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Preserving our natural environment

Protecting Guildford's Countryside Sites

Guildford Borough Counci's vision for countryside sites states (page 17) that The Wey Valley Meadows should be conserved and maintained.


Habitat resource


The River Wey flood plain widens when entering Guildford Borough, which has led to the establishment of wet meadow areas with naturally high ground water.


Shalford Water Meadows is designated as SSSI. Reed beds and fen habitat are present as well as small areas of wet woodland. These habitats are important for wading birds such as lapwings (red list of conserving concern), reed bed bird species and owls as well as bats. All bats are European protected species. In combination with adjacent sites, the Wey Valley Meadows can potentially provide habitat for the priority species otter and water vole. Riverside Nature Reserve is an important stronghold for harvest mice.

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Dagley Lane Shalford meadows gate

Protecting our Slow Worms

This magnificent slow worm was spotted on Dagley Lane in August 2021.

Slow-worms are protected against killing, injuring and sale under UK legislation:

  • Bern Convention 1979: Appendix III (Bern is European legislation Appendix III Protected Fauna Species)

  • Wildlife & Countryside Act (as Amended) 1981: Schedule 5

  • Countryside Rights of Way Act 2000 (CRoW 2000)

The Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the UKWe have asked us to record all slow worm sightings here:

Dagley Lane slow worm.jpeg

Protecting our Stag Beetles

Stag beetles are classed as a ‘priority species’, listed on Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

These magnificent beetles are Red listed in many European countries and have undergone a decline across Europe. They have gone extinct in Denmark and Latvia, although there has been a successful reintroduction into one site in Denmark in 2013.


Protecting our Dormice

According to the People's Trust for Endangered Species, there are dormice within 5kms of Dagley Lane.  This means they are protected and must not be disturbed.  Hazel dormouse numbers and range are in long-term decline. The main threats are reduced woodland management, fragmented woodland habitats and the impacts of climate change. 

Hazel dormice are a Species of Conservation Concern. The national dormouse conservation plan aims to maintain dormice where they still exist, enhance populations where possible and reintroduce dormice to areas where they’re now extinct.

The black tubes you see hidden in the trees along Dagley Lane are dormice survey boxes.  They have been placed in the trees to see if dormice are present.


Preserving our trees

A BBC report in 2019 stated "The conker tree has been put on the official extinction list."  Ravaged by moths and disease, the horse chestnut is now classified as vulnerable to extinction.

by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).


Established in 1964, The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species.


The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity. Far more than a list of species and their status, it is a powerful tool to inform and catalyze action for biodiversity conservation and policy change, critical to protecting the natural resources we need to survive. It provides information about range, population size, habitat and ecology, use and/or trade, threats, and conservation actions that will help inform necessary conservation decisions.

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