Royal Opening for Nower Wood

Wednesday 5th April 2017

Surrey Wildlife Trust is thrilled to announce that its brand new education centre at Nower Wood will be officially opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO on Thursday 20th April.

 “We’re really excited that we’re now so close to being able to finally open the doors of our wonderful new education centre and we’re honoured to be able to welcome Her Royal Highness as our very first official visitor,” said Aimee Clarke, the Trust’s Director of Education.

“We hope the new facilities in the heart of Nower Wood will encourage people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to come and get closer to nature in such a beautiful woodland setting.”

The new building houses three spacious heated classrooms, allowing the Trust to expand its programme of educational activities - up to 90 students can now be accommodated at any time of the year. The design of the centre and its surroundings opens up Nower Wood to new audiences, including those with special educational needs and disabilities. 

The Countess of Wessex has a strong interest in provisions for people with disabilities and embracing opportunities for young people. Her Royal Highness will be joined at the opening by local school children, volunteers, donors and the Trust’s education team.

The £1.1m education centre has been funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as donations from individual supporters and local businesses, including The Veolia Environmental Trust, Toyota (GB) PLC, Fidelity International, SYSTRA Ltd, Hansgrohe Ltd, Kier Services and Marshall Surfacing.

It’s situated in 81 acres of ancient woodland, which was bought for use as an educational nature reserve in 1971. The Trust hopes 15,000 visitors of all ages will visit the new centre every year to take part in pond-dipping, bug hunts, wild play, mammal studies and environmental surveys. 

Nower Wood is also welcoming its first school group in the week of the royal opening and holding family open days, enabling everybody to come along and see the new centre, take part in wild activities and walk in the stunning bluebell woods. 

To book a place on one of our open days visit The centre is also taking bookings for school parties, community groups and birthday parties – find out more at .
“We want the whole community to benefit from this amazing new centre by discovering the natural world,” added Aimee. “We know that contact with wildlife makes us happier and healthier. And if we can encourage a love and understanding of nature, future generations will be inspired to protect it and that is so very important.”

The Trust is still raising funds to buy wildlife cameras, computers, tools and office furniture for Nower Wood. If you, your business or community group can help with our final push to kit out the centre please contact Tania Ord-Smith on 01483 795469 or email

Tagged with: Events & Shows, Outdoor learning, Volunteering