What has the group been up to in 2016 and plans for 2017
It’s been another positive year for the group and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has helped in any way in 2016…We do have a solid, friendly group of regular volunteers now each month and hopefully we can build on this in future. Indeed, the successful application for grant funding has seen the group buy its own range of tools and accessories to supplement those donated in the previous months. We hope to soon have a permanent home for these on the recently opened Ladbrooke Road allotment site.
Just to say a big “Thank You” to those that met up at Tanyard Pond on Sunday December 11th 2016. This was the last task date for the group in 2016 and we cleared patches of scrub in front of one of the benches to open up the view, created another invertebrate shelter using re-cycled natural materials and re-coppiced the willow stools by the pond. The work was made all the more satisfying by meeting in the Farmhouse Pub afterwards for some well earned ‘refreshments’!
During the past year we have carried out tasks in Emlyn Meadows (pond and hedgerow Maintenance), Langshott Woods twice (rhododendrum control), Tanyard Pond on five occasions (clearance, coppicing, creation of invertebrate shelters), the Burstow Stream (Himalayan Balsam control), Riverside Garden Park twice (hedge laying and Himalyan Balsam control) and the Horley recreation Ground (hedge laying) With the imminent handover of the Acres infrastructure to RBBC the Horley Riverside Green Chain vision is nearing reality and we hope that activities of the group can help to underpin the commitment to making this a local success story. Apart from all this hard work we were also lucky enough to be treated to an early autumn ‘bat walk’ led by Laura Ashfield from the Surret Wildlife Trust.
Early next year (2017) the group will be undertaking water sampling training so that we will be able to help monitor the welfare of our local waterways including the Burstow Stream, the Gatwick Stream and local parts of the River Mole.
On a sadder note, Hannah Roughley, who was our main contact with Reigate and Banstead Borough Council has recently moved onto a new job with the Environment Agency in Dorking. We all wish her well with that and thank her for her support over the past couple of years…
The group is always on the look out for new members, young or old everyone is welcome to help out in any way that they feel able to. If you would like more information about the group please email us at Horleyconservationgroup@outlook.com Information on upcoming task dates and venues can be found on our website at Horleyconservationgroup.co.uk