Naturally Richer


Naturally Richer

© Jon Hawkins

Good for wildlife, good for the economy

A new investment model in Surrey is placing nature’s recovery at the heart of the local economy, transforming nature conservation and sustainable growth.  

Coast to Capital, who determine local economic priorities and undertake activities to drive the economy, has awarded Local Growth Funding to the Trust to deliver a nature recovery network between Redhill and Godstone in Surrey and create a network of green corridors for wildlife to thrive and move.

Sandcastles for Sand martins

Funded by Coast to Capital

© Sand in Your Eye

A new build for birds

Funded by  Coast to Capital, as part of the Naturally Richer project, and supported by the Chessington Conservation Fund, a huge 400 tonne sand installation built by sand sculptor Sand in Your Eye with the help of site owner Sibelco, is now providing hundreds of new sand martin homes at Spynes Mere nature reserve

As one of the first spring migrants, sand martins, the smallest of Britain's swallow and martin family, visit the reserve annually on their return flight from sub saharan Africa. The nesting bank, in essence, one enormous sandcastle, has been specially designed with a 20-metre curved vertical face so sand martins can peep out of nest holes to find mates. 

The nest bank is a home for sand martins to rear their next brood of chicks. With their tiny clawed feet, the sand martins dig 50-90 centimetre long burrows into the vertical face and make a small chamber at the end, where between four and eight eggs are laid on collected vegetation and feathers. 

The Trust will shave up to a metre’s depth off the face of there bank every year to reduce the burden of nest parasites ands after five or six years, the sand will be recycled and the bank rebuilt, providing a lasting home.

Latest project news

Species spotlight

About sand martins

Learn more

© David Tippling

Sand martin bank project logos