Threat averted – now we must protect Tice’s Meadow forever

Monday 17th January 2022 5:00 pm
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Tice’s Meadow Bird Group has lots of volunteer activities planned for 2022 – to find out more visit www.ticesmeadow.org PHOTO: KYLE RUSSELL

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FRESH from celebrating Surrey County Council buying Tice’s Meadow Nature Reserve, the volunteers of the Tice’s Meadow Bird Group are now campaigning to have the site included in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) boundary review.

For the first time in more than 60 years, Natural England are reviewing the boundaries of the Surrey Hills Area AONB, and the public are being invited to have their say. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the public to have local green spaces they consider worthy of protection included in the Surrey Hills AONB.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) represent some of England’s most outstanding and treasured landscapes, whose special qualities are so precious they are safeguarded in the national interest.

AONBs are equivalent to national parks in terms of the national importance of their natural beauty. Originally designated in 1958, the Surrey Hills AONB covers a 422 km2 stretch of North Downs and Greensand Ridge landscapes, and is considered one of England’s most accessible protected landscapes.

Members of the public are encouraged to have their say, either by the ‘Survey123’ app or the website (www.surrey-hills-aonb-boundary-review.org/share).

And ahead of the deadline on January 31, 2022, the Tice’s Meadow Bird Group is urging residents to support its case for the Tice’s Meadow nature reserve in Badshot Lea to be included in the Surrey Hills AONB, by:

 Placing a pin on the map at Tice’s Meadow.

 Uploading a photo that demonstrates the natural beauty of Tice’s Meadow.

 Providing reasons you think this landscape is special.

Some of the reasons why the volunteers feel Tice’s Meadow nature reserve should be included in the AONB are:

 Landscape quality – predominantly a wetland landscape, with reed beds, meadow, remnant hedgerows and developing woodlands.

n An award-winning example of quarry restoration – well managed and relatively litter free.

 Scenic quality – open, visually appealing, panoramic vista of the Hog’s Back and Crooksbury Hill. The view from the Hog’s Back of Tice’s Meadow is also worthy of protecting.

 Wildness – despite being adjacent to a large housing estate, the nature reserve feels like a wild place.

 Tranquillity – the nature reserve is an oasis of tranquillity for local residents.

 Natural heritage – 1,500 wildlife species, including 201 bird species, recorded on site. Regionally important bird- watching site. Flourishing dragonfly and butterfly populations.

 Cultural heritage – the site has a close association with listed hop farming buildings in Badshot Lea.

Mark Elsoffer, of the bird group, added: “Tice’s Meadow nature reserve is a vital green buffer between Farnham and Aldershot; a regionally important wildlife haven; a site that protects many hundreds of local houses from flooding; and a much-used community asset.

“Inclusion within the Surrey Hills AONB would offer recognition of the site’s importance, further protection from development and open up funding opportunities for improvements to the site’s habitats and visitor facilities.”

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