The Friends are local people who enjoy Portsdown Hill in one way or another and wish to keep it as an important amenity for everyone to enjoy. We are independent but have strong links with the Portsdown Hill Countryside Service based at Fort Widley, and with the Portsdown Hill Conservation Volunteers.
The group was established sometime in 1993 and aims to promote the benefits of this natural green space for the recreation, education and general well-being of local people. We are particularly interested in the conservation of the Site of Special Scientific Interest with its chalk downland flora and fauna, and are keen to ensure that the hill is properly managed for future generations to enjoy. We also have an interest in the history of the area.
Between October and April we have monthly meetings on the
second Wednesday at the Church of the Resurrection hall, Brecon
Avenue, Drayton, PO6 2AW, starting at 7.45pm. The entrance fee is
£2, including refreshments. Guest speakers may cover
history or wildlife, frequently directly related to Portsdown
Hill, but with a few topics relating to other places.
A newsletter is produced regularly with details of events and activities on the hill. We keep an eye on planning issues which may have an impact on the hill.
By raising funds and applying for grants we can assist the Countryside Service and the volunteers. For example we obtained a grant for the purchase of a grass cutting and collecting unit to go with the tractor. Contributions can be made to volunteers towards the cost of safety clothing, equipment and training. We have provided funds for display panels at Candy's Pit and at the car park next to The Churchillian.
Most recently the Friends acted as the applicant and custodian of a grant from Tesco Bags of Help for a new walkway on the north side of the hill.
And we are always ready to try new endeavours consistent with our objectives.
The more of us the better, both in terms of any work we do but also when applying for grants, for example. Please join us. The annual subscription is £5. Please send a cheque, along with your name, address, phone number and email address to :
The Membership Secretary, Friends of Portsdown Hill, c/o Portsdown Hill Countryside Service, Fort Widley, Portsdown Hill Road, Portsmouth, PO6 3LS
A membership form is here. Your email address may be used for newsletters in order to keep our postage costs down.
Thank you for your support.
There is no well-defined group of volunteers, but the name has
long been used for all the people who volunteer in some way or
other. Most of them come to the workdays on a Wednesday or a
Sunday. Some help out at other times with lookering,
litter-picking, counting butterflies, fixing machinery and a myriad of other tasks. A
few of them are jovially referred to as "deep-cover operatives"
who prefer to do their own thing. It's not all hard work though,
social events include a Christmas party and a summer coach trip
to somewhere of natural interest.
We all share the common idea of getting out and doing something practical in their local environment. The volunteers may or may not belong to the Friends, and vice versa.
We were very pleased at the Portsmouth Inspiring Volunteer Awards 2017 on 6th June, as Portsdown Hill Conservation Volunteers won the team award for Environment and Conservation. This turned to total surprise near the end of the event when they also won the Volunteer Team of the Year award.
The awards are gratefully received in recognition of the work put in by volunteers over many years to assist the City Council and its sole employee in maintaining a high standard of access and interest.