Some people find the idea of a website storing information on their computer or mobile device a bit intrusive, particularly when this information is stored and used by a third party without them knowing. Although this is generally quite harmless you may not, for example, want to see advertising that has been targeted to your interests. If you prefer, it is possible to block some or all cookies, or even to delete cookies that have already been set; but you need to be aware that you might lose some functions of that website.

Conservation Groups

The Steyning Downland Conservation Volunteers

Location: Steyning Rifle Range, Mouse Lane entrance, Steyning, West Sussex BN44 3LQ
Meets: Currently 1st Saturday and 3rd Sunday of the month. From 1st January 2015 we will meet on the 1st Wednesday and 3rd Saturday of the month 10.00am to 3.00pm

The Steyning Downland Scheme aims to involve the community with the local landscape. The site covers 160 acres around the Rifle Range, Steyning Coombe and Pepperscoombe. It has areas of chalk grassland, woodland and a pond. The group carry out conservation work, fence repairs, path clearance and any other tasks to help look after the site. We provide tools and a hot drink, you need to bring food for the day. No experience necessary and we guarantee a warm welcome! Best to phone first if you would like to join us in case of changes to times or meeting place.

We are happy to talk to you about: The Steyning Downland Scheme and our habitat restoration work to conserve the rare Duke of Burgundy butterfly and other butterfly species.

Contact details: Sarah Quantrill
Tel: 07940 592347

Hampshire Conservation Volunteers

Location: Anywhere in Hampshire, and sometimes beyond

Description of group: We are an active group of people making a practical contribution to nature conservation in Hampshire and sometimes beyond. Most weekends we carry out practical tasks such as woodland management, path work, fencing, heath and downland management, hedge-laying and pond restoration. The majority of our work is for Hampshire County Council, local councils, Natural England, schools and various charitable trusts.

We are happy to talk to you about:
Practical work on land allocated for nature conservation. Privately owned land should have some element of public access, education, or significant wildlife value.

Contact details: Alan Thurbon
Address: Hampshire Conservation Volunteers, PO Box 146, Romsey, SO51 6XW

The Wednesday Conservation Volunteers

Location: We are a roving band of volunteers who work across South Hants, including the South Downs from Winchester to approximately Petersfield.

Description of group: We help land managers to achieve their conservation objectives by undertaking practical tasks, working every Wednesday (although we may take a week off in the Christmas/New Year period). We are experienced in fencing, coppicing, scrub management, boardwalk construction and many other typical countryside conservation tasks. Our average attendance is 10 volunteers and we bring our own tools. We have £10M of public liability insurance cover.

We are happy to talk to you about:
Helping you to complete what you want to do.

Contact details: Mac Millington
Tel: 01730 829454
or Nick Humphrys
Tel: 023 9226 7022

Otterbourne Conservation Group

Location: Otterbourne, Winchester, Hampshire

Description of group: We are a small local group operating solely within the civil parish of Otterbourne, part of which falls within the boundary of the South Downs National Park. Our aims and objectives are to conserve the wildlife and the wildlife habitats of Otterbourne, to preserve any buildings, artefacts, documents etc that are part of the history of Otterbourne and to maintain as far as possible, a village ambience in Otterbourne.

Contact details: Micheal Warne
Address: 6 Park Lane, Off Pitmore Road, Otterbourne, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO50 4LU
Tel: 023 8025 4668

Friends of Petersfield Heath

Location: Petersfield Heath, Petersfield, Hampshire

Description of group: The group promotes an interest in Petersfield Heath, a wonderful area of public land covering some 95 acres that has been used by humans since ancient times and is the site of a group of 21 Bronze Age barrows (or burial mounds) – one of the most complex in southern England. We aim to preserve the Heath as an area of natural heathland, grassland, woodland and water for the enjoyment of all who use it. We work closely with Petersfield Town Council in helping to manage the Heath and undertake voluntary work where appropriate.

We are happy to talk to you about:
Writing a management plan for your site
Advice on dead-hedging
Techniques for regenerating heather

Contact details: David Burstall
Address: 61 Heath Road East, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU31 4HN
Tel: 01730 266806

South Downs National Trust Volunteers

Location: National Trust land in Sussex

Description of group: We are a group of volunteers who carry out practical conservation work on National Trust land in Sussex.

We are happy to talk to you about: We are available to have shared work parties with other conservation groups in Sussex.

Contact details: South Downs National Trust Volunteers
Address: The Clergy House, The Tye, Alfriston, East Sussex, BN26 5TL

Stedham and Iping History and Natural History Group

Location: Stedham and Iping Parish, Midhurst, West Sussex.

Description of group: The group is interested in the human and natural history of Stedham and Iping Parish, though the emphasis has been on the natural history. The Group is small, with around half a dozen members, and has no formal management structure. We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month for walks usually with some objective in mind. A major activity of the Group has been the preparation of a Phase 1 Habitat Survey according to the Guidelines for such surveys issued by the Joint Nature Committee; a task that was completed and mapped by late 2006.
With regard to current and possible future projects the Group is considering subjects for Type II habitat surveys and have started on a detailed survey of some woodland in Stedham village.

We are happy to talk to you about: Habitat mapping, hedgerow surveys and woodlands.

Contact details: Christine Dicks
Address: 31 The Alley, Stedham, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 0NR
Tel: 01730 812038

Contact details: Peter Howgate
Address: 26 Lavender Row, Stedham, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 0NS
Tel: 01730 810263

Sussex Ornithological Society

Location: All of East Sussex and West Sussex

Description of group: The SOS is the leading bird club in Sussex with over 1500 members. We were formed in 1962 to promote the recording, conservation and enjoyment of birds in Sussex.
We encourage our members to keep records of birds seen in Sussex, and to submit these to our County Recorder.
We carry out bird surveys, often as part of our partnerships with the BTO, RSPB and WWT. The county is divided into 10-km squares, each of which has a steward. If you are good at bird identification help is always needed with surveys, and we always welcome your records of birds, whether you are a member or not.

We are happy to talk to you about:
Participating in your field conservation projects provided there is an element that enhances habitats for birds.
Advising on nest boxes.
Any aspects of running a wildlife club.

Contact details: Nigel Bowie(Hon. Secretary)
Address: Sussex Ornithological Society, 55 Rochester Street, Brighton
East Sussex, BN2 0EJ
Tel: 01273 571266

Chichester Conservation Volunteers

Location: We work in a 15 mile radius of Chichester – Hayling Island in the West, Chichester Harbour in the South, Ebernoe Common to the North and Amberley Museum and Wildbrooks in the east

Description of group:
We work every Sunday throughout the year, some within the South Downs AONB and some outside, often going to little known areas and working with knowledgeable wardens who share their expertise. Winter work includes coppicing, hedgelaying, tree planting, scrub clearing and spring/summer tasks are step building, footpath clearance, control and removal of competitive species in meadow and chalk downland management.

Our group has been running for 25 years and we try to make it easy for new volunteers to join us. There is no subscription, no need to book in advance to attend, we provide a free programme with social events and offer lifts to tasks. We welcome supervised children and young people doing their Duke of Edinburgh Award.

We are happy to talk to you about:
Hedgelaying, chainsaw and brushcutter use.

Contact details: Claire Wilton.
Address: 1A York Road, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 7TJ
Tel: 01243 788833

Graffham Down Trust

Location: Graffham Down, Graffham, near Petworth, West Sussex

Description of group: The aims of the group are to preserve and re-establish areas of open downland interspersed with trees and scrub on Graffham Down and the neighbourhood of Graffham. The have had some success in their work to preserve and re-introduce wildlife which has been indigenous to Graffham. They hold land demised to the trustees and aim to acquire further pieces of land locally. Members of the group carry out practical work in the spring and the autumn and hold a yearly picnic and an annual lecture.

We are happy to talk to you about:
Problems with motor vehicles on your site
Legalities of Rights of Way designation especially where it relates to motor vehicles

Contact details: Paul Dimmer
Address: Red Oak, Graffham, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 0NP
Tel: 01798 867454

Murray Downland Trust

Location: The South Downs in West Sussex and East Hampshire

Description of group: The Murray Downland Trust rescues and enhances neglected small areas of unimproved chalk downland in Sussex and Hampshire, thus establishing a ‘chain’ of reserves. These areas are managed to reveal their richness in terms of the species of flora and fauna present. The Murray Downland Trust is a charity.

We are happy to talk to you about:
Rescuing areas of neglected chalk downland.
Doing a work party exchange with your group (you work with us, then we return the visit).
Surveys of butterflies, etc.

Contact details: John Murray (Chairman)
Tel: 01730 812325
or Gordon Barker (Membership Secretary)
Tel: 01730 827262
Address: Upper Cranmore, Heyshott, Midhurst, West Sussex GU29 0DL

Friends of Telscombe Tye

Location: Telscombe Cliffs, East Sussex (between Brighton and Newhaven)

Description of group: We are a practical conservation group that runs work parties, surveys, nature walks and other events on Telscombe Tye, an area of chalk grassland situated between East Saltdean and Telscombe Cliffs.

We are happy to talk to you about:
Creating a blog (online diary) for your local group
Running a work party.
Joint tasks or work swap with other groups
Making bird and bat boxes.
Running stalls at local events.
Applying for grants.

Contact details: Chair – Clare Evans
Address: 14 Bridleway, Telscombe Cliffs
Tel: 01273 588297

Brighton Conservation Volunteers

Location: Based in Brighton but our weekly outings (on Tuesdays) take us deep into East & West Sussex.

Description of group: We carry out a wide range of practical tasks associated with nature conservation and improving public access to the countryside. We often work with conservation professionals who provide a valuable source of knowledge and guidance for those volunteers seeking full time employment in this field.

We are happy to talk to you about:
Running a group which is financially self-sufficient.
Building a client base with the aim of providing as wide a range of activities as possible for our volunteers.

Contact details: Mike Fearn
Address: 44 Highdown Road, Hove, E Sussex, BN3 6ED.
Tel: 01273 736135

Stanmer Orchard Group

Location: Stanmer Park, Brighton & Hove

Description of group: The purpose of the Stanmer Orchard Group is the renovation of the two orchards at Stanmer Park, which contain a variety of different old apple trees. We have cleared extensive areas of undergrowth to improve accesss to the orchards and improve growing conditions for the apple trees. Since 2007 we have worked with the Brighton Permaculture Trust to maintain the orchards and prune the trees. We have also established a tree nursery where fruit trees are propagated and then grown on before planting out in school grounds.

Contact details: Peter May
Address: 18 Stoneham Close, Lewes, BN7 2ET
Tel: 01273 475967

Friends of Hollingbury and Burstead Woods

Location: Hollingbury Woods (TQ 315 075) and Burstead Woods (TQ 317 072) on the northern outskirts of Brighton.

Description of group: The group was formed in 1991 after the Great Storm of 1987. The initial steering group prevented the Council from felling the remaining trees and persuaded them to leave the majority of fallen timber, which has become home to many invertebrates. A habitat action plan was devised and under the auspices of the Council’s Countryside Service our volunteers have been undertaking various practical tasks to enhance the biodiversity of the area and to provide a green amenity space for both residents and visitors to enjoy.

More recently we have also been involved in the BBC’s Springwatch and local events where we have run fun but educational competitions based on a woodland theme, displayed the work we do in the woods and also provided the public with hands on experience of making a ‘dead hedge’.

We are happy to talk to you about:
Our experience in helping to regenerate the woods.
Maintaining the paths and steps in our woodlands.
Hedge planting and constructing ‘dead hedges’, using posts and binders to create a hurdle type fence to protect the new planting.

Contact details:

Keep the Ridge Green

Location: Brighton, south of the A27 and north of Green Ridge; between Toads Hole Valley in the west and Patcham Place to the east, East Sussex. Grid Reference TQ291086

Description of group: A group formed when the Brighton By-pass was built to safeguard the surrounding open space in 1991. It is an Area of outstanding Natural Beauty and also a Site of Nature Conservation Interest, which will hopefully become the boundary of the new National Park.
The group organises workdays and conservation events, and has included hedge-laying, tree planting in the ancient hedge and copses and glade creation in Coney Wood. We have also erected bird and bat boxes and helped construct a dewpond. In the past we have held butterfly and wildflower walks and have assisted Brighton and Hove City Council in the provision of meadowland.

We are happy to talk to you about:
Anything connected to the way we run our group, the local history and area.

Contact details: Maureen Holt,
Address: 26 Green Ridge Brighton Sussex BN1 5LL
Tel: 01273 552438

Friends of Whitehawk Hill

Location: Whitehawk Hill, Brighton, East Sussex.

Description of group: This group works to conserve and improve the Local Nature Reserve of Whitehawk Hill with its ancient chalk grassland and wealth of interesting plants, insects and birds. They organise walks, talks and slide shows and are actively involved in conservation work. They campaigned for the defence of the Hill’s landscape and wildlife, opposing damaging developments and neglect and arguing for its inclusion in the forthcoming National Park. The chair of the group, Dave Bangs, with the support of the group has written a book ‘Whitehawk Hill, Where the Turf Meets the Surf’ which gives a full explanation of the Hill’s landscape history and natural history. (Copies from Dave Bangs – details below)

We are happy to talk to you about:
Writing and publishing a book about your site.

Contact details: Dave Bangs
Address: 78 Ewhurst Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 4AJ
Tel: 01273 620815

The Withdean Westdene Woods and Eldred Avenue Copse Keepers (TWEACK)

Location: Withdean, Brighton, East Sussex

Description of group: We are a practical conservation group that, under the guidance of countryside rangers from Brighton and Hove Council and Sussex Wildlife Trust, runs work parties, surveys, nature walks and other events in the Withdean, Westdene Woods and Eldred Avenue Copse. Our reserve consists of three separate urban woodland areas, all very small but important as they are like a green pocket in a built-in area. The woods belong partly to Brighton and Hove Council and partly to Sussex Wildlife Trust.

We are happy to talk to you about:
Tips on setting up a website for your group
Organising educational events
Organising guided walks
Applying for grants

Contact details: Lili Wilson
Address: 17 Eldred Avenue, Brighton, BN1 5EB, East Sussex
Tel: 01273 701929

Friends of Goodwood Park and Hodshrove Woods

Location: Moulsecoomb estate, Brighton, East Sussex

Description of group: We have raised thousands to renovate the local park, cleared tonnes of rubbish from the woods, put in a proper path and planted 800 hedgerow trees. We also put on regular events to encourage more people to use the place and work with the Green Team and Community Punishment Team to keep the woods looking good.

We are happy to talk to you about:
Working with children – our events are really well attended, but the majority of those that come along are children without their parents.

Contact details: Friends of Goodwood Park and Hodshrove Woods
Address: 40 Hodshrove Woods, Brighton, BN2 4RU
Tel: 079888 37951

Benfield Wildlife and Conservation Group

Location: TQ 262 080. Benfield Hill, North West Hove. Just north of the Brighton By-Pass.

Description of group: Benfield Hill is a Local Nature Reserve. The group runs conservation days on the site, surveys, nature walks, and talks on wildlife topics. The Reserve has one of the largest concentrations of Glow-worms in the area, and is rich in chalk grassland flora.

Contact details: Martin Robinson
Address: 2 Meads Avenue, Hove, BN3 8EE, East Sussex
Tel: 01273 414936

Save The Elms Campaigners

Location: Sompting, Lancing, Shoreham, Southwick, Brighton and Hove

Description of group: Our aim is to ensure the preservation of the country’s only National Elm Collection, which is in Brighton and Hove. The Collection has some 15,000 mature elms of various species and represents the major part of the treescape in many parts of the City. It continues to be under threat from Dutch Elm Disease entering the area from the west.

We are happy to talk to you about:
The history of Dutch Elm Disease: its importation into the UK; its spread across the country; and whether it could have been prevented
The special topographical factors giving an advantage to Brighton and Hove.
The setting up of the original Save The Elms Campaign in the 1970s, and its role in getting the several local authorities involved to work together. This included holding the fort in the meantime by significant volunteer activity in felling and disposing of diseased elm trees over a number of years.
The formation of Save The Elm Campaigners some thirty years later due to a renewed threat from Dutch Elm Disease.
The monitoring and trapping of the elm bark beetle.
The effectiveness of fungicide injection.
Latest observations on the most effective ways of operating buffer and control zones.
Innovative ideas on the preservation of elm hedgerows.
The benefits arising through a grant from The South Downs Sustainable Development Fund in 2007/08.

Contact details: Ray Strong
Tel: 01273 504283

Contact details: Stuart Derwent
Tel: 01273 555151

Friends of Wolstonbury

Location: Wolstonbury Hill near Hassocks, Mid Sussex

Description of group: We are a practical conservation group that runs work parties, wildlife surveys, nature walks and other events on and around Wolstonbury Hill. National Trust owned Wolstonbury Hill is a site of special scientific interest for its chalk grassland where 11 species of orchid have been found. We are presently restoring an area of the hill that was well known for its variety of orchids. Other practical tasks include pond work, rights of way work and helping the local farmer at lambing time. We welcome anyone who wishes to join us – children and adults, as well as those wishing to gain experience for a career in countryside management.

We are happy to talk to you about: Tips on setting up a website for your group.
Doing a work party exchange with your group (you work with us, then we return the visit).

Contact details: Ian Pack
Address: c/o Kudu Associates, Bluefish House, 46 High Street, Hurstpierpoint, BN6 9RG
Tel: 07710 814 665

The Woodland Flora and Fauna Group

Location: Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common Parish

Description of group: A practical conservation group dedicated to working for the countryside and wildlife within Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common. We undertake parish nature walks, biodiversity studies and barn owl, tawny owl and other species conservation projects. Ongoing monitoring of all such projects is achieved through regular inspection and maintenance working parties. We act as a reception point for countryside and wildlife queries within our parish and provide information either from our own experience or by giving contact details of specialist groups.

We are happy to talk to you about:
Conducting a Phase 1 Biodiversity Study.
Installing owl-nesting boxes.
Running a guided walk.
Applying for grants

Contact details: Michael Nailard
Tel: 01273 834001

The Steyning & Ashurst Conservation Volunteers

Location: Various locations Steyning and Ashhurst parishes, West Sussex

Description of group: The Steyning & Ashurst Conservation Volunteers were set up in 1995 when the BTCV commenced a programme with Parish Councils in West Sussex to encourage ‘Countryside Conservation’ groups to be set up – these groups would be affiliated to and trained by the BTCV. Steyning was successful – we decided to incorporate ‘Ashurst’ in the title as Steyning is closely associated with Ashurst especially in the countryside.

We were trained by the BTCV and have continued to take up training opportunities. We`meet on the 3rd Sunday of each month (with some variations re: Mothers/Fathers Sundays and other public holidays). We are also in the process of seeking volunteers for occasional weekday working meetings. We have restored some areas and we continue to maintain them. Our locations include: Wetland,Pond,Willow, Reed, and woodland – we also carry out Hedgelaying each year.

We welcome all ages and abilities.

Contact details: Marlene Carman
Address: 20 Rosemary Avenue, Steyning, West Sussex BN44 3YS
Tel: 01903 813938

Friends of Lancing Ring

Location: Lancing Ring, North of Lancing, West Sussex

Description of group: This is a practical conservation group who helps to look after the Lancing Ring Nature Reserve.

Contact details: Sue Crowhurst
Tel: 01903 762769

Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust

Location: Within the River Ouse and Adur catchments, Sussex

Description of group: We are a voluntary organisation with about 170 members dedicated to the environmental protection and enhancement of the Sussex River Ouse and Adur, including their tributaries. We have a volunteer work force called the ‘Task Force’ who carry out practical conservation work and river habitat restoration projects in both river catchments, including streams originating from springs in the South Downs. Details of our activities can be found on our web site.

Contact details: Sam St.Pierre, Vice Chairman – OART

Oakwood House
Barcombe BN8 5BW
Tel: 01273-400093

Cranedown Society

Location: Filching, East Sussex

Description of group: Cranedown Society is a friendly environmental conservation organisation whose objectives are to protect the ethos of the surrounding area and boundaries, which fall into our catchment area. Encompassing this ethos Cranedown became Trustees of Diplocks Wood in 1993. Since that time Diplocks Wood has been given Ancient Woodland status and Cranedown is committed to continue its work in conjunction with Wealden Council to assist in the management and maintenance of this site. Cranedown and its members see this site as an important local amenity which warrants preservation for the local community and wish to be seen as contributing to this by managing the woodland whilst enhancing and encouraging a correct habitat for local wildlife, fauna, flora and associated woodland life. We are also actively involved in the monitoring of Filching Quarry (Ash Quarry) from any form of development or recommencement of quarrying with the specific aim of seeing this area revert back to nature and the protection of such.

We are happy to talk to you about:
Bird Boxes
Owl/bat boxes
Creating/maintaining good habitats for all wildlife
School projects involving woodland
Pond management
Applying for Grants

Contact details: David Chappell – Chairperson
Jasmine Gayton – Secretary
Wanda Baker – Membership Secretary
Margaret Piper – Diplock Wood Co-coordinator
Address: Ashleigh, Jevington Road, Filching, East Sussex, BN26 5QA

Stanmer Preservation Society

Location: Stanmer Park

The Stanmer Preservation Society was founded in 1971 and is a charity committed to improving, protecting and preserving the village of Stanmer and its environment for the benefit of the public. In particular, we look after Stanmer Rural Museum and Donkey Wheel, Stanmer church and Stanmer wildlife, with a recent lottery grant to reinstate a public nature trail.We welcome volunteers for any aspect of our activities.

Contact details:SPS, c/o Stanmer Rural Museum, Stanmer Park, Brighton BN1 9PZ

Plumpton Wildlife and Habitat Group

Location: Parish of Plumpton

The Plumpton Wildlife & Habitat Group was launched in March 2009, with the aim to promote the understanding, appreciation and conservation of the parish’s flora and fauna and its wildlife habitats. The group conducts surveys (bats, badgers, house martins, dormice, ancient trees, and more), monitors and records wildlife species, organises walks (nightingales, nightjars, wildflower and fungi) and talks for the membership and wider village community, and undertakes woodland and wildflower meadow management within the parish. It created and manages the wildflower verges at Plumpton Station, and is creating a community wildflower meadow on Parish Council land. It has also recently published a report on a 2004 survey of local wildlife habitats. For more information please visit the website.


Special Branch Tree Nursery

Location: Stanmer Organics, behind Stanmer Park, Brighton

Description of group: Special Branch Tree Nursery grows more than 25 species of native Sussex trees and hedgerow shrubs from seed, for use by local conservation and environmental projects. It’s all about providing plants of guaranteed local origin. The nursery has run for more than fifteen years entirely with volunteer effort, and offers several kinds of opportunity for Sussex conservation organisations and volunteers.

We are happy to talk to you about:

  • If your project needs to source native trees or shrubs, talk to us.
  • If you want to develop skills in organic horticulture and propagating trees from seed, volunteer with us. Get the benefit of our fifteen years’ experience.
  • If spadework is what you enjoy, join us in some of the maintainance that our mature half-acre site throws up: raised beds, fences, pruning.
  • We have specialised wildlife-supporting areas on our site – for example, Brimstone butterfly caterpillars have fed on our buckthorn bed. Managing wildflower meadows and ponds calls for special attention. If you have knowledge or interest in either of these we would be very glad to hear from you.
  • If you expect to use trees and shrubs in future years, why not team up with us? We can jointly collect seed with your volunteers – ideally from your own land, conserving the biodiversity of your own locality – and grow it on in our nursery beds at Stanmer until it’s ready for your volunteers to plant as two-year old whips.

Contact: Chris Perry
Mobile: 07796 592 786 – all day Friday, periodically during the week.