The Farnham Biodiversity Group (FBG) is a voluntary group whose aim is to draw up and put into practice a detailed Biodiversity Action Plan for Farnham. 

What is a biodiversity action plan

Biodiversity action plans are a proven way of addressing in a structured way the complex factors that affect ecosytems and wildlife habitats. They have been in use in the UK since the 1990s. 

Surrey biodiversity action plans

A biodiversity plan exists for the whole of Surrey but inevitably it is very general and does not deal with the varied issues relating to local areas. 

Others are successfully in use in places such as Epsom and Ewell and, across the county boundary in Hart. 

Why Farnham needs a biodiversity plan

Farnham does not currently have its own biodiversity plan. The Farnham Biodiversity Group is of the view that a Biodiversity Action Plan is needed so as to:

  • fully enable the implementation of the environmental policies in the Neighbourhood Plan by supporting and enhancing biodiversity.
  • help redress the effects of habitat degradation, disease and climate change that are endangering wildlife locally and more widely, and which are resulting in the serious decline of once common species such as the hedgehog, starling and stag beetle.
  • ensure that the excellent conservation work already going on in the town achieves even greater impact through a common approach.

What the Farnham Biodiversity Group is doing

The newly formed group has already started to lay the foundations on which the partnership can begin to work. 

Contact has been made with possible additional partners to widen the expertise that can be called upon, and to increase the availability of species data. 

Gathering data

Work has started on creating a detailed record of all that is currently known about the 100 or so prominent green spaces across the town, ranging from well-managed sites such as Farnham Park to areas of ancient woodland that are at present largely unmanaged. 

Much data already exists on the more public sites, but about half of the town area comprises private gardens, allotments, estates and farmland. Little is known about these areas, but they all provide important habitats for wildlife and help to form corridors through which species can move. 

Garden survey

To find out more about the distribution of wildlife across the town, the Farnham Biodiversity Group is inviting the people of Farnham to take part in a Garden Survey.

The survey will provide important data for the group so it is hoped that many people will get involved with sharing information about the wildlife where they live. 

Complete the survey.

Stay involved

If you enjoy taking part in the survey and would like to remain involved in the Group’s work, you can take the further step of reporting what interesting or even rare animals you see on a continuous basis. 

Pleaserecord your findingsand add to the Farnham Biodiversity Group’s growing store of knowledge about Farnham.

Work in neighbouring areas

Although the work of the Farnham Biodiversity Group will be focussed on Farnham, note will be taken of the vital conservation work being carried out in adjacent areas, some of which harbour rare and highly protected species such as sand lizards, nightjars and Dartford warblers. For this reason, the Farnham Biodiversity Group is maintaining close contact with the RSPB, the Forestry Commission and Hart District Council.

About the Farnham Biodiversity Group 

It is unusual for Biodiversity Action Plans to be created by volunteers but this dedicated initiative in Farnham demonstrates the very strong voluntary ethos present in the town. Encouraged by support from existing volunteer groups, local authorities and the Surrey Wildlife Trust and their willingness to work in partnership, the Farnham Biodiversity Group has been established as a Community Interest Company (CIC).The group formally launched in April 2019.

Through its work, the Group aims to capitalise on Farnham residents’ goodwill and professional expertise with this long-term project designed for the benefit of the town’s wildlife as well as for the health and well-being of the population.

The vision is to make Farnham a model of conservation best practice in urban environments.

Members of the Farnham Biodiversity Group

The work of the Farnham Biodiversity Group is to be carried out by the partner organisations and groups. These include Farnham Town and Waverley Borough Councils, Surrey Wildlife Trust and a range of local voluntary groups such as the Bishop’s Meadow Trust, the Friends of Farnham Park and The Bourne Conservation Group. 

Individuals with a special interest in the work or who have skills and experience in the conservation and data management fields may also become members and should apply through the website.

Find out more

To keep up to date with the Farnham Biodiversity Group’s work visit their website or follow them on Facebook.

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