Volunteers pulling up goldenrod
Mar 29 2018

Helping hands needed at Warren Farm, Surrey

We need lots of helping hands to remove invasive goldenrod from Warren Farm


Alissa Wilson is the Site Manager for Warren Farm, near Nonsuch Park in Surrey. Part of this 22 hectare site has been invaded by Canadian goldenrod, a distinctive bright yellow plant that out-competes our native flora which attracts a range of butterflies. 


Alissa has been working with a group of volunteers from the Meadow Farm Project to remove goldenrod over the past few summers. The annual removal was led by local volunteer, Sally Williams and has been a huge success. The highest number of the rare Small Blue butterfly were recorded here in 2016 and this was due to the work of our volunteers. Sadly, Sally has moved away from the area but she still has an interest in the site. We want to continue her great work so we’re seeking volunteers to help us.


We’re having a ‘launch party’ on Sunday 3 June to attract groups of people and families to the site. There will be a morning session, with instructions on how to remove the goldenrod and we’re asking people to bring a picnic lunch. Those who help us can take part in an afternoon bushcraft session, making dreamcatchers and enjoying other fun activities. 


We’re planning several public events for volunteers to come along and help. Sessions are from 10am – 12pm on the dates below. If you would like to help, please contact Alissa or Judith.  


  • Sunday 3 June (launch event with picnic and family activities)
  • Sunday 15 July
  • Saturday 4 August
  • Sunday 2 September


We’ve also lined up some extra sessions with the Environment Agency and the local Parkrun. Many hands make light work! 


Goldenrod plants are removed by hand – it’s hard work but it’s worth it. With 95% of lowland meadows disappearing in recent years, Warren Farm is an important stronghold for butterflies and the plants that they depend on. We’re looking for someone to replace Sally Williams, to co-ordinate and lead the volunteer sessions. If you would like to help or know someone who might be interested, please contact Alissa for more information.  


Passers by can easily ‘do their bit’ too – they can pull up any goldenrod plants they spot between May and September and leave them on site to rot down. They need to avoid any areas where skylarks are nesting though! A flyer with more information is available – please contact Alissa
Volunteers on Parkrun day Skylark poster at Warren Farm


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