We have made progress on our path to improving biodiversity in the parish and we’d love everyone to get involved and make a difference in their own small way.

Biodiversity is now a hugely important issue for us all. It is our responsibility to the next generation to pass on our local landscape and nature in as good condition as we can. While this may seem a huge task, there is a lot we can do at a very local level…

Gardens represent the largest portion of land in the country. In England, the garden area is more than four and a half times larger than that of our National Nature Reserves and so your “patch” is a vital part of the bigger jigsaw.

Together we control a good percentage of the open space available to wildlife and can really make a difference in allowing wildlife to survive and thrive by creating nature corridors that allow connectivity from one area to another. This is something we as a Parish Council can assist individuals and smaller organisations in the Parish to achieve.

Biodiversity can be defined as all the different kinds of life you find in one area – the variety of animals, plants, fungi, even micro-organisms like bacteria that make up our natural world.

Local Government bodies are now required by law to produce biodiversity strategies, and the Enhanced Biodiversity Duty came into force on 1 January 2023. By January 2026, Surrey County Council and Tandridge District Council will have to deliver a Biodiversity Report detailing ‘a summary of action taken to comply with the duty’.

Parish Councils do not have to produce a report, but are asked to contribute to County and District plans, and to develop a biodiversity action plan at local level.

What we’re doing

After discussion with other organisations, we have come up with the following plan to put into action during this year and beyond:

  • Produce with partners, a monthly calendar providing seasonal guidance to groups and residents on practical tips; examples might include “No Mow May”, sustainable planting, a reminder to keep dogs on leads where there may be ground-nesting birds, ways to help hedgehogs or when to sow bee-friendly plants and create nature corridors.
  • Improve communications and education by working with the National Trust and other bodies to celebrate biodiversity and encourage the public’s understanding of nature.
  • Communicate with Tandridge District Council and Surrey County Council biodiversity officers to ensure we are in line with the broader scope of action.
  • Monitor larger planning applications for BNG: Tandridge District Council now must add Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) to larger planning applications. We will ensure that we add this to our Planning scrutiny.
  • Liaise with other organisations to inspect the water quality of the two main rivers in the Parish – the River Eden and the Crooked River.
  • Continue the discussion within the Parish, and with external bodies, including adjacent Councils, so that a fuller strategy and potentially a three-year action plan can be brought forward in 2025.

Small biodiversity project grants

We have also made available £2000 (total) to be allocated as small funds for local organisations and individuals who wish to promote biodiversity in public areas.

Individuals and community groups may apply for up to £250 for biodiversity projects.

These could be things like building or installing bat or bird boxes, planting a wildflower meadow, hedgehog hotels, bug hotels, community compost, education station; plant some orchard trees, or anything really, as long as they are in areas that are accessible to the general public or wider community.

If you’ve got an idea, we want to hear it!

You can find the application form on our website, here: https://limpsfield.org/grants-s137/ or email the clerk – clerk@limpsfield.org for a form or more info.

For lots more information, ideas and projects, visit our partners at Limpsfield Biodiversity Corner HERE: https://limpsfieldsurrey.com/limpsfields-biodiversity-corner/