Woldingham Parish Council seeks to create nature reserve

Woldingham Parish Council is spearheading a community bid to purchase North Downs Golf Club in Woldingham, which is up for sale. The golf club grounds have been under constant threat of development over the years from proposals that have included hotels, houses and more.

The site is greenbelt, an Area of Great Landscape Value and it abuts an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). It has been submitted for consideration for AONB status itself in the current AONB review. The Surrey Hills AONB planning adviser recently wrote in a planning submission that in landscape and biodiversity terms, it would be more suitable if the commercial concerns ceased to exist and the land were allowed to rewild. The golf club has not been profitable for years.

Because of the landscape value of this land and the constant threat of development, Woldingham Parish Council decided to try to pull the community together to purchase the club and its lands. The project has three aims: to protect the land from inappropriate development in the greenbelt for posterity; to provide the community with a nature reserve for recreation and leisure pursuits; and to help reverse biodiversity declines by rewilding the land. We need to raise £2.7m for the project by mid-April, and are seeking donations.

For more information or to support the project, please contact parish.clerk@woldingham.com or phone 07779134797.

Woldingham Parish Council

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