Surrey has some stunning countryside and a fantastic diversity of wildlife
But looks can be deceptive...
Surrey also has one of the fastest-declining wildlife populations of any county in England. 2017’s State of Surrey’s Nature report showed that a third of our species are now either extinct or at risk of extinction.
Road and other developments, poor management and lack of funding have created barriers between natural spaces and led to less and less room for wildlife.
Creating a Living Landscape
Our 80 carefully managed nature reserves provide some of Surrey’s most important homes for wildlife and cover over 4% of the county. However, protected reserves alone are not enough if nature is to thrive going forward.
Nature reserves need to be connected by green corridors so wildlife populations can survive and thrive - we call this a 'Living Landscape'.
Restoring Surrey's Nature
Our strategy has to change. We will continue our inspiring wildlife education activities and our reserves will remain at the heart of our work - after all, they are the oases for nature from which species will be able to recolonise other parts of the county. But this isn’t enough to turn the tide.
So, over the next five years we are carrying out a programme to enable nature to connect and flourish. Working in partnership, we are focusing on 3 key areas of the county called ‘Biodiversity Opportunity Areas’ (BOAs) to maximise our impact on the ground.
This means working together with other landowners, public bodies, communities, schools and individuals to restore large swathes of habitat to create a living landscape.
We have set ourselves clear targets for the types of habitat we need to create for nature to bloom in Surrey. All of this will take time, skill and willing partners.