International summit draws up landscape restoration plans for Surrey, including Bletchingley's ancient woodland (From Redhill And Reigate Life)
Got a story? Call 01273 544544 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
International summit draws up landscape restoration plans for Surrey, including Bletchingley's ancient woodland
12:03pm Monday 14th October 2013 in News
A pioneering international project is set to transform Surrey quarries into wildlife havens, link up ancient local woodland and create a five-mile nature reserve.
Connecting ancient woods in Bletchingley and creating a big nature reserve between Nutfield and Godstone are among ambitious plans which have been put forward at a conference.
Surrey County Council, alongside the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and representatives of the public and private sectors in England and abroad, unveiled the two-year European Union (EU)-funded action plan, called Project Restore, at the summit meeting in County Hall.
The Project Restore partners’ aim is to share innovative ideas that could become a model for all EU countries on revamping quarries.
Surrey’s soil is rich in valued minerals such as clay and silica sand, and the county council is an award-winning authority in returning quarries to nature. The county council’s role in the two-year project includes developing a plan to transform quarried land back to nature across Spelthorne and parts of Runnymede and Elmbridge.
But there are also plans to use more than 35,000 Euros of European funding to link up ancient woodland in Bletchingley, and create a five-mile nature reserve between Nutfield and Godstone.
The conference drew more than 70 delegates from English local councils and from across Europe, including from Germany, Holland and Belgium.
John Furey, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “Not many people know about the restoration planning and work we do before and after quarry sites have been developed.”
He said: “Some of our restoration sites in the countryside are brilliant.”
A county council spokesman cited recent examples of the council's restoration work, including converting sand pits into a recreation space at Mercer’s Lake near Nutfield, and turning a Hansons quarry into Tice’s Meadow wetland nature reserve in Farnham.
The spokesman also cited the council's work with housebuilders to create the lakeside Watercolour development outside Redhill.