Terry Whittaker

Surrey's wild side!

Despite it's proximity to the capital and dense population areas, Surrey boasts some of England's most spectacular countryside, internationally rare habitats and unique wildlife. 

The landscapes of Surrey

Surrey is home to a unique mix of landscapes - from the lowland heath of the Thames Basin, to the chalk downland of the North Downs, our county's habitats are rich and diverse.


Surrey plays host to rare heathland habitats including Chobham Common, Wisley & Ockham Commons and Thursley Common.

This special landscape is characterised by areas of sweeping heather, prickly gorse and specialist plants such as the carnivorous sundew. Heathlands are also home to rare species, including the dartford warbler, woodlark, nightjar, smooth snake and sand lizard. 

More about heathland


Surrey is fortunate to have large swathes of ancient woodland, home to many delicate plant species like wood anemone, bluebells, early purple orchids and celandine, as well as the nationally rare dormouse. Ancient yews that can be over 1000 years old are also found on some sites. 

More about woodland  

Chalk downland

The chalky soil of the North Downs in Surrey - as well as areas of greensand - give rise to a spectacular range of flora including many orchid species. Additionally, many invertebrates can be found in chalk downland habitats including the chalkhill blue and marbled white butterflies.

More about chalk grassland   

Surrey AONB

The Surrey Hills AONB can be found in the south west corner of the county. This designated Area of Outstanding Beauty is characterised by rolling wooded hills and chalk grassland. The highest point in south east England can also be found in the Surrey Hills.

More about the Surrey Hills AONB

Wildlife Gardening

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Hedgehog hotspots

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Actions for wildlife

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Iconic Surrey species

Surrey Wildlife Garden Award

Enter the Surrey Wildlife Garden Award and see how your patch shapes up for wildlife

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© Terry Whittaker/2020VISION

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