The Holmesdale in East Surrey is one of a number of areas across SE England identified as having opportunities to achieve significant landscape-scale biodiversity benefits. The area is extensively worked for sand extraction.
Whilst the final restorations of the mineral workings themselves deliver biodiversity benefits, the mineral companies often own considerable non-operational land adjoining the extraction areas, which could be linked with the operational restorations to achieve a bigger landscape scale benefit.
A Vision has been developed for the area, which includes creating an extensive belt of woodland, linking together blocks of Ancient Woodland that still survive in the landscape. This will be achieved using both operational and non-operational areas owned by the mineral company concerned, Sibelco. The aim is to establish the new woodland using indigenous seeds collected from the Ancient Woodlands, and grown on in a local community tree nursery, which should conserve genetic diversity.
This work will see the creation of a 4km long woodland block, providing biodiversity, recreational and landscape benefits. At the same time, the project will serve as an exemplar of what can be achieved using non-operational land.
Download RESTORE project information leaflet for the Holmesdale site above