Events & Volunteering

Installing Stan’s Memorial Gate

Currently volunteer days are every Thursday 10:00-15:00 and all are welcome to come and join us. We normally meet at the compound just before start time.

For further details email warden@unstead-reserve.org.

See the members newsletter for the latest details.

We volunteer all year round and our work is usually seasonal, the bulk of the conservation work will take place outside of the bird breeding season (March to end of August).


We have constructed and maintain floating islands, tern rafts and nesting/breeding tubes where safe to do so and are constructing gravel banks on the new wetland.

Floating Islands

During the Spring and Summer months we concentrate our efforts on keeping footpaths and access open by cutting back any vigorous vegetation growth such as Bramble and Nettles. Late Summer activities will include bracken control and mowing and sowing the South Meadow to promote our wildflowers.”

Nettle Clearing

Clearing the Barn Owl box

Autumn and Winter tasks consist of Hedge trimming, hedge laying, rotational  Coppicing, scrub clearance, bank-side restoration and repairs, Bird box maintenance installation and construction.

To avoid burning on site, to get rid of the arisings from these activities we endeavour to use this material sustainably in various ways.

Willow screen woven with arisings from coppicing the East Lagoon

The thinner straight lengths of Coppiced Willow are used as either material for woven Willow living fences and structures or as “binders” for hedge-laying.

Straight lengths of Alder are split, cut and used as support stakes for dead hedging and hedge laying.

Long lengths of twiggy brash will be formed into faggots and used as part of the bank-side repairs we have planned for the North meadow and Dry lagoon.

The remaining “brash” is used to create new dead hedging in selected areas of the reserve.

We are very interested to work with other conservation groups and have hosted: a number of Surrey Wildlife Trust work parties, Zero Carbon Guildford, Surrey Hills Society, the local Girl Guides group, and have a relationship with the River Rangers and are now regularly testing the inflowing and outlflowing water to see if there is noticeable improvement in water quality as a result of flowing through the Wetland. (It is looking good so far).

Corporate Team Days

We have also hosted Corporate Work Party days with UK Power Networks and Atlantic Technologies – if you would like to hold a team day volunteering with us please contact us – see below.

The ‘Lockdown Legacy Hedgerow’

All of our volunteer sessions are supported by members of our core team of experienced volunteers who will help and guide you through the days tasks, so you don’t need to be an expert. 

All you will need is lots of enthusiasm and I’m sure you will benefit from healthy exercise in the fresh air helping to restore Unstead to its best.

If you have any questions or require specific details about volunteering with us please contact our warden Keith Lightfoot on: warden@unstead-reserve.org