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Water quality and wildlife conservation

The Wey and its tributaries provide wildlife corridors through the town which provide habitats for many aquatic species and facilitate their passage through the built up areas. This wildlife also gives pleasure to residents and visitors.

Rivers and other inland waters are vital natural resources: they provide drinking water, crucial habitats for many different types of wildlife, and are an important resource for industry and recreation.


The River Wey through Farnham is a vital wildlife corridor, meandering through the town from Coxbridge in the west to Snails Lynch, near the Shepherd and Flock roundabout in the east. This is the north branch of the Wey, rising as a chalk stream near Alton, and it has many characteristics of the famous Hampshire chalk streams such as the Test and the Itchen. It has a good stock of fish, including chub, roach and brown trout which can be spotted easily from bridges such as in Gostrey Meadow and Borelli Walk. It also hosts a rich variety of other wildlife including kingfishers, herons, moorhens, little egrets, many water plants and invertebrates such as mayflies and caddis flies. Foxes and badgers follow the river corridor.


Rivers in England and Wales are protected under The Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) Regulations, which provide a framework to: • Protect and enhance our water environment; • Promote sustainable water consumption; • Reduce water pollution; • Lessen the effects of floods and draughts.

Under these regulations, targets are set for achievement of water quality and habitat enhancement targets. The main authority for implementation is the Environment Agency, through River Basin Management Plans. The Regulations also provide for the creation of local community-based Catchment Partnerships, which promote and drive collaborative working between relevant authorities and companies, environmental groups, landowners, anglers and other interested parties. The River Wey Landscape Partnership is chaired by Surrey Wildlife Trust working closely with the Environment Agency, water companies, local authorities and local groups.

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