Our Hedgerow Heritage project in partnership with Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) to plant hedgerows through the estate is progressing at speed. Surrey Wildlife Trust’s team of volunteers of all ages have been making great progress since planting began in October and we’re delighted that we now have almost 900 metres of new hedgerow in place.  

This is part of a National Lottery Heritage funded project to restore, renew and create hedgerows in the North Downs and Surrey Hills, helping to protect endangered wildlife and forming part of a county-wide Nature Recovery Network.

This week, a team of 20 volunteers took advantage of the damp ground to plant the bareroot ‘whips’ (young plants), mainly hawthorn, with a native mix of hazel, field maple, blackthorn and dog rose.

“The mixture means we have plenty of habitat for wildlife”, explained Emily Jupe, Nature Spaces Officer at Surrey Wildlife Trust, "and we'll have plants in flower at different points. We’re also working with any existing plants like ash, blackthorn or turkey oak which will be part of the hedge, and brambles are important to knit the hedge together.”

West Horsley Place is an ancient estate which, as surveys carried out by SWT show, includes a number of habitats and species of national priority for conservation, as well as indicators of Ancient Woodland. These include wet woodland, historic parkland, several old field ponds and a traditional orchard. Species include the Marsh tit, White admiral butterfly, Brown Long-eared bat and Grass snake.

By working in partnership with other charities, the Trust is committed to ensuring that West Horsley Place serves its community by improving biodiversity and enriching peoples' lives.