Diggers Move Into Nower Wood!

Tuesday 21st June 2016

Work on Surrey Wildlife Trust’s new flagship education centre near Leatherhead has finally begun. Diggers moved onto the Nower Wood site this week to demolish the old building to make way for the new.

The race is on to find the funds to finish what we’ve begun...


“We are so excited that after all the planning, fund-raising and dreaming, the project is now actually underway,” said Aimee Clarke, Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Director of Education, People and Wildlife.

“We still have a lot of money to raise to ensure all our plans can go ahead, but the creaky old 1970s wooden buildings are gone, so there’s no going back now! The race is on to find the funds to finish what we’ve begun.”

Environmental Grant

The Trust is also celebrating a £22,540 grant from The Veolia Environmental Trust - awarded through the Landfill Communities Fund - to help improve the landscape around the new £1.1m scheme.

More than £1m has already been donated to the appeal by Surrey Wildlife Trust members, local businesses and donors. But £85,000 is still needed to ensure work on the centre can be completed inside and out.

Newts Relocated

The new centre will include three bright new classrooms, allowing the Trust to expand its programme of educational activities. The design of the centre and its surroundings will open up Nower Wood to new audiences, including those with special educational needs and disabilities.

The scheme has been designed to minimise disruption to wildlife on the site. Species such as newts and reptiles were captured and moved to a safe location and topsoil containing a woodland seed bank and bluebells was collected and saved for future replanting.

The 81 acres of ancient woodland was bought for use as an educational nature reserve in 1971. Around 8,000 visitors of all ages visit every year to take part in pond-dipping, bug hunts, tree identification, mammal studies and environmental surveys.

The new centre should be open to welcome its first students in the New Year. In the meantime, the Trust’s education team has relocated to continue its work at an alternative base at Bay Pond, near Godstone.

Fund-raising Raffle

The Nower Wood fund-raising team would be extremely grateful to receive any public donations, no matter how big or small. Or why not buy a ticket for the fund-raising raffle to win a luxury holiday in Scotland? Buy tickets here: www.surreywildlifetrust.org/holiday-raffle. For more information and to donate please visit www.surreywildlifetrust.org.uk/donate.

Tagged with: Fundraising, Outdoor learning, Volunteering