Surrey Wildlife Trust Will Not Abandon the Countryside

Monday 16th January 2017

Surrey Wildlife Trust announced last week the restructuring of its countryside management team, following budget cuts by Surrey County Council. Government cuts mean the council can no longer afford to pay for its countryside estate and SCC wants it to become self-financing by 2021.

This is a very difficult time for the Trust, its staff and volunteers – but our mission will always be to care for Surrey’s beautiful landscape for the benefit of wildlife and people. We will not abandon the countryside in spite of current challenges.

We are a local charity, but as the only organisation in the county solely working for wildlife, we strongly believe we are the only ones with the passion and expertise to ensure the protection of our countryside. We have to adapt to the changing economic and political climate, which threatens our precious wild spaces in Surrey.

While we are making good progress developing new sources of income to fund the SCC estate, this will not fill the funding gap.

Our work on the ground is at the heart of the Trust, but sadly reorganising the way our countryside management team works is necessary if we are to make the significant savings needed.

The proposal is to have six fewer roles. The new team of 10 will continue to manage Surrey County Council's 10,000 acre estate.

The final number of redundancies will depend on how many of the team apply for and are appointed to the new, different roles. We have started a consultation process with all staff affected, which will continue until the end of March.

The restructure inevitably means there will be some changes on the ground but we will be doing our very best to ensure Surrey’s wonderful natural habitats and wildlife continues to be protected.

There will be some tough days ahead, but if people really value nature and access to the countryside on their doorsteps, we hope all our supporters will continue to work with us to ensure wildlife has a future in Surrey.

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