Support our vision of a wilder Surrey
Please support us by donating today and help wildlife to survive and thrive across the county.
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Bees, Bugs & Butterflies
Your pollinators need you!
Nature is in trouble, right here at home
Despite its beautiful countryside, Surrey has one of the fastest-declining wildlife populations in England. One third of our species are either extinct or in danger. What’s more, since 1945 the UK has lost more than 80% of its chalk grassland – a habitat that supports so many species that it is sometimes called Europe’s tropical rainforest.
That’s why Surrey Wildlife Trust is taking decisive action now. We’re acting to restore the fortunes of a vital group of invertebrates – the pollinators that our world depends on. We aim to reconnect and revitalise the countryside so they can breed, prosper and continue to benefit people and nature.
Places for pollinators
We have developed a five-year programme to restore pollinator-friendly habitats in the chalk grasslands and traditional meadows of the North Downs. It’s ambitious – and costly.
But we have a secret weapon. If people like you contribute to our Bees, Bugs and Butterflies appeal, you can help us access tens of thousands of pounds in funding that we can’t otherwise reach. We can unlock corporate donations worth ten times as much as your donation and we can put this money to work right away. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
But how will we spend it?
Over the next five years, Bees, Bugs & Butterflies will focus on the stretch of the North Downs between Guildford and Reigate. As part of our programme we will:
- Identify high quality habitat and target areas for restoration from the iconic chalk grassland of the Downs to the community greenspaces that can do so much for nature
- Work in partnership with community groups, schools, volunteers and landowners
- Control scrub encroaching on grassland to enable a wide range of plants to flourish
- Where appropriate spread native wildflower seed in new areas
- Graze livestock to create suitable conditions for key plant species
- Monitor the abundance and diversity of pollinator species like solitary bees and hoverflies.
Please help us unlock the funding that could help them thrive again
Every £1 you donate could unlock £10 in match-funding, so imagine how much you could help us achieve. For example, a £50 donation, generating £500, could help us:
- Equip a volunteer group with tools for removing invasive scrub
- Run a bee-themed school grounds programme with a local school
- Recruit and train a group of volunteers to survey pollinating insects
Please note that all or part of your donation to the Treasure Chest Appeal will be used to make a contributing Third Party payment to a landfill operator to secure a grant through the Landfill Communities Fund.
Every Child Wild
Instinctively, we think of natural disasters as something sudden and dramatic – volcanoes violently erupting or the shattering shock of an earthquake – but there is one that has been quietly unfolding for some time.
As a society, we are losing our connection to nature and this disconnect will have a devastating impact for nature and wildlife in the future.
Think back to where your love of nature and wildlife started. The chances are it started when you were a child. But today, less than 10% of children play outside compared to 40% a generation ago. This is a shocking statistic not only for their health but if children are not spending time outdoors how can they be expected to develop a love for the natural world around them?
Given this decline in children spending time outside, it is more important than ever that Surrey Wildlife Trust inspires young minds to care about nature and the wildlife around them. Today’s children will be tomorrow’s decision makers. Instilling a respect for nature now will give the natural world that is so integral to our lives a fighting chance in the future. Our childhood experiences have a lasting impact on us so it’s vital we make nature a part of that.
Can you help nature with a donation today to help us make every child wild?
Inspiring children to love nature is at the core of our work. But we clearly need to do more. We currently welcome around 8,000 children each year. We want to increase this to 11,000 children a year through our education centres. But we need your help to do this.
Contact with nature is not a luxury and we are working hard to keep these experiences open and available to all. Please give nature an extra special Christmas gift this year – a child who will love and value it today and protect it in the future.
Chalk Grassland Appeal
A third of Surrey’s nature is either extinct or in danger of heading that way. Wildlife is at risk in our woods, our heaths and on our Downs. That is why over the next five years Surrey Wildlife Trust is setting out to recover Surrey’s nature in some of the most endangered areas.
Let’s take the North Downs. This beautiful ridge of chalk hills stretches from Farnham to the White Cliffs of Dover. They are also home to a very rare habitat – chalk grassland – which has been steadily declining in the UK for over 50 years.
The North Downs was once covered in flower-rich chalk grassland. The beauty of a wildflower meadow – alive with the humming of bees alongside beautiful butterflies dancing from flower to flower – is a truly wonderful summer sight. Before the Second World War, chalk grassland was widespread, but this habitat has seriously declined. We have LOST more than 80% of our chalk grassland since WWII. This is partly due to changes in the way we use our land.
For instance, intensive farming can change the nature of the soil with herbicides and fertilisers so that many chalk grassland species can’t survive. There has also been a huge reduction in traditional grazing, which affects the diversity of plants which are able to grow.
Chalk grassland supports such an incredible range of different species that it has been referred to as Europe’s tropical rainforest. Many of these are what we call specialists – they do not grow anywhere else – including stunningly delicate orchids. Sadly, the beautiful green-winged orchid is now a very rare sight
Your support is vital in helping us recover Surrey’s nature. Please help with a donation if
State of Surrey's Nature
State of Surrey's Nature Appeal
Can you help us recover Surrey’s nature?
Following the - frankly worrying - results from the UK wide State of Nature Report in 2016, we wanted a local picture of what was happening in Surrey. So when Mike Waite, our Living Landscapes Manager, produced the State of Surrey’s Nature report it made alarming reading.
Sadly, Surrey’s flora and fauna appears to be faring particularly badly and we have suffered a far higher rate of loss in species than the nation as a whole. In fact, this is 12% compared to the national 2%, a quite shocking statistic.
Add that to the fact that of a total of 404 priority species (of national conservation concern), almost 31% are already locally extinct in Surrey, while 37% are threatened and/or remain in worrying decline. This leaves just 32% considered ‘stable’ or ‘recovering’.
Although this is far from good news it can serve as a wake-up call for all of us. We are determined to make Surrey a place for nature to recover and we’re asking for your support.
Can you help us halt the decline by making a gift today?
We need to invest in reversing the poor management and neglect of many of Surrey’s beautiful woods, which has caused the decline of many woodland species like the threatened wood white butterfly. One of our most threatened mammals, the Hazel dormouse, also needs properly managed woodlands to survive. Management techniques. such as coppicing, benefit the dormouse as well as other woodland species at risk including Nightingales.
We need to restore mismanaged or long neglected hedgerows, which provide food and shelter for hedgehogs and formerly-common farmland birds like yellowhammers. Hedgerows can also be wildlife havens in urban areas, providing vital links for all sorts of species to move about freely and keep populations healthy.
There is much to do, but we know you care as much as we do about Surrey’s natural environment. Surrey has a number of pressures – developments, housing, roads – but its natural beauty has to be one of its most precious features, so please help us do all we can to recover Surrey’s nature.
Other ways to donate
Send a cheque made payable to Surrey Wildlife Trust addressed to
Fundraising, Surrey Wildlife Trust, School Lane, Pirbright, Woking, Surrey, GU24 0JN
Call us on 01483 795444
We promise to spend your donations wisely
84p in every £1 is spent directly on nature conservation. 12p goes on securing extra funding for our work and 3p is spent on governance of the Trust.