A group of hard-working volunteers will be braving weather conditions over the winter months to maintain and enhance the towpath areas in Elmbridge. Their work to carry out vegetation management and wildlife habitat creation along the towpaths and open spaces in Weybridge, Walton-on-Thames and Molesey is all part of the Thames Landscape Strategy Towpath Management Plan which is written each year in co-ordination with the Local Council, Environment Agency and local community groups
Elmbridge Borough Council, The Thames Landscape Strategy and Surrey Care Trust’s Swingbridge volunteer project, work in partnership to conserve and enhance the riverbanks of Hurst Park, Weybridge and Desborough Island to name but a few and this is one of a number of initiatives to ensure the residents of Elmbridge can enjoy the area’s wonderful towpaths and riverside open spaces.
Over the last 10 years work has included the creation of wildlife areas in Hurst Park, scrub management along the towpaths and maintaining the views and access to the river. This successful partnership not only helps maintain the local riverbank habitats, it also encourages environmental education opportunities for the volunteers and community payback members; providing skills training on subjects such as hedge laying, coppicing, and boat handling.
Councillor Karen Randolph, Portfolio Holder for Planning Services is a strong supporter of the need to maintain and enhance Elmbridge’s riverbanks;
“ Our riverbanks, towpaths and riverside open spaces are some of the great joys of living in Elmbridge. Anyone who has walked, cycled, run or sailed along the towpath from Weybridge to Molesey will know how beautiful it can be. However, the work involved in maintaining this special community asset is very time intensive and I whole heartedly thank all the volunteers who work so tirelessly.”
The project is always looking for support to keep it going. If you are interested in volunteering or donating to our work, please visit thames-landscape-strategy.org.uk.