Lower Mole Countryside Mangement Project2000 – 2001
During the year, the Project organised 215 separate events. Of these 33 were at weekends and 25 on private land. The Project attended 3 shows, held 9 guided walks and gave 4 talks. 6,838.5 volunteer hours were recorded (1,140 days). The foot and mouth outbreak caused the cancellation of several tasks from February to April, resulting in extra work at our workshops (signpost construction) and new office grounds.
Tasks (Number of Events)
Total Income 129,307
Total Expenditure 112,761
Income exceeded expenditure for the year by 16,546, which with 8,515 carried over from 1999/2000 gave a total surplus of 25,061. This was due to maternity and secondment savings, savings on vehicles and the delay of the planned office relocation. Expenditure on office relocation is expected in 2001/02.
The Project is active in Local Agenda 21 groups. It is represented on the committee of the Epsom Common Association, Elmbridge Countryside Consultative Committee, Norbury Park Consultation Committee and Ashtead Common Consultative Committee. The Project is involved in the North Walton Partnership, Molesey and Kingston Healthy Walks and consultations on the future of Tolworth Court Farm, Kingston.
Mole Matters newsletter (2) and Task programme (4); Thames Down Link leaflet re-printed and Leatherhead Riverside Walk leaflet printed in association with Mole Valley DC.
Training for Volunteers
Minibus training, volunteer S Francis
Power Tools day, May 2000
Woodcote Millennium Green was opened in July. The Project supported work by the Friends of Horton Country Park and the restoration of Milbourne Pond, Thames Ditton with advice and practical input. Butterfly Conservation continued to support practical work on Headley Warren SSSI and Princes Coverts. Work on Jessops Well Pond with Crown Estates continued. Merrist Wood students cleared more heavy scrub on Epsom Common SSSI. 4 steers were borrowed to graze part of the Common with the Epsom Common Association and Epsom and Ewell Rangers sharing stock checking duties with the Project. Practical work on Oxshott Heath included the Trail 2000 Circular Walk (a Millennium project by Oxshott Conservators, FEDORA and local schools) and habitat work by the Project and BTCV. Work on the Mole Gap Trail with the AONB Team and SCC Highways progressed. The Project worked with Epsom and Walton Downs Conservators, Epsom Downs Golf Course and Kingston Archaeologists.
Towards the Future.
The Project moved to offices to Horton Country Park in July 2001. This will result in efficiency savings and allow an expansion of volunteer involvement in the Project’s work, but will use up most of the current surplus. A Phase 1 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund is in preparation for grazing and nature conservation on chalk grasslands on the North Downs – the Old Surrey Downs Project. Work will continue on Epsom Common SSSI with nature conservation management and an "Epsom Common Day" at Stamford Green in May 2001. Nature Conservation works on Oxshott Heath SSSI are expected plus the finishing of the Elmbridge RoW waymarking database and a condition survey of Kingston rural RoW. Possibilities for a support trust for the work of the Project are being investigated.
A diverse and enthusiastic group of regular volunteers support our practical work programme, which runs 3 or 4 days per week all year round. Volunteers are also welcomed in a variety of other roles eg in the Project office and at workshops.
Volunteer tasks were organised for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays each week and every second Sunday. These were publicised in our quarterly task programme, our biannual Mole Matters newsletter and the Projects’ website. Refreshments are supplied and all necessary training provided.
Training for volunteers is extensive. Project staff are highly trained and pass this on to volunteers on site. Training can include first aid, use of machinery, minibus driving and a variety of other skills.
About the Project
Set up in 1983, the Project works in an area of 141Km2. It exists to carry out practical work for the benefit of wildlife and the local community, with a parallel role of supplying advice and information on nature conservation, landscape and public access issues. Our funding partners provide the Project’s core funding. Although this core budget includes a small amount for materials, money is raised to meet the cost of individual practical tasks from a variety of sources including grant aid. The Project works on public and private land.
Staff and resources
During the year, the staff were: Project Manager: Nick Owen, Senior Assistant Project Officer (part time) Helen Cocker (on maternity leave and secondment), Assistant Project Officers Conor Morrow and (temporary) Terry Claxton (left May 2000) and Louise Wilford.
The Project ran 2 vehicles, a tool store with workshop facilities and a timber store.
The Lower Mole Countryside Management Project is funded by:
Surrey County Council, Elmbridge Borough Council, Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, Mole Valley District Council, Royal Borough of Kingston and the Corporation of London.
The Project is based at (from 23/07/01):
2, West Park Farmhouse, Horton Country Park, Horton Lane, Epsom, Surrey. KT19 8PL
Tel: 01372 743783
Fax: 01372 742291