About Brighton Conservation Volunteers

Since its launch in 2002, Brighton Conservation Volunteers has established a reputation as an active, friendly and effective countryside group committed to enhancing the local environment. This is mostly due to the dedication of the volunteers, about 12 of whom turn out every Tuesday.

We have carried out various tasks in and around Brighton and further afield in East and West Sussex - in the process widening the skills of the volunteers, giving them a practical insight into nature conservation policies and - perhaps most important of all - taking them to parts of Sussex they might not otherwise visit.

The work we have done includes scrub clearing, step building, installing gates and footbridges, coppicing, tree planting, fence building, pond clearing and various related tasks. Anyone who volunteers with us is not expected to have any of the skills required to do these jobs - all they need is enthusiasm and an enjoyment of the countryside.

Scrub Clearance : An essential activity to safeguard threatened species but done selectively to avoid robbing insects, birds and animals of vital habitat. Scrub has been cut and burned by BCV at many sites including National Trust land on the South Downs and reserves managed by Lewes District Council in both Lewes and Newhaven.

Step Building : A satisfying, creative task with the aim of improving public access to green areas. The group has built hundreds of steps in many places around Brighton and have gained extensive experience in this skill. Recently we put in a flight of more than 130 steps up Whitehawk Hill, one of the steepest gradients in Brighton.

Coppicing : We often carry out this traditional form of woodland management recently working on National Trust land on the South Downs outside Lewes.

Tree Planting : The group have planted many trees especially hazel in coppicing areas.

Wild Flower Planting : We have completed an intensive round of wild flower planting on a variety of green spaces in Brighton and Hove, putting in a total of more then 10,000 plant "plugs".

Fence Building : We have erected and repaired various types of fencing, most recently at Seven Sisters Country Park. We've also completed almost a mile of sheep fencing in Sheepcote Valley, Brighton.

Pond Clearance : Often in the autumn we carry out pond clearance work, most recently at Ditchling Common on behalf of East Sussex County Council. And we have a regular outing to a pond at Markstakes Common, Chailey, removing overabundant invasive reeds.

Aside from the above skills we also have experience in flint walling, hedgelaying, pond clearance and stile building.