Wildlife and Nature Conservation

Appeal Court victory for Mole Valley woodland campaigners

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The Court of Appeal has ruled against NHS Property Services trying to prevent a cherished area of greenspace in Leatherhead – Leach Grove Wood – being given statutory protection from development. Local resident Flip Cargill and the Leatherhead Residents Association, supported by the Surrey Branch of CPRE, applied several years ago to register the common land close to Leatherhead Hospital as a ‘village green’ under the Commons Act 2006. Surrey County Council (SCC) agreed to register it, giving Leach Grove Wood protection under the law.

Explore Ashtead Common with CPRE!

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Join us for a guided walk on Ashtead Common on Sunday 29th November. This is a great opportunity to explore a beautiful and unspoilt stretch of protected countryside – 500 acres of ancient woodland – on the edge of London, and find out how the conservation team from the Corporation of London manage this unique site (a National Nature Reserve) for the benefit of the environment and people, using traditional farming and woodland management techniques and with a strong commitment to wildlife and nature conservation. Email cpre.surrey@btconnect.com for full details.

CPRE Chief Executive visits Cherkley

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CPRE Chief Executive Shaun Spiers visited the Leatherhead Downs to meet local countryside campaigners and to see for himself the damage that has been done by developers to the beautiful wildflower meadows of the Cherkley estate. CPRE is fighting to save Surrey’s countryside from inappropriate development such as this, which will suburbanise an unspoilt rural area. Cherkley is in the Green Belt and is an Area of Great Landscape Value. Part of the estate is in the Surrey Hills AONB. It deserves to be preserved from the ravages of development!

High Court victory for countryside campaigners

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Surrey countryside campaigners have won their legal action against Mole Valley District Council over the decision to permit the development of a luxury golf and leisure complex at historic Cherkley Court near Leatherhead. In the High Court today (August 22) Mr Justice Haddon-Cave quashed Mole Valley’s decision to grant permission for the development at Leatherhead Downs. The case was brought by the Cherkley Campaign, a local action group, supported by the Surrey Branch of CPRE.

Success for Green Belt campaigners in East Surrey

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The Oxted & Limpsfield Residents’ Group, which works closely with CPRE Surrey, has launched the latest phase of its “Save the Green Belt” campaign. Last weekend a total of 983 local residents signed up to save the area’s beautiful green fields, and more are signing all the time, a fantastic demonstration of the determination there is locally to preserve the environment from destruction by developers.

High Court judge gives go-ahead for Cherkley Judicial Review

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Countryside campaigners have won permission for a full Judicial Review of Mole Valley District Council’s decision to allow the development of a golf and leisure complex at Cherkley Court near Leatherhead. Members of the Cherkley Campaign and CPRE Surrey Branch were at the High Court on 24th April for a hearing to determine whether the case should go to trial. The judge agreed with the Cherkley Campaign’s lawyers that there is an arguable case against MVDC with regard to the decision on Cherkley, and gave permission for the case to be brought to trial as soon as possible. He also renewed a Court injunction instigated by the Cherkley Campaign which imposes restrictions on the construction work that can be carried out on-site pending the outcome of the Judicial Review.

CPRE slams ‘pre-emptive strike’ by developers

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Countryside campaigners have expressed “profound shock and dismay” at the deliberate destruction of mature oak trees at a Green Belt site in Oxted, Surrey. The 10 trees at the site off Chichele Road were ‘girdled’ (the bark cut through with a chainsaw so that the tree dies). Tandridge Council is investigating a potential offence regarding Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) on some of those trees. This “environmental vandalism” has taken place on Green Belt land before any planning application has been submitted by the developers and before an Environmental Impact Assessment, requested by Tandridge Council, could be carried out.

Countryside campaigners fear for the future of Leatherhead Downs

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Local countryside campaigners were horrified to hear this week that Longshot Cherkley Court Ltd, the company that owns the Cherkley estate outside Leatherhead, is about to start applying a total herbicide to the wildflower meadows on Leatherhead Downs in preparation for the development of a golf course. The Cherkley Campaign and CPRE Surrey are working together to stop the development of an environmentally destructive golf and leisure complex at Cherkley, the former home of Lord Beaverbrook. They are warning that the ecological damage that will be done by applying a total herbicide to the meadows will have a devastating and permanent impact on the area’s biodiversity….