Heritage Open Days - Rye Meadows Open from 10am to 4pm, 9th to 18th September

Funding & Partners

Rye Meadows Wetlands benefits from annual income from a generous bequest made by Mr. & Mrs Burnett to the Community Foundation for Surrey. This bequest is ring-fenced for Rye Meadows and the income each year helps to pay for ongoing costs associated with the Meadows – Insurance, Diesel, Tractor servicing, tool repairs etc.

Often this income is insufficient to meet these costs, especially if there is a problem with one of the tractors, or we pay for the annual cost of a contractor cutting the hedges. We then rely upon donations from members of the public to help us keep going, but we also receive income from two other sources, Easyfundraising and the Mole Valley Lottery.


We always welcome donations, big or small, and you can make a payment directly to our Bank Account as follows: -

Account: Friends of Ashtead Rye Meadows Wetlands

Sort Code: 30-80-33

Account Number: 28304668


More and more people are finding life much easier to order goods over the Internet. It is safer and more convenient and the goods you want are more likely to be in stock. Easyfundraising is a way to shop on line and donate to Rye Meadows at no extra cost to youi It couldn’t be easier.

Register with Easyfundraising.org.uk via the QR Code below and you'll automatically choose “Friends of Rye Meadows” as your charity to support.

Shop as normal with over 4,200 retailers, just start your shopping journey first at easyfundraising.org.uk, or get the App or browser extension Donation Reminder which reminds you when a donation is available.

Once you make a purchase, the retailer partners will make a small donation to your chosen cause to say 'thank you'. Get started now!

Since we started with Easyfundraising we have raised over £1,500 by this method. You do your shopping as normal and feel virtuous at the same time!! It’s Win/Win.

Mole Valley Lottery

Launched in July 2021, Rye Meadows has joined as a partner in this scheme. For every £1 Lottery Ticket sold in support of Rye Meadows we will receive 50p. The Lottery has a first prize of £25,000 and there are lower prizes too each week.

To support Rye Meadows and be in with a chance of a prize just visit Mole Valley Lottery - Ashtead Rye Wetlands or use the QR Code below and sign up. You can buy as many weekly tickets as you want, and each ticket you buy will support Rye Meadows with 50p. We have sold 46 tickets so far (July 2021) which will raise £1,196 for our cause.


The following are sponsors of Rye Meadows. We are very grateful to all these sponsors as without their help, be it equipment or funding, we would not have been able to achieve all the improvements we have managed since we started the project. These are in no special order.

George & Daphne Burnett

First and foremost amongst the sponsors of Ashtead Rye Meadows are George and Daphne Burnett. From Daphne's early vision through to generous financial support, their commitment to Rye Meadows has been second to none.

They own the fields which make up Ashtead Rye Meadows Wetlands and they have placed them under the auspices of Fields in Trust to ensure they remain protected from development.  

They have enlisted the help of their family and friends to ensure the Meadows are looked after by future generations for the benefit of wildlife and the people of Ashtead.

Sunbelt Rentals

Sunbelt Rentals is one of our major sponsors. It provides equipment for free and all we need pay is the insurance cost and the diesel fuel.

We do need to employ a certified driver with his own insurance to use the machines, but the free hire saves us considerable sums. We have used diggers and dumpers to widen the banks, create berms and recently (July and August 2016) to create ponds and scrapes in the Centenary Field.

The Lower Mole Countryside Trust

This local Trust has supported us with grants that have enabled us to buy tools used by the volunteers. In addition their volunteers have worked on the fields to remove blackthorn from the river bank allowing more light to the stream. This extra light brings back life to the Rye Brook as evidenced by the improved monitoring by the Riversearch team.

Mole Valley District Council

We have received several Grants from Mole Valley Council to assist in various projects. Funds come from the Community Infrastructure Levy or CIL as it is known. These funds emanate from developer money changed by the Council on Planning Applications. Applications for these funds are open to all, and we have been fortunate in securing grants in the past. Recently we have obtained a grant to assist in resurfacing the two footpaths, 24 and 596, damaged by continual use during the 2020 Lockdowns when residents discovered the routes when taking their exercise. Ashtead Common experienced similar damage to their footpaths and bridleways that year.

Thomas Flack Trust Fund

The The Thomas Flack Trust provided funding so we could continue the schemes to widen the brook, removing the artificially straightened lengths, creating berms and installing deflectors. This will hold back the water during flood situations providing new environments for wildlife and bird life whilst alleviating potential flood situations downstream.

The Barnby Trust

Some 30 years ago the meadows were part of the Barnby Estate administered by Lord Barnby who lived in Ashtead Woods Road. On his death, the fields were sold and purchased by Mr & Mrs Burnett who own them still. Ashtead Rye Meadows is Mrs Burnett's vision and  she has worked tirelessly to bring her vision to fruition. The Trust has visited the Meadows and seen what we have achieved in the last 4 years and has made two generous donations to enable us to continue the work and undertake the many projects we have planned for the future.

Community Foundation for Surrey

Community Foundation for Surrey has provided funding for the new bridge across the Rye from the Preston Grove entrance. The new bridge replaced the narrow concrete bridge that had only the one hand rail, the other having collapsed into the stream a long time ago. The bridge was purchased with funds donated by the Community and installed by Surrey Rights of Way contractors. The bridge and the hard paths have made a huge difference to the access and visitors can now walk on a hard surface all the way around and across the site.

The Foundation has recently also provided a substantial sum to allow us to create ponds and scrapes in the filed now designated as a Centenary Field. It was decided on this 100th anniversary of WW1 to nominate a field as a Centenary Field to commemorate those residents of Ashtead who fell in the Great War. We are hugely indebted to the Foundation for providing these funds which have allowed us to construct a wetland area which will store water.

This not only increases the biodiversity of the site but will attract wildlife, bird life and insect and amphibian life. The excavation work has now been completed but there is still some landscaping to be carried out and some larger trees to be planted. The bare earth will soon disappear as nature re-establishes itself. The added benefit of this work is the alleviation of flood risk downstream towards Leatherhead as more water will be stored upstream in times of flood.

Chris Townsend (Surrey County Councillor)

Chris kindly made two donations from his Councillor Allocation that enabled us to buy a Stihl Brushcutter/Strimmer and a Honda Brushcutter/Strimmer. These have proved immensely useful in removing and keeping down blackthorn and other brush.

Thames Water

Thanks to a generous Grant from Thames Water we have been able to undertake some key maintenance work on the Meadows. We have also used some of the Grant to buy stakes and deer netting to be erected on the borders of the Meadows where they abut the houses. This netting is light and see-through so will not impair the view from the houses but it will deter the deer from eating the new hedging shoots as they appear next Spring - and perhaps roses and other plants in the neighbours' gardens!

Another major part of the Grant from Thames Water was to enable us to install a wooden walkway in Centenary Field. This walkway is situated about 300cms from the ground and enables pedestrians to walk from a new pedestrian gate to the new ponds. The walkway has proven to be very popular and many residents walk all the way to the end where we have placed the Unknown Soldier Silhouette Statue.

The walkway was installed by volunteers from the Lower Mole Countryside Group in the Spring of 2017 and the Opening Ceremony was attended by all our sponsors.



At Rye Meadows Wetlands we work with the following agencies. Click on the logos for more information.


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