NEW BOARDWALK AND DIPPING PLATFORM
The financial target to replace the boardwalk and dipping platform at the Fox Corner Community Wildlife Area has now been reached and the work has been completed by Steve Hull of S R H Landscape Services, ably assisted by our Site Manager, Nigel Emmerson.
Volunteers from Network Rail assisted by removing the old boardwalk.
The wisdom of using very expensive recycled composite materials will be seen for many decades.
The new boardwalk and dipping platform will be officially opened by Pirbright’s Borough and County Councillor Keith Witham, on Saturday 21 October 2023 at 4.00 pm.
Catherine Cobley, Chairman of the Fox Corner Community Wildlife Area Association (FCCWAA) says,
“We want to thank all of our generous donors and supporters for their help in making this project possible.
The project cost of £30k was a daunting challenge and we have been amazed by the generosity shown by residents and members of the local community.
The Management Committee feels it has been a very heart-warming local affirmation of everything we aim to achieve as an Association. We also appreciate the grants received from the Pirbright Institute, Pirbright Parish Council, Surrey County Council and the National Lottery Community Fund. This combination of local support with the backing of institutional donors has made it possible for this project to go ahead.”
The Fox Corner Community Wildlife Area is a unique local facility enjoyed by its many visitors, and the pond, brooks and wetlands are some of the Wildlife Area’s greatest natural assets.
The boardwalk and dipping platform are integral to the site and their importance cannot be understated as they provide excellent opportunities to explore and educate, with pond dipping a regular activity.
The Surrey Hedgelaying Group, affiliated to the National Hedgelaying Society, have recently redone the hedging along the Northern boundary of the FCCWAA on the boundary with Back Lane. The Southern method of hedging has been used. Many rogue saplings had sprung up along this boundary and the area had become overcrowded with a mixture of trees and bushes. Now the area has been ‘thinned out’ and the beautiful new live hedge has opened up the whole area - see latest picture (February) showing catkins already growing.
For a report giving more details on the hedgingClick here
Newly updated information boards have been installed at the two entrances of the FCCWAA, along with a new information board by the pond. The boards give visitors and pond dippers details about the varied flora, fauna, pond life and insects they can expect to see on the site and in the pond.
The colourful information panels have been installed onto bespoke hand crafted metal stands, which add an elegant and modern edge to the information boards, enhancing the area.
The previous information boards had deteriorated and needed replacing. The updated artwork was carried out by Design of Walton Ltd, and the boards have been strategically placed to be read from a wheelchair or standing position.
Financial support towards the cost of the new information boards was received from Surrey County Council’s Members’ Community Allocation Fund under the sponsorship of Cllr Keith Witham and the balance of the money was drawn from the FCCWAA’s donations received from residents and visitors.
The 2023 newsletter was circulated to members and residents during February. Click here for the on-line version.
The 2023 AGM was held on Tuesday 11th April in the meeting room at St Michael and All Angels Church and was followed by a presentation by Pauline Lane from Guildford Beekeepers Association who gave a talk on 'Responsible Beekeeping'.
To read a copy of the Chairman's Report click here for the on-line version.
The Wildlife Area is an ideal place for families to visit and have picnics. Running a wildlife area inevitably involves a delicate balance of priorities - protecting and encouraging wildlife and also providing an area which gives pleasure to visitors and residents alike. Most of these are reflected in our Fox Corner Country Code.
Dogs are a particular issue. If uncontrolled, they can alarm wildlife, disturb nests and leave unwelcome excrement anywhere on the site. Groups of children are encouraged to visit to enjoy pond-dipping and mini-beast hunts. For their sake, it is vital that they do not come into contact with the results of dog-fouling. At one stage, we felt that it would be a good idea to ban dogs altogether but after representations from local people, agreed that they could be allowed but strictly only on leads.
We respectfully, but firmly, ask you to abide by this particular rule.