Our partnership is still young and we are currently forming working groups who will be responsible for taking our work forward in particular areas. These groups are made up of members with extensive expertise in the relevant field. The Biodiversity, Communications and Planning for Nature working groups are already up and running.
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 reformation of the UK mission for meeting our commitment 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 Hence, the Surrey BAP is no longer active. All pertinent material has now been archived by the Surrey Nature Partnership and although now closed, its individual Habitat (and two Species) Action Plans are still available on request.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 & Planning in Surrey
The Surrey Nature Partnership has produced a ‘Biodiversity & Planning in Surrey’ manual offering advice to those involved in planning to ensure that development within the county protects and enhances the biodiversity which underpins our Natural Capital. To see this document, along with its appendices, please click on the links below.
Appendix II – Revised_Jan 2016_v.4 Including 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).
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. A new document plus appendices providing background information on the BOAs, profiling each one as a ‘Policy Statement’, and prescribing their use in strategic planning is available below.
Appendix 8 – Low Weald Biodiversity Opportunity Area Policy Statements (maps to be added)
Appendix 9 – River Biodiversity Opportunity Area Policy Statements (maps to be added)
The State of Surrey’s Nature
Our 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:
Future Skills & Employment
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 and WellBeing
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 & Wellbeing services across our greenspaces in Surrey.
Green Space and Health – Facts and Figures