Watts Gallery Hosts Unique Living Wildlife Exhibition!

Thursday 14th July 2016

Grass snakes, newts, slow worms and a whole host of creepy crawlies provided a unique live exhibition at Watts Gallery this week, as Surrey Wildlife Trust held its annual Chairman’s Reception.

Our role is to try to protect and improve the habitats and sites that are so important to Surrey...

More than 80 supporters of the charity gathered in the beautiful surroundings of the art gallery in Compton, to celebrate the work of the Trust and to learn more about its projects.

Guests mingled in the shadow of the 19th century artworks, while getting up close and personal with live reptiles and insects on display tables inside and out. There was an eye-catching red deer skull, complete with antlers and other specimens from the natural world. 

Chris Wilkinson, Chairman of Surrey Wildlife Trust, said: “Our role is to try to protect and improve the habitats and sites that are so important to Surrey – the heathlands, woodlands, rivers and meadows. 

“Under our management nearly all these sites that we take care of are back in improving condition. It’s also so important to create links between these sites so that wildlife can move across the landscape more easily.

“But our story is ultimately about people – if we want to win this battle we need to help people understand, appreciate and love our wildlife and wild spaces.”

The Chairman highlighted the Trust’s project to rebuild its flagship Nower Wood Education Centre near Leatherhead. Building work has now begun, but the Trust still needs to raise £83,000 to complete the £1.13m scheme.

He also talked about the role of the Trust in wildlife research in the county, with particular reference to its RiverSearch programme, which is studying the health of our rivers with the help of over 100 specially trained volunteers.

“At the very heart of the Trust is our focus on science. Underpinning our decisions with scientific rigour is essential,” he added. “Later this year we will be publishing our State of Nature in Surrey report, which will create the base line date from which we can track future progress.”

The Chairman’s Reception was sponsored by Hart Brown Solicitors and attended by the charity’s Trustees, long-standing members and supporters from across the county. 

For more information about the work of Surrey Wildlife Trust, membership and the Nower Wood Education Centre appeal please visit surreywildlifetrust.org.uk.

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