The Trust is run by volunteers and primarily, though not exclusively, supports the aims and work of the Downlands Partnership (formerly the Downlands Countryside Management Project) established in 2008 to introduce and maintain countryside conservation and management schemes across Northeast Surrey and adjoining parts of South London.
Much of our support is directed towards chalk downlands, but we also help to maintain and protect ancient woodlands and ponds in our area.
Our activities involve:
- Raising funds for investment into the future of the local countryside
- Promoting the conservation, protection and improvement of the countryside
- Encouraging access to the countryside for all
- Promoting the health and social benefits of becoming involved in a local practical conservation work group
- Advancing the education of the public in the conservation and management of the physical and natural environment.
Our primary partner organisation and beneficiary is the Downlands Partnership, which provides a well established local countryside management service with the vital support of volunteers. The Partnership carries out seasonal practical countryside work in order to maintain, restore and enhance biodiversity and access. It also delivers an extensive conservation grazing programme at 24 locations across NE Surrey and in the adjoining urban fringe areas of Croydon and Sutton, including sites in Banstead, Caterham, Chipstead, Coulsdon, New Addington, Sanderstead and Woldingham. In 2020 the Partnership grazed a total of 200 sheep, 12 cattle and 14 goats.
The majority of these managed sites are of high conservation value and many are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). They encompass a wide variety of habitats, principally rare and valuable chalk grassland but also ancient woodlands and ponds and each has its own agreed management requirements. Some of these sites are managed in partnership with conservation groups/charities including the London Wildlife Trust (Hutchinson’s Bank Local Nature Reserve and Salt Box Hill) and the Woodland Trust (Marden Park).
Our newsletters provide more information about the work of the Trust: