sections.

Meet: 10am Blackheath Lane car park, W3W sharpness.donates.workroom

Wednesday 12 June

Fence repairs: We will be repairing the Blackheath Lane car park fence in sections.

Meet: 10am Blackheath Lane car park, W3W sharpness.donates.workroom

Friday 28 June

Fence repairs: We will be repairing the Blackheath Lane car park fence in sections.

Meet: 10am Blackheath Lane car park, W3W sharpness.donates.workroom

Wednesday 10 July

Fence repairs: We will be repairing the Blackheath Lane car park fence in sections.

Meet: 10am Blackheath Lane car park, W3W sharpness.donates.workroom

Friday 26 July

Butterfly survey: We will walk the butterfly transect and record all butterflies we see.

Meet: 10am Blackheath Lane car park, W3W: sharpness.donates.workroom

Wednesday 14 August

Reptile survey: We will walk the reptile transect and record all the reptile species we find.

Meet: 10am Littleford Lane car park, W3W: buggy.shepherdess.volcano

Friday 30 August

No task today

These sessions are from 10am - 1pm and led by Lucie.

Tasks and dates 2024

Tuesday 16 April

Pond fence maintenance: We will cut back vegetation encroaching onto the path around the pond and litter pick across the estate. We will also start removing the old post and rail fencing around the pond which is to be replaced.

Meet at 10am by the pond at Kiln Copse (GU6 7BW)

Tuesday 7 May

Pond fence maintenance: We will cut back vegetation encroaching onto the path around the pond and litter pick across the estate. We will also start removing the old post and rail fencing around the pond which is to be replaced.

Meet at 10am by the pond at Kiln Copse (GU6 7BW)

Tuesday 4 June

Pond fence maintenance: We will be replacing the post and rail fencing around the pond.

Meet at 10am by the pond at Kiln Copse (GU6 7BW)

Tuesday 2 July

Wildflower and Butterfly surveying: We will try to identify the various plant species within the wildflower meadows, as well as recording any butterflies we encounter.

Meet at 10am at end of Rydelands by the largest flower meadow (GU6 7DD)

August

There will be no volunteering sessions at Summerlands in August

Tasks and dates 2024

No upcoming volunteer tasks.

Tasks and dates 2024

No current tasks, more dates coming soon.

Tasks and dates 2024

No upcoming volunteer tasks.

Tasks and dates 2024

No upcoming volunteer tasks.

Tasks and dates 2024

No current tasks, more dates coming soon.