Butterfly among wildflowers

Biodiversity pilot

We are helping to tackle the decline in biodiversity.

We manage over 120 green open spaces including large areas of grassland for the enjoyment and use of the community. 

As part of our climate emergency response we are looking at different ways to manage our local green spaces and increase opportunities for biodiversity.

In 2021, we trialled a new grass verge management approach on a section of Hampton Court Way between Thames Ditton and Molesey. We left the grass verges uncut until autumn to create a mini green highway. This encourages new habitats and boosts biodiversity.

We know that about a third of all species of wild bees, bumblebees and hoverflies are in decline due to habitat loss. They are important pollinators which play a key role in sustaining our local flora and fauna. Over the last years, we have been introducing wild meadow areas in local parks to sustain wildlife and insects. 

As from 31 December 2021, grass verges have become the responsibility of Surrey County Council Highways.

The Blue Campaign

Surrey County Council, supports the Blue Campaign which encourages you to help restore biodiversity. If you find a verge that you think might be suitable for rewilding, contact Surrey County Council.

Biodiversity in Planning

Our planning policies require development to preserve, manage and where possible enhance biodiversity by conserving existing wildlife habits, creating new habitats and providing links to the green infrastructure network. This reflects our duty to have regard to biodiversity conservation when exercising all public functions and to consider how a development might affect protected and priority sites, species and habitats. For most types of planning application, applicants are required to submit a Biodiversity/Ecological Assessment. 

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