Here’s a chance to do your bit to preserve our heathland

HCSYours truly began being a local conservation volunteer way back in 2002, or perhaps earlier. It’s such an age ago. Keen to help improve our heathland habitat in Lightwater Country Park I was part of a dozen or so volunteers joining the park rangers in their winter works conservation programme on one day a week. This involved pulling up pine and birch saplings, removing invasive gorse, and occasionally removing rhododendrons. Sometimes even helping clear up after tree felling.

Such activity paused while I was mayor. I’ve given stuttering assistance since. Once you break a habit it’s difficult to start again. This year we were looking forward to re-engaging with this season’s work. Sadly the volunteer programme is currently suspended.

There are alternatives. Surrey Wildlife Trust has a number of heathland conservation projects. There’s even one this week on Barossa Common in Bagshot, though mostly they’re elsewhere in Surrey.

We prefer local projects. Looking at alternatives, I’ve come across the Heathland Conservation Society, which has regular conservation projects in the woods and heaths from Broadmoor to Bagshot. Clicking on the image will take you directly to their website, which has all the contact details you’ll need.

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