Where and when, etc.

On the fourth Sunday of each month, we meet at 10.0am at the gate to the north entrance of St Leonard’s Forest, on the bridleway off Forest Road, Colgate. 

The OS map reference is TQ 221 324

We wear old clothes, tough boots (or wellies) and tough gloves. 

Bring a packed lunch and hot/or cold drinks if you wish. Tea, coffee and biscuits is usually available at mid-morning break and again at lunch break.

We usually finish about 3.30pm but anyone can finish at any time before that. Just let us know that you are leaving the site.


The dates for 2020 are -

26th Jan 23rd Feb 22nd Mar 26th Apr 24th May 28th Jun 26th Jul 23rd Aug 27th Sep 25th Oct 22nd Nov 20th Dec 

Mike Heald leads the group and allocates the tasks in conjunction with Gatwick Green Space Partnership.

Members of the group are of both sexes and range in age from 17 to 70+.  There is always a wide range of tasks to suit the abilities of members.

We use bow-saws and loppers mainly but spades and mattocks are sometimes used as appropriate. Health & Safety is important and we look for responsible use of all implements.

All tools are supplied but you are welcome to bring your own if you wish.

  • Silver Birch can be very invasive on open heathland. We try to pull young shoots out of the ground. Cutting it (even at ground level) leaves just enough to sprout and grow
  • Removing some of the lower branches of conifers allows more light and air into the stands to encourage the growth of other plants
  • Finding Rhododendron and cutting it or grubbing it out can take a lot of our time
  • We try to spot the Alder Blackthorn (in usually damp areas) and leave well alone. It is the food plant of the Brimstone butterfly which we wish to encourage
  • We have collected seed from heather and then distributed it in an adjacent area to help spread the plant
  • Constructing small dams to encourage water margin plants and wildlife can be hard work but very rewarding
  • Widening tracks and paths to allow more light and better access makes a difference to the area.

At work in the Forest

at work in the forest

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