Page last updated at 14:19 GMT, Sunday, 18 October 2009 15:19 UK

Young workers help protect Common

Widening firebreak on Whitmore Coomon
Vinvolved workers widened the firebreak on Whitmoor Common

Scouts and guides are among youth groups from Guildford who have volunteered for work aimed at reducing arson attacks on Worplesdon Commons.

Surrey Wildlife Trust said its arson prevention project had relied on volunteers to clear scrub and improve access for the Fire and Rescue Service.

Students from the Merrist Wood campus of Guildford College cleared scrub on Whitmoor Common.

Guildford Scouts and Burpham Guides cleared pathways and site entrances.

Others who volunteered included the Barn Youth Project and Vinvolved, which co-ordinates volunteers aged from 16 to 25.

As well as hampering the spread of fires, the scrub clearance encourages heather regeneration and increases biodiversity by creating different habitats.

"The young people that have volunteered their time to help have been fantastic - really motivated and hard working," said Charlotte Dooley from the trust.

"They seem to really enjoy getting stuck into practical habitat management tasks, knowing that their work is making a difference."

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