Surrey County Council's plan to cut funding under its 50 year agreement with the Surrey Wildlife Trust to zero by 2021 will result in all the jobs of the Trust's 16 rangers becoming redundant. Few of these very experienced and dedicated staff are going to be re-employed in the much smaller organisation that will replace them.
The loss of experience and capacity will be highly detrimental to Surrey's countryside - the likelihood is that footpaths and bridleways will not be properly maintained; woodlands, downlands and heaths will increasingly be taken over by scrub and invasive plants, and sensitive habitats - heaths, chalk downland and coppiced woodlands (homes to nationally rare and threatened species such as the dormouse) will be lost.
If we care about and enjoy the places that make Surrey special, these unnecessary and damaging funding cuts must be reversed. The funding to avoid these job losses is small - less than 15p per head of population - in comparison to the risk of the harm caused.
If you'd like to sign the petition the deadline for signature is 2nd March 2017.
Surrey Wildlife Trust has been hugely helpful in managing the Rye Brook in Ashtead. It has helped the Rye Meadows Team to widen the brook creating areas to store water creating flood alleviation as well as providing refuges for wildlife and water loving plants. If we love our local countryside and wish to protect this for our children, people like the SWT must be similarly protected. PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION.