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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 25 January

Hedge laying: Using this traditional craft to improve the structure and longevity of a section of hedgerow.

Meet at Community Copse (L9 – reassured.ecologist.emphasis

 

Wednesday 1 February

Pond maintenance: Clearing scrub from around the pond to open up views

Meet at Friends Pond (G4 – held.tight.radiates)

 

Wednesday 8 February

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

Meet west of the oak plantation (M5 – toasted.specifies.wished)

 

Wednesday 15 February

Ant hill preservation: Clearing scrub to prevent ant hills from becoming overgrown and lost.

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

 

Wednesday 22 February

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

Meet at Sidney’s Glade (G10 - bunch.hobby.moving)

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 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

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. 

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)

Wednesday 22 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

Tuesday 31 January

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 entrance to Slip of Wood, GU6 7BE

 

Tuesday 14 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 entrance to Slip of Wood, GU6 7BE

 

Tuesday 28 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 entrance to Slip of Wood, GU6 7BE

Tasks and dates

No upcoming tasks at this location.

Tasks and dates

Task coming 2023, watch this space.

Tasks coming 2023 - watch this space 

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

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 5 February 2023

Pond management: A final endeavour to remove as much of the invasive weed from the pond as possible so it is in a good condition for breeding wildlife in the spring. For those who prefer to keep their feet dry, there will also be the opportunity to clear holly or rhododendron 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.

Session led by Vicky

No upcoming tasks at this location.