Our partnership is made up of our governing Board plus several ‘working groups’, that are responsible for taking our work forward in particular areas. These groups are made up of members with extensive expertise in the relevant field. Notices and publications of the various working groups appear on this page. The Surrey Local Sites Partnership has its own separate page.
Biodiversity Working Group
This group is helping to protect biodiversity in Surrey in alignment with DEFRA’s current Biodiversity 2020 strategy, in a challenging environment where over 40% of priority habitats and 30% of priority species are declining nationally.
The group has replaced the steering group of the former Surrey Biodiversity Partnership, which drove implementation of the Surrey Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) from 1999 to 2010. Following review of the UK mission to meet our commitments to the International Convention on Biological Diversity after 2011, the Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework was published to maintain national co-ordination within the period 2011-2020. Hence, the Surrey BAP is no longer active. All pertinent material has now been archived by the Surrey Nature Partnership and although now closed, its individual Habitat (and two Species) Action Plans are still available on request. The considerable achievements of local BAP-driven work in Surrey are summarised in a document The Surrey BAP; achievements and future action (June 2010), also available on request.
Minutes from the Biodiversity Working Group’s most recent meetings are available below;
Biodiversity Working Group_Minutes 11th May 2020 (by Video Call) Biodiversity Working Group Draft Minutes 15th January 2020 • Paper A: Connectivity Model Update Presentation Jan 2020 Biodiversity Working Group Minutes 11th September 2019 Biodiversity Working Group Minutes 15th May 2019 • Paper A: Defra Biodiversity Net Gain consultation – BWG response 080219 Biodiversity Working Group Minutes 9th January 2019
Biodiversity & Planning in Surrey
The Biodiversity Working Group has produced a ‘Biodiversity & Planning in Surrey‘ manual offering advice to statutory planning practitioners and their consultees, to ensure that development within the county protects and enhances the biodiversity which underpins our Natural Capital. To view & download this document, along with its appendices, please click on the links below.
Biodiversity & Planning in Surrey, Revised March 2019 Appendix I: Revised Oct 2018 Legally protected species in Surrey. Appendix II: Revised Oct 2018 v.1 Including updated schedules of statutory & non-statutory protected sites, habitats & species in Surrey (with S.41 Habitats & Species of Principal Importance for the purpose of conserving biodiversity in England), and all searchable by borough/district.
Guidance to the local planning sector on recognition and protection of “Irreplaceable Habitats” in Surrey (ref. NPPF para. 175(c)): ‘Irreplaceable Habitats’ Guidance for Surrey August 2020.
Biodiversity Opportunity Areas
Biodiversity Opportunity Areas (BOAs) are extensive areas where improved habitat management, as well as efforts to restore and re-create Priority habitats will be most effective in enhancing connectivity to benefit recovery of Priority species in a fragmented landscape. They are therefore the basis for achieving Sir John Lawton’s vision of a “coherent and resilient ecological network” in Surrey. Specialist guidance for strategic planners includes the document below, which provides useful contextual information on Surrey’s BOAs and prescribes their specific use in strategic planning. Appendices profile each individual BOA as a ‘Policy Statement’, grouped by National Character Areas.
Biodiversity Opportunity Areas: the basis for realising Surrey’s ecological network, September 2019 (revised); (includes Appendices 1 & 2) • Biodiversity Opportunity Areas: the basis for realising Surrey’s ecological network, December 2015 [now superseded by the document above]. Appendix 3: Thames Valley Biodiversity Opportunity Area Policy Statements Appendix 4: Thames Basin Heaths Biodiversity Opportunity Area Policy Statements Appendix 5: Thames Basin Lowlands Biodiversity Opportunity Area Policy Statements Appendix 6: North Downs Biodiversity Opportunity Area Policy Statements Appendix 7: Wealden Greensands Biodiversity Opportunity Area Policy Statements Appendix 8: Low Weald Biodiversity Opportunity Area Policy Statements Appendix 9: River Biodiversity Opportunity Area Policy Statements Appendix 10: Biodiversity Opportunity Area Objectives & Targets Summary
The forthcoming Environment Bill is likely to place a requirement on appropriate authorities to identify, map and protect their respective section of a national ‘Nature Recovery Network‘, or NRN. The paper below has been produced to prepare us for this in Surrey and to explain the role and potential relationship of our Biodiversity Opportunity Areas with the government’s aspiration to establish a country-wide NRN: Surrey in the national Nature Recovery Network (February 2020)
The State of Surrey’s Nature
The Biodiversity Working Group’s latest publication is The State of Surrey’s Nature, providing a current stock-take of the county’s biodiversity. The report aims to quantify our most threatened wildlife but also celebrates why Surrey’s biodiversity is so special. This will help clarify our responsibilities to both national and international conservation, and serve to further inform our priorities at the county level. It will also be a base-line from which to measure future biodiversity trends and changes. A link to the national State of Nature 2016 report is here. Surrey’s Species of Conservation Concern (SoCC) data-tables used in the analysis for our report are below: (i) State of Surrey’s Nature SoCC lists-PLANTS; (ii) State of Surrey’s Nature SoCC lists-INVERTEBRATES; (iii) State of Surrey’s Nature SoCC lists-VERTEBRATES.
The Biodiversity Working Group will occasionally publish formal Surrey Nature Partnership positions on various issues, if these are appropriate to the partnership’s business and it is felt helpful to do so in the interests of providing professional guidance.
photo: Lynx spider Oxyopes heterophthalmus (male) on Whitmoor Common © Mike Waite 2020
Future Skills & Employment Working Group
This group aims to develop a 3 – 5 year programme initially focused on providing training in a range of disciplines within the environment sector (including traditional management skills, planning, business and accounting skills, digital skills such as GIS, ecological skills, environmental education skills and other transferable skills) to increase employability.
Green Space, Health & Well-being Working Group
Having access to green space can have a dramatic effect on the physical, mental and emotional health of communities. This group aims to explore the opportunities for collaborating on the provision of Health & Well-being services across our greenspaces in Surrey.
Green Space and Health – Facts and Figures