Research and Monitoring

river monitoring

Research & Monitoring

Naturally Informed

At Surrey Wildlife Trust, we are committed to finding the long-term solutions to ongoing biodiversity declines that nature so badly needs in our county. Science is at the heart of our decision-making, and we strive to use sound scientific evidence to inform both our policy and our actions. Building this evidence-base is a continually iterative work-stream, ever growing with advancements in applied science and conservation experience. As part of our role to ensure we can contribute to this process, to inform both ourselves and others, we are keen to work with external partners to further understanding of the natural world. You can find out more in our Research & Monitoring Framework.

There are six key themes to this work:

  1. Understanding the pressures on the natural world and how they impact both biodiversity and bio-abundance.
  2. Understanding the causes for decline of key priority species in Surrey and establishing a course of action to reverse this.
  3. Discovering better ways to manage and restore the natural environment to support biodiversity, bio-abundance and enhance habitat connectivity.
  4. Understanding how new technology can be utilised for various applications across the field of nature conservation. For example, to capture monitoring information about the natural environment or as a tool to widen participation and accessibility.
  5. Understanding how people benefit from and interact with the natural environment, from a variety of aspects including education, social, and health and wellbeing.
  6. Understanding the economic and social value of natural assets (Natural Capital) within Surrey and how this can then provide the necessary evidence to influence local policy makers, to embed more sustainable practice within all forms of commerce, including the development sector.

Research News & Highlights

Project Prospectus

As part of our research work, we provide a variety of potential research projects each year for further and higher education students to engage with. We are committed to investing in successor generations of scientists and researchers, and ensuring they are involved in worthwhile and meaningful projects during their secondary and tertiary education. Through our research placements, we aim to provide vital experience in the sector for young people and help them develop new skills in real-world research, monitoring and conservation work. By working as part of The Wildlife Trusts national movement, there will be ample opportunity for networking to promote future employment prospects.

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If you have any questions regarding projects in the prospectus, please contact

These are some of the students we have worked with over recent years, talking about their experiences collaborating with us on their projects.

Rachel - MSc Environmental Technology, Imperial College London


I collaborated with the Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) on my postgraduate thesis during the summer of 2021. After listening to a lecture from SWT during my second term on the work that the Trust was conducting regarding connectivity, I reached out to and asked if they would consider supervising me, as I wanted to do a project on this too. They had previously worked with students on similar projects, so they were aware of the entire thesis process. SWT were incredibly quick to respond and supportive in helping me pick the direction I wanted to go, giving me freedom in doing so. I wanted to look at how collaboration between farmers could improve connectivity across landscapes. Through the support and the expertise from various members of staff, I was able to learn how to use new software programmes like GIS, which became integral to my project. As I was new to this software, I was able to ask for meetings at any point, which I found incredibly helpful as this project was done during the pandemic. Collaborating with the SWT also enabled me to learn from different members of the organisation, providing many contacts that I could interview to support and strengthen my work. It was a great experience being able to work with an organisation outside of an academic setting and I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity that SWT provided me.

Priya & Ellen - SATRO Research Work Placements

SATRO organise research placements for students aged 16+ to undertake a genuine STEM based research project, working within an employer or academic research environment. The placement runs for four weeks during the Summer, enabling students to work alongside qualified professionals and experts. Surrey Wildlife Trust provide projects for the scheme each year, producing some fantastic results.

Priya completed a project with us in summer 2021: "Working with the Surrey Wildlife Trust was an amazing experience for me. This research project I carried out on the 'Barriers to Nature Engagement in Young People' was an eye-opener towards finding the solutions that can solve local problems and the lack of engagement we currently face in society. The staff members of the Surrey Wildlife Trust, continuously gave me guidance and advice to carry out all the research necessary to make this project successful. As a result, this project received a CREST Gold Award and it is thanks to SWT for giving me this opportunity and always helping  and communicating with me throughout!"

Ellen's project during summer 2021 was looking at Green Infrastructure in Woking: "I really enjoyed my work experience with Surrey Wildlife Trust over the summer. I found the topic chosen very interesting to research and my mentor gave me so much support and guidance via regular meetings and emails as I was working on my project. I am very pleased with the report I produced from my research and the chance to give a presentation based on my findings was invaluable."

Rocio - Doctoral Practitioner, University of Surrey


I’m a PhD student on the Practitioner Doctorate program in Sustainability (Centre for the Environment and Sustainability, University of Surrey). The Surrey Wildlife Trust is an industry partner of this doctoral project, which focuses on urban development, biodiversity conservation and community wellbeing. The SWT has been critical for the completion of this project because working with them has allowed me to, firstly, tap into their expertise on multiple fields, such as ecological connectivity modelling, environmental and planning legislation, and community engagement. Secondly, I could access their extensive network of contacts, partners, and collaborators, which allowed me to identify some of the knowledge gaps addressed by this research project. Finally, working with dedicated, purpose-driven professionals in the field of nature conservation has inspired me to continue my career in the field of sustainable urban development and environmental conservation.

Past Student Projects

Here are some of the projects that have been completed over the last few years