In the spring of 2015, residents of Leatherhead and Ashtead took action to begin restoration of the Rye Brook, the 'forgotten river' which runs through their fields and past their houses, schools and businesses.
Volunteers from six different groups - Surrey Wildlife Trust RiverSearch, Lower Mole Countryside Management Project, Rye Meadows Wetlands, City of London Corporation, Teazle Wood Trust and Mole Valley District Council joined forces to improve the Rye Brook.
Jim Jones, Living Landscape Officer at Surrey Wildlife Trust, helped set up the Rye Brook Restoration Project in collaboration with the Lower Mole Countryside Management Project, with funding from the Environment Agency. The Project emerged through the River Mole Catchment Partnership, which brings together over forty organisations working within the Mole Catchment from Crawley to Molesey, with a vision of improving the whole river. Local residents attended two events organised by the River Mole Catchment Partnership where they shared their ideas about the Rye Brook. As well as long-term protection of habitats, flood risk, access, pollution and use of the area for leisure and education were considered priorities.