Enhancing and protecting wildlife in Surrey

Helping nature and wildlife thrive

Protecting our green spaces and wildlife is important to us and our teams work hard with partners and the community to achieve this. To celebrate World Wildlife Day, we're sharing some of the positive work we have been involved with to protect nature and help tackle climate change.

Protecting the declining glow-worm

A colony of glow-worms, a declining species with no legal protection, were found residing within a small existing hedgerow during a recent visit to Norbury Park near Dorking. Our tree planting team modified their proposed hedge planting plan on the site to benefit the species and enhance the declining habitat to provide a better chance of survival. Over 3,800 native broadleaf trees were planted to provide a habitat corridor to not only allow the glow-worms to travel more freely in search of their food but also encourages other wildlife species.

Creating spaces for amphibians and aquatic insects

New wetland habitats have been created at Horsell Common in Woking to hold excess rainwater. The new wetlands will also benefit wildlife, providing shelter for amphibians and many aquatic insects and other invertebrates. The new grassland area, wildflower meadows and new tree species will help promote and re-establish biodiversity, not forgetting the hibernacula created which is a sanctuary for wildlife.

Home to over 50 roman snails

The restoration of land at The Downs in Caterham has led to the site now being the home to a thriving colony of just over fifty Roman Snails, a protected species. We were awarded a Gold Green Apple Environment Award for our work to restore the land which replicated the surrounding ecological landscape, protected adjacent ancient woodland and installed new sustainable drainage features.

Tree planting

We are working with almost 100 partners to plant 57,500 trees during this planting season which all contributes to our target to plant 1.2 million trees by 2030. Trees play a huge role in tackling climate change but also provide habitation for a variety of wildlife.

What can I do to help?

There's a lot you can do to help protect wildlife. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Leave an area of grass in your garden un-cut. You'll get a healthy garden full of colour and life which will help wildlife thrive.
  • Support our Blue Campaign by identifying grass verges you think could be the home to wildflowers. Find out more on the Surrey County Council website.
  • When you visit the countryside, stick to paths and keep dogs on leads so they don't disturb wildlife. This is particularly important during ground nesting bird season at heathland sites from March. Find out more from our countryside code champions Louis and Zhinlap.
  • Get in touch if you think you have land which could be used in tree planting. Find out more on our tree planting page, or email trees@surreycc.gov.uk.

Want to know what species you can find on our sites? Take a closer look at our Explore Surrey graphics at each of our sites. You'll see the species you can expect to see during your visit.

More from greener futures