Can you help extend the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty?

Boundary Review: Surrey Hills AONB

There is now a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to say whether the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) should be expanded – including East of Redhill.  The AONB covers a large area of Surrey, and since 1958 has helped maintain the landscape.

Natural England is undertaking a review to extend the Surrey Hills AONB boundary. It is seeking evidence until 31st January 2022. The review includes several “Evaluation Areas” next to the current Surrey Hills AONB including East of Redhill and West of Reigate.

Evaluation Area A11 extends west of Reigate include Reigate Heath.

Evaluation Area E10 extends east of Redhill as far as Oxted. It includes the Greensand ridge which runs along the A25 and the Moors area of nature reserve between Redhill and Watercolour – part of the Holmesdale Biodiversity Opportunity Area (https://rb.gy/upeluw), a site proposed as a wild belt by the wildlife trusts (https://rb.gy/148gmx). It goes south as far as the Tonbridge – Nutfield -Redhill railway line Three areas east of Redhill have not been included in review area: the ‘sheep field’ and Copyhold sites north of the A25 and Hillsbrow site south of the A25 which is the highest point on the Greensand ridge and includes ancient woodland. These are areas not shaded on the map. These potential development sites are part of Redhill’s landscape and have wildlife value. It is fine to submit evidence on the value of such sites outside the areas highlighted. And if this area is added to the AONB it should be better protected from development.

Evidence should be submitted for location(s) based on some/all of the following criteria of natural beauty, defined as follows:

Landscape Quality: current physical state, landscape condition and its features;

Scenic Quality: how landscape appeals to the senses (not just how it looks);

Wildness and Tranquility: sense of place due to wildness and/or peacefulness;

Nature: the influence of plants, wildlife etc. on the beauty of the place;

Culture/History: links to traditions, people, artists, writers, historical events.

The strength of the evidence received will be assessed to see what is called ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ in future.

For the form to submit see below (or https://rb.gy/8n0x51). This says what will and will not be accepted. E.g. an area being developed is not in itself for protection – it’s all about a location’s qualities, not what may happen in the future. Evidence can include photographs, published material, writings etc. Please send in evidence why an area is significant enough to include, and any issues that might be relevant.

Submissions must be made by 31st January. Feel free to share information with us too – at steve@redhillgreens.org.uk.

For more see surrey-hills-aonb-boundary-review.org/discover.