The Friends

The Friends group was formed in October 1999 providing a link between the general public and Epsom and Ewell Borough Council who are the owners of the park. As well as taking an active interest in the management of the park the group continues to work within the country park to ensure that the range of habitats present in the park are developed and enhanced with programmes of conservation work which are sympathetic to all park users.

We aim to encourage the preservation of the park for the enjoyment of the public for air and exercise, leisure and recreation and encourage the preservation of the peace and natural beauty of the park and the protection of its trees, plants, birds, and animal life. We are not only a wildlife conservation group and welcome membership from all park users who wish to encourage the greater awareness by the public of the amenities of the park and the need to respect them. We also work to maintain the rights of access to the park for pedestrians, equestrians and cyclists and all others who wish to use the park for the above purposes. We also wish to co-operate with other bodies having similar or sympathetic aims.

The Friends group meets at the Rangers offices by the car park to the main entrance of Horton Country Park on the second Wednesday of every other month of the year at 7.30 p.m. This meeting gives a chance for all members and new comers to air their views on matters affecting the park and to hear what current activities are being carried out. Members also receive newsletters updating them further. Conservation tasks are held every month that we do not have a meeting and usually consist of a Sunday morning in the park working on tasks from hedgerow management, footpath building, tree planting, habitat preservation through to litter picking. Work can be as gentle or as physical as the individual feels and everybody is welcome no matter how little time they can spare. There is also the occasional outdoor meet where members can learn about various aspects of the park whether it is in history or natural history and these are usually led by a member of the Countryside and Community Development Team. We are also beginning to develop a programme of social events.

Membership costs £3 per year and is largely used for the cost of newsletters and insurance to carry out work in the park, any surplus is used for the purchase of equipment or materials needed to continue our work.