The Land Trust completes transfer of Horsley Meadows

10th August 2021

The Land Trust has completed the transfer of Horsley Meadows a Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) in Surrey. Horsley transfers to the Land Trust with an endowment of £1.35 million which will enable the Trust to manage the site in perpetuity.

The 24 hectare SANG was established in 2020 by Berkeley Homes Southern Ltd (Berkeley). The purpose of SANG is to provide an alternative greenspace to attract residents of new developments away from the protected and vulnerable Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area. The Trust’s management of the site will enable 1,300 new homes to be built within a five kilometre catchment.

The Land Trust first started working on Horsley Meadows in 2016 and over the years has assisted management plans and site specification reviews, as well as overseeing the capital works with Berkeley in order to achieve sign off from Guildford Borough Council.

The land was formerly agricultural fields that came out of arable production in 2016 and has a history of informal use by local residents. With new mown footpaths, picnic tables, benches and an onsite car park, it is hoped that the site will become a destination to attract new users from the local community.

Land Trust Chief Executive, Euan Hall, said:

“At the Land Trust we believe that our role goes beyond simply maintaining the green spaces – we believe it is about creating places where people want to live, work and play.

“We are delighted to transfer Horsley Meadows into our ownership and management. It is a beautiful greenspace with enormous potential to deliver significant economic and social value to the community who live and work around site.”

The Land Trust has a proven track record of managing SANG and as well as Horsley Meadows the Land Trust currently manages Wellesley Woodlands and Hogmoor Inclosure which are the first and third largest SANGs in England.

In addition to grassland habitats the site includes scattered mature oak trees, a stream and sections of hedgerows with scrub oak, ash, dog rose, gorse, hawthorn, blackthorn, willow and English elm. Horsley Meadows is also a popular site for birds with recent sightings including skylarks, red kite and green woodpecker.

Joe Heath, Business Development manager for the Land Trust added:

“The Land Trust’s management of Horsley Meadows will seek to enhance the biodiversity and recreational value of the new site for wildlife and visitors in perpetuity.

“We are now one of the biggest managers of SANG in the country and we pride ourselves on working with the communities based around our sites to understand how they wish the open space to be managed.”

The Land Trust will manage Horsley Meadows in partnership with Surrey Wildlife Trust. To learn more about Horsley Meadows visit: https://thelandtrust.org.uk/space/horsley-meadows/


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The view across Horsley Meadows

I used to work at Askern pit so I've got an affinity with the place. I've been volunteering at the park for the past couple of years, helping people get the most out of it.

Pete Robson, volunteer at Warren House Park

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