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Countryside volunteering

Waverley's Countryside Rangers lead practical conservation tasks across the borough, all year round, with the help of the Waverley Countryside 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.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms

Please do not attend any of our volunteer sessions if you have symptoms of COVID-19. This includes the standard 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. This applies even if you have tested negative for the virus, as this does not guarantee that you do not have it, and it can be very unsettling for other volunteers to have a symptomatic person working with them. We also ask you to not attend if you are living with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 10 days.

Some of our volunteers may be vulnerable or feeling anxious about the ongoing risk from the virus, so we ask you to be sensitive to their needs and observe social distancing where possible whilst you are working with us. We will provide hand sanitiser which we encourage you to use during our volunteer sessions.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest information on government website

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. 

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 image below will help you find the meeting points each week.

Farnham Park map grid for volunteers

Download map

Download an image of the meeting point map:  

Farnham Park meeting point map

Tasks and dates

Wednesday 7 September

Path maintenance: Cutting back paths and opening up sightlines.

Meet at Farnham Park Drive (N5 - slanting.digested.move)

Wednesday 14 September

Vegetation clearance

Meet at the Adventure playground (B2 - hunk.soap.trace)

Wednesday 21 September

Glade clearance: Clearing scrub and young trees to make a sunny glade.

Meet at Aubrey’s Pond/ Aspen glade (H8 - paying.precluded.tailwind)

Wednesday 28 September

Path maintenance: Clearing bramble and scrub from path edges.

Meet at the central path (H5 - investor.loves.bookmark)

Wednesday 5 October

Pond maintenance: Clearing scrub and other vegetation from around the pond.

Meet at Friend’s Pond (G3 - manuals.blockage.templates)

Wednesday 12 October

Glade and ride clearance:  Clearing scrub and young trees to open up a sunny glade and ride.

Meet west of the Oak Plantation (M5 - toasted.specifies.wished)

Wednesday 19 October

Avenue maintenance: Hedge cutting and spreading woodchip along the historic Park Avenue.

Meet at the east end of the Avenue (D10 - vows.sobs.pace)

Wednesday 26 October

Hedge cutting: Cutting and maintaining the Queen Mother’s Hedge.

Meet at the second football pitch (D3 - jetted.witless.bought)

Wednesday 2 November

Vegetation clearance: Clearing scrub and other vegetation to preserve the open parkland character.

Hoghatch Vale, NW (L3 - corrosive.humble.ants)

Wednesday 9 November

Path maintenance: Clearing bramble and scrub from path edges.

Meet at the central path (H5 - investor.loves.bookmark)

Wednesday 16 November

Vegetation clearance: Clearing scrub and other vegetation to preserve the open parkland character.

Halfway Glade south (L8 - parks.washable.colleague)

Wednesday 23 November

Vegetation clearance: Clearing scrub and creating sunny glades.

Meet at Oast House Meadow south (K8 - strain.doghouse.imply)

Wednesday 30 November

Vegetation clearance: Clearing scrub and creating sunny glades.

Meet at Oast House Meadow south (K8 - strain.doghouse.imply)

Wednesday 7 December

Vegetation clearance and oak thinning: Clearing selected young oaks to give those remaining more space to thrive.

Meet at Deer Pond (I5 - overdone.guests.overruns)

Wednesday 14 December

Vegetation clearance: Clearing scrub to prevent ant hills from becoming overgrown and lost.

Meet at Roger’s Arboretum (E3 - dare.mixture.lotteries)

Wednesday 21 December

Coppicing and Christmas bash: Coppicing hazel to promote fresh growth and harvest materials for next month’s hedge laying. A Christmas lunch of jacket potatoes cooked on the bonfire will be provided.

Meet at Nutshell Lane Coppice (M8 – reserving.paint.nervy)

Wednesday 28 December

Vegetation. clearance: Clearing scrub to prevent ant hills from becoming overgrown and lost.

Meet at Roger’s Arboretum (E3 - dare.mixture.lotteries)

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

Wednesday 21 September

Path and bridge works: After many years, the Frensham boardwalk has fallen out of repair and we are in need of a replacement solution. The existing boards have now been removed and today we will be creating a raised hoggin path as an alternative. We will also be building a bridge to cross a small ditch at the start of the path.

Meet at 10:00 at the Great Pond visitor centre (GU10 2QB)

Wednesday 28 September

Path and bridge works: Today we will be continuing to create a raised hoggin path as an alternative to the Frensham boardwalk. We will also be building a bridge to cross a small ditch at the start of the path.  

Meet at 10:00 at the Great Pond visitor centre (GU10 2QB)

Wednesday 5 October

Pond works: Today we will be cutting back a bridleway on the edge of the Great Pond where it meets Bacon Lane. We will also be cutting and dragging vegetation from the pond to maintain viewpoints from the western edge.

Meet at 10:00 at the Great Pond visitor centre (GU10 2QB)

Wednesday 19 October

Woodland management: Today we will be undertaking works from the Woodland Management Plan, thinning out birch and pine from established woodland areas.

Meet at the visitor centre at 10:00 (GU10 2QB) before walking to the work site. Alternatively, please meet at the top of the Kings Ridge at What Three Words location ///prepped.headstone.ship

Wednesday 26 October

Woodland management: Today we will be undertaking works from the Woodland Management Plan, thinning out birch and pine from established woodland areas.

Meet at the visitor centre at 10:00 (GU10 2QB) before walking to the work site. Alternatively, please meet at the top of the Kings Ridge at What Three Words location ///prepped.headstone.ship

Wednesday 2 November

Scrub clearance: Today we will be starting the annual programme of scrub clearance on the Common to maintain the open heathland habitat so important for our rare and endangered wildlife.

The location of scrub clearance tasks will change week to week. Please make sure you are registered as a volunteer and subscribed to the Frensham volunteer e-mail list for further details.

Wednesday 16 November

Scrub clearance: Today we will be continuing with the annual programme of scrub clearance on the Common to maintain the open heathland habitat so important for our rare and endangered wildlife.

The location of scrub clearance tasks will change week to week. Please make sure you are registered as a volunteer and subscribed to the Frensham volunteer e-mail list for further details.

Wednesday 23 November

Scrub clearance: Today we will be continuing with the annual programme of scrub clearance on the Common to maintain the open heathland habitat so important for our rare and endangered wildlife. 

The location of scrub clearance tasks will change week to week. Please make sure you are registered as a volunteer and subscribed to the Frensham volunteer e-mail list for further details.

Wednesday 30 November

Scrub clearance: Today we will be continuing with the annual programme of scrub clearance on the Common to maintain the open heathland habitat so important for our rare and endangered wildlife.

The location of scrub clearance tasks will change week to week. Please make sure you are registered as a volunteer and subscribed to the Frensham volunteer e-mail list for further details.

Wednesday 7 December

Scrub clearance: Today we will be continuing with the annual programme of scrub clearance on the Common to maintain the open heathland habitat so important for our rare and endangered wildlife.

The location of scrub clearance tasks will change week to week. Please make sure you are registered as a volunteer and subscribed to the Frensham volunteer e-mail list for further details.

Wednesday 21 December

Scrub clearance: Today we will be continuing with the annual programme of scrub clearance on the Common to maintain the open heathland habitat so important for our rare and endangered wildlife.

The location of scrub clearance tasks will change week to week. Please make sure you are registered as a volunteer and subscribed to the Frensham volunteer e-mail list for further details.

Wednesday 4 January 2023: 

No task today

Wednesday 18 January

Gorse clearance: Today we will be starting the annual programme of gorse clearance on the common, an essential part of routine heathland management and fire risk management.

The location of gorse clearance tasks will change week to week. Please make sure you are registered as a volunteer and subscribed to the Frensham volunteer e-mail list for further details.

Wednesday 25 January

Gorse clearance: Today we will be continuing with the annual programme of gorse clearance on the common, an essential part of routine heathland management and fire risk management.

The location of gorse clearance tasks will change week to week. Please make sure you are registered as a volunteer and subscribed to the Frensham volunteer e-mail list for further details.

Wednesday 1 February

Gorse clearance: Today we will be continuing with the annual programme of gorse clearance on the common, an essential part of routine heathland management and fire risk management.

The location of gorse clearance tasks will change week to week. Please make sure you are registered as a volunteer and subscribed to the Frensham volunteer e-mail list for further details.

Wednesday 15 February

Gorse clearance: Today we will be continuing with the annual programme of gorse clearance on the common, an essential part of routine heathland management and fire risk management.

The location of gorse clearance tasks will change week to week. Please make sure you are registered as a volunteer and subscribed to the Frensham volunteer e-mail list for further details.

Wednesday 22 February

Gorse clearance: Today we will be continuing with the annual programme of gorse clearance on the common, an essential part of routine heathland management and fire risk management.

The location of gorse clearance tasks will change week to week. Please make sure you are registered as a volunteer and subscribed to the Frensham volunteer e-mail list for further details.

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

No tasks in September

Wednesday 12 October

Scrub clearance: We will clear scrub and young trees from the heathland to maintain its open shrubby character.

Wednesday 9 November

Scrub clearance: We will continue with clearing scrub and young trees from the heathland to benefit the specialist wildlife it supports.

Sunday 4 December

Cut your own Christmas tree! We will spend the morning between 10:00 and 13:00 clearing scrub from the heathland. You will then be free to select, cut, and take away your own Scots pine Christmas tree. There is no charge but places are limited and booking is essential. Places must be booked by Friday 25 November. You are required to attend the morning's scrub clearance session to get a tree.

To book a place please e-mail Vicky at vicky.keller@waverley.gov.uk or phone 01483 523394

Wednesday 14 December

Scrub clearance: Another day of clearing scrub and small trees from the heathland to maintain this valuable habitat in an optimal condition for the rare wildlife which depend on it. A Christmas lunch of jacket potatoes cooked on the bonfire will be provided.

Please book in advance to reserve your potato by emailing vicky.keller@waverley.gov.uk

Wednesday 11 January 2023

Scrub clearance: Continuing with clearing invading scrub and small trees from the important heathland habitat.

Wednesday 8 February

Scrub clearance: Our final day of clearing scrub and small trees from the heathland before the bird breeding season starts, and the heathland wildlife begins to take advantage of our good work.

Sunday 19 February

Scrub clearance: We will clear encroaching young trees and scrub from the heathland in order to preserve its open shrubby character.

Meet 10:00 at the small parking area off Roke Lane GU8 5NZ (SU 936 399).

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. 

Wednesday 14 September

Scrub clearance: Removing Scots pine and silver birch to maintain the heathland in a suitable condition for the specialised wildlife found here.

Meet at 10:00 at the Littleford Lane car park (GU4 8QZ)

Wednesday 12 October

Scrub clearance: Removing Scots pine and silver birch to maintain the heathland in a suitable condition for the specialised wildlife found here.

Meet at 10:00 at the Littleford Lane car park (GU4 8QZ)

Friday 28 October

Scrub clearance: Removing Scots pine and silver birch to maintain the heathland in a suitable condition for the specialised wildlife found here.

Meet at 10:00 at the Littleford Lane car park (GU4 8QZ)

Wednesday 9 November

Scrub clearance: Removing Scots pine and silver birch to maintain the heathland in a suitable condition for the specialised wildlife found here.

Meet at 10:00 at the Littleford Lane car park (GU4 8QZ)

Friday 25 November

Scrub clearance: Removing Scots pine and silver birch to maintain the heathland in a suitable condition for the specialised wildlife found here.

Meet at 10:00 at the Littleford Lane car park (GU4 8QZ)

Wednesday 14 December

Scrub clearance and cut your own Christmas tree: Removing Scots pine and silver birch to maintain the heathland in a suitable condition for the specialised wildlife found here.

There will be mince pies and the chance to wear your Christmas jumper. All attendees will have the opportunity to select and take a Christmas tree after a morning of scrub clearance.

Booking essential – please e-mail lucie.poole@waverley.gov.uk

Friday 30 December

No session – Merry Christmas!

Wednesday 12 January 2023

Scrub clearance: Removing Scots pine and silver birch to maintain the heathland in a suitable condition for the specialised wildlife found here.

Meet at 10:00 at the Littleford Lane car park (GU4 8QZ)

Friday 27 January

Scrub clearance: Removing Scots pine and silver birch to maintain the heathland in a suitable condition for the specialised wildlife found here.

Meet at 10:00 at the Littleford Lane car park (GU4 8QZ)

Wednesday 8 February

Scrub clearance: Removing Scots pine and silver birch to maintain the heathland in a suitable condition for the specialised wildlife found here.

Meet at 10:00 at the Littleford Lane car park (GU4 8QZ)

Friday 24 February

Scrub clearance: Removing Scots pine and silver birch to maintain the heathland in a suitable condition for the specialised wildlife found here.

Meet at 10:00 at the Littleford Lane car park (GU4 8QZ)

Please note that volunteering tasks do not run routinely at Summerlands over the spring and summer.

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

Tasks and dates

Wednesday 7 September

Scrub cutting: We will reduce the amount of scrub along the path around the pond, and also repair a broken knee rail.

Meet at the pond by Kiln Copse, Summerlands, GU6 7BW

Tuesday 20 September

Scrub cutting: We will remove encroaching scrub from along the path edges around the estate, and also pull up invasive Virginia creeper from the flower meadows.

Meet at the end of Rydelands, GU6 7DX

Tuesday 4 October

Pond maintenance: We will be removing excess and encroaching vegetation from around the pond.

Meet at the pond by Kiln Copse, Summerlands, GU6 7BW

Tuesday 25 October

Willow coppicing: We will be coppicing willow on the banks of the pond.

Meet at the pond by Kiln Copse, Summerlands, GU6 7BW

Tuesday 1 November

Scrub clearance: We will clear holly, bramble and other scrub from the woodland to open up space for woodland flowers.

Meet at the end of Rydelands, GU6 7DX

Tuesday 15 November

Scrub clearance: We will clear holly, bramble and other scrub from the woodland to open up space for woodland flowers.

Meet at the end of Rydelands, GU6 7DX

Tuesday 6 December

Scrub clearance: We will clear holly, bramble and other scrub from the woodland to open up space for woodland flowers.

Meet at the end of Rydelands, GU6 7DX

Tuesday 20 December

Scrub clearance and Christmas celebrations: We will clear holly, bramble and other scrub from the woodland to open up space for woodland flowers. There will be mince pies and the chance to wear your Christmas jumper.

Meet at the end of Rydelands, GU6 7DX

Tuesday 17 January 2023

Scrub clearance: Working in the eastern side of the woodland, we will clear holly, bramble and other scrub to open up space for woodland flowers.

Meet at the end of Rydelands, GU6 7DX

Tuesday 7 February

Scrub clearance: Working in the eastern side of the woodland, we will clear holly, bramble and other scrub to open up space for woodland flowers.

Meet at the end of Rydelands, GU6 7DX

Tuesday 21 February

Scrub clearance: Working in the eastern side of the woodland, we will clear holly, bramble and other scrub to open up space for woodland flowers.

Meet at the end of Rydelands, GU6 7DX

Tasks and dates

Saturday 14 January 2023

Glade management: We will be clearing some young birch and gorse from the edge of a sunny open glade to prevent them shading out sun loving plants and encroaching into open habitat. We will also clear some invasive cherry laurel from the surrounding woodland.

Meet 10:00 at the corner of Clifton Close, off Boundstone Road, Farnham, GU10 4TP (SU 832 437).

Session led by Vicky.

Tasks and dates

Saturday 19 November

Holly clearance: We will be clearing stands of dense holly to give other woodland trees and plants more space and light.

Meet 10:00 at the small parking area off Old Compton Lane, Farnham, GU9 8EG (SU 859 462).

Session led by Vicky

Sunday 20 November

Scrub clearance – we will be coppicing blackthorn and hazel to stop them encroaching onto and shading out the flower rich grassland.

Meet 10:00 at the noticeboard at the end of the lane from the Bluebell pub. GU10 4EX (SU 822 410)

Session led by Vicky

Sunday 23 October

Pond management: We will be removing invasive weed from the pond. For those who prefer to keep their feet dry, there will also be the opportunity to clear holly from the adjacent woodland.

Meet at 10:00 at the pond along Tennyson’s Ridge, off the five ways junction of Scotland Lane and Haste Hill, Haslemere GU27 3SY (SU 911 320). Session led by Vicky.

Sunday 15 January 2023

Elm clearance: We will be clearing a dense patch of young elm to prevent them from becoming a safety risk and give other species a chance.

Meet 10:00 at the car park off the Elstead road, just east of the junction with Peper Harow Lane, GU8 6AY (SU 935 445).

Session led by Vicky.