Money raised for Downlands Trust Dormice


Happy Valley is a nationally important site for wildlife that has been declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and more recently a National Nature Reserve (NNR). The site has a resident population of Hazel Dormice, which are a nationally rare and protected species (see picture). These are monitored every summer using 50 wooden nestboxes, which are sited throughout the woodland.

The Chandos Choir is a mixed singing group, who are based in Coulsdon. In July of last year, they approached the Downlands Trust in search of a local project that they could support by performing two charity Christmas Carol concerts during December (one in St Peters Hall Woodmansterne and a second singing at Tesco’s in Purley). The Downlands Trust supported both events, by attending with an information stand and helpers.

Thanks to the wonderful efforts of everyone involved, £250 was raised to support important nature conservation and management work at Happy Valley in Coulsdon. The money raised will be used to fund nest boxes for the rare dormice which live in Happy Valley, and to purchase new pads for the defibrillator (AED), which is carried in the warden’s 4x4 vehicle. Unfortunately the boxes only have a lifespan of only 5 or 6 years, and are currently in need of replacement. The money raised by the choir, along with other recent donations, will allow us to replace all 50 nest boxes this year.

The countryside warden carries a defibrillator (AED) in his 4x4 in case of any cardiac emergencies in remote areas of Happy Valley (it would take an ambulance a long time to reach the site, and access is often only possible by a 4x4). The pads for the AED are due to expire soon, and this funding will allow us to purchase a new set, which will help to ensure the safety of visitors in the coming years. Dominic North, the countryside warden for Happy Valley, would like to extend his great thanks to everyone involved in the fundraising and for the fantastic effort to raise money for Happy Valley. It is very much appreciated. 😊