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Surrey Hills celebrates National Tree Planting Day

Surrey Hills thanks the hundreds of community volunteers planting 13,500 trees for the Queen’s Green Canopy in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

This winter, Surrey Hills Society have worked with 300 volunteers from a diverse range of communities to support the planting of over 2km of native hedgerow and 1000 woodland trees in the Surrey Hills. This engages with the unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, which is inviting people to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee” in aid of The Queen’s Green Canopy. This 2km of hedgerow forms part of the 7.5km being planting in the Surrey Hills through collaborative land manager groups funding by the Surrey Hills Farming in Protected Landscapes fund (FiPL). The trees that have been planted are a mixture of native species including hawthorn, field maple and hazel which create essential wildlife corridors and habitat for a wide variety of species such as the hazel dormouse, brown hairstreak butterfly and turtle dove.

“Thank you to all those who have given up their time to be involved in our tree planting efforts. Surrey Hills Society have engaged with members of the community, secondary school students, corporate staff teams and members of the Surrey Choices Growth Team, who all have the common aim of wanting to contribute positively to the environment. It has been wonderful to witness the enjoyment of volunteers, in learning more about both the environment and each other, as well as experiencing the benefit of being outside.”

Gordon Jackson, Chair of Surrey Hills Society and Surrey Hills Trust Fund

The Surrey Choices Growth Team in partnership with Surrey Hills Society are funded by FiPL to work one day a week at Newlands Corner, helping to manage access for people and improve habitat for nature as part of the Surrey Hills Conservation Volunteers programme. In February, the Surrey Hills was delighted to host The Rt Hon Lord Benyon, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Rural Affairs, Access to Nature and Biosecurity) who visited the Surrey Hills Conservation Volunteers to view the excellent progress that they have made with removing invasive scrub from the chalk grassland, a habitat which is internationally important for its rarity and species richness.

Over the last few months, a huge variety of volunteer days have taken place in the Surrey Hills. This includes the first Surrey Hills Corporate Champions tree planting day with Allianz Insurance, a partnership between Surrey Hills Enterprises and Surrey Hills Society. The Allianz Tree Planting Day was held on Friday 25 February at Knowle Park in Cranleigh and saw 1,000 trees and shrubs planted.

These essential efforts to help support biodiversity and conservation could not be possible without the engagement from farmers, landowners and volunteers. Angus Stovold of Lydling Farm, comments on the fantastic community work that has been undertaken to help plant trees on the farm;

I knew the local community was interested in our conservation work but we were blown away by the enthusiasm and help they gave willingly. It has made our decisions to continue at a pace much easier to fully integrate our farming with nature recovery.

The support of local Members of Parliament (MPs) has also been invaluable. On Friday 11 March, which was National Tree Planting Day, a group of Surrey MPs attended Lydling Farm, Shackleford to play their part in planting native hedgerow in the Surrey Hills.

I was delighted to be invited to Lydling Farm in the Surrey Hills to participate in some tree planting in aid of The Queen’s Green Canopy. The astonishing efforts made by the Surrey Hills, farmers, landowners and their community volunteers will create a legacy of essential habitat for rare and vulnerable species for years to come.

Angela Richardson, Member of Parliament for Guildford
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