What and Where is the Surrey Hills AONB?

The Surrey Hills stretches across a quarter of the county of Surrey and includes the chalk slopes of the North Downs from Farnham in the west to Oxted in the east and extends south to the deeply wooded Greensand Hills which rise in Haslemere.

What is an AONB?

AONB stands for Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Only the finest countryside is designated as AONB, and these landscapes are protected by law to ensure that they are conserved and enhanced for the enjoyment of all. There is a total of 34 AONBs in England; if you want to find out more about these visit the Natural England website here.

How long has the Surrey Hills been an AONB?

The Surrey Hills was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty back in 1958.

What is the Surrey Hills Board?

The Surrey Hills Board was established in 2008 as a Joint Management Committee to develop policies and programmes to:

  • Protect and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the Surrey Hills
  • Enhance public understanding and enjoyment of the area
  • Promote the social and economic well being of the area, particularly in regard to enterprises that achieve the above two objectives.

The Core (funding) Members of the Surrey Hills Board are: Guildford Borough Council, Mole Valley District Council, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Tandridge District Council, Surrey County Council, Waverley Borough Council, Natural England, The National Trust.
The Advisory (non funding) Members are: National Farmers Union, Country Land and Business Association, Surrey Wildlife Trust, CPRE Surrey.
The Surrey Hills Partnership is an advisory forum that supports and scrutinizes the work of the Board.

Who are the Surrey Hills team?

The Surrey Hills team is made up of five ‘core’ staff who undertake the following job roles; AONB Director, Marketing Communications Officer, Office Manager, Planning Officer, Working Groups Co-ordinator and additionally there is a South East Regional Landscape Protection Manager. The majority of the team work from a National Trust base and can be contacted at the following address; Warren Farm Barns, Headley Lane, Mickleham, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6DG.

How much countryside does Surrey really have?

The county of Surrey is the most urbanised county in England but 84% of its area is still countryside!

What do the wooden sculptures around the Surrey Hills signify?

There are two types of wooden sculptures you are likely to see. The smaller ones that have the Surrey Hills logo and name etched in them are known as boundary markers. These markers have been placed around the county to inform people that they are entering a special area, that being an AONB. The markers are also part of a wider traffic management strategy aimed at influencing drivers’ behaviour by promoting and reinforcing the rural character of the area.

There are a total of 12 larger more impressive sculptures which have been erected at prominent sites to reinforce the identity of the Surrey Hills. These larger sculptures are all different in design but related to give a consistent feel. For further information on the logo why not have a look at the history of our logo section on this site.

What activities are available for a family in the Surrey Hills?

There is a wide variety of activities available for all age groups throughout the Surrey Hills including; walking, cycling, horse riding, visiting local beauty spots etc. Have a look at the attractions or walking section of this website.

Where can I get more information on the Surrey Hills AONB?

If you have explored the Surrey Hills Website and still have some questions, feel free to contact the Surrey Hills Office on 01372 220 653, or fill in the customer feedback form on this site, and we will get straight back to you.

Can I easily reach the Surrey Hills by public transport?

The Surrey Hills is easily accessible by public transport and we are proud to have good links with many rail companies. There are direct rail links from London Victoria and Waterloo and once you are out in the Surrey Hills there are good bus networks, including Compass Travel. For all travel enquiries contact Travel Line South East on; 0871 200 22 33 or you can use their text service on 84268. Alternatively visit http://www.traveline.info/se

How can I find out if I live in the Surrey Hills AONB?

To check which areas fall within the Surrey Hills AONB boundary click here to visit the Surrey County Council interactive map.