Management of Kingston's open spaces: who, what and how you can get involved
Lower Mole Project
|Volunteers at Winey Hill|
The Project receives core funding from RBK, along with funds from Surrey County Council (who host them) Elmbridge Borough Council, Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, Mole Valley District Council and the City of London. The core funding just covers the staff costs (3.6 FTEs). The main thrust of the Projects work is to organise volunteers to carry out conservation and access improvements. The Project runs volunteer tasks 3 days per week all year round, plus some weekend events.
Lower Moles usually spend about 8 weeks of the year working in Kingston, plus other odd days, and during that time carry out work funded by Higher Level Stewardship at Tolworth Court Farm (incl moated manor), Six Acre Meadow, Hogsmill Open Space and Elmbridge Meadows. They have also been managing Castle Hill via an agreement with English Heritage and RBK, which has just ended and will hopefully continue with some regular maintenance tasks funded via our core funding such as regular cutting of the meadow area, plus tasks such as coppicing. Over the last year they have also installed a new fence along the roadside at Jubilee Wood, pulled Himalayan balsam from along the Bonesgate Stream, cleared vegetation from alongside a public footpath on Winey Hill plus other odd days at Coombe Hill Woods. For all the work in addition to that funded by RBK via the HLS funding they receive, and have to raise extra funds to cover the cost of materials, equipment, vehicle running costs, PPE, refreshments for volunteers etc usually via grants, for example the fence at Jubilee Wood was funded by a Neighbourhood Grant from the South of the Borough.
|hedgerow training day|
They can assist in training and setting up Friends of Groups, supply task leaders to help run occasional volunteer tasks, loan tools, help fill in grant applications etc. There is also the Lower Mole Countryside Trust, an independent charity, run by volunteers from the Project, which can give grants to Friends of groups, and elsewhere in its area has supported several new groups with funds for tools and training. The Project will also do work for other landowners and has a set of standard charges for this, so if for example a Friends of group looked after an area of land owned either by RBK, a charity or privately the Group could pay for the Project to work there, the only criteria is that the site is publicly accessible/visible and the work benefits biodiversity or improves access (so long as it doesn't damage biodiversity by doing this).
Next Tasks in Kingston are:Tolworth Court Farm Hedge coppicing Old Kingston Road, off A240, south end
Hogsmill Open Space,