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Urban Greening

It might not be apparent as you bask in the wonderful leafiness of Surrey, but 11% of our native species been declared extinct over the last 30 years!

Read on to find out how you can play your part in reversing this decline and restore local nature whether you're a resident or a business.


We're the most wooded county in the UK (at least as of the 2014 aerial mapping), but despite this fact, our biodiversity-loss rate is higher than the national average.


There are several reasons for the accelerating nature crisis globally and locally: warming average temperatures disrupt seasonal patterns in plant and animal life; destruction of habitats for monoculture crops; and fracturing of habitats by the expanding sprawl of urban areas. 


Working with partners across the county we aim to address that third issue to reverse the loss of Surrey’s wildlife. You can visibly see the issue from the map on the right, with the blue areas representing the local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the pink areas ancient woodland. Both habitats are divided in half by Guildford town centre.

Using strategically mapped green corridors through our town centres, or 'Urban Biodiversity Opportunity Areas (URBOAs)'  we hope to reconnect Surrey’s habitats by creating biodiversity corridors across our urban areas. 

The green corridors have been mapped by Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT), and 

along with Surrey County  and delivery partners such as Global Centre for Clean Air Research, this project will support urban greening interventions across Surrey's built-up areas.


This project doesn't just benefit biodiversity and the insects we rely on for food production, it also brings a wide range of co-benefits in a number of areas:

  • increasing access to green space in urban areas 

  • improving air quality, which Guildford ranks in the worst 3% for nationally 

  • improving mental health and wellbeing via access to nature 

  • Increasing natural shading, which evidence shows lowers reliance on local public health services and reduction in skin cancer rates 

  • Improving rainwater absorption as a flood resilience measure 


If you’re a business in Guildford, or a resident who would like to introduce wildlife friendly measures at home - however little space you have - there are loads of ways you can get involved in this co-created community project. Click here to get involved!

What Can You Do To Help?

18 URBOAs have been mapped across Surrey, so if you're not Guildford based don't worry! We're running the pilot in Guildford to understand how best to engage on urban greening, identify people's priorities, and understand obstacles to scaling the project up. But no doubt this will be coming to a town near you soon!

There are a range of solutions you can look at to help be part of this plan! They vary in terms of cost, and bring a range of different benefits. We are trying to carefully map the before and after so we can see what impact Guildford’s residents and businesses make, so please take 1 minute to complete this very short form, so that we can add your efforts to the map. If you’d like us to make a case study of what you’re doing drop us an email!

  • Living walls

  • Rain gardens 

  • Roof gardens 

  • Wetlands & Ponds

  • Wildlflower meadows

  • Bird / bat boxes

  • Wild gardens

  • Bug hotel / log pile

  • Hanging baskets

  • Herb gardens 

  • and more! 

urboas quality.png

Guildford's urban greening corridors as mapped by SWT. Map is subject to change when Local Nature Recovery Strategy launches, though that makes no material difference to the project.


Watch this great video from our friends at

G-CARE about the impact on urban greening on Guildford's temperatures



2nd Oct, 6pm - 7pm

Join us at 3 Pigeons pub on the High St to discuss urban greening plans for your business.

Find out more...

Listen now...

Nature-friendly gardens with Alistair Griffiths, Director of Science at the Royal Horticultural Society, who joins podcast Mum Will The Planet Die Before I do, which is sponsored by Parents for Future, CUSP, and Zero Carbon Guildford

Start Urban Greening Today!

Over the last few weeks, we've been asking residents to pledge how they can help Surrey's nature and wildlife recovery through taking simple actions at home. We will be mapping what wildlife measures already exist across Guildford, and then in 6 months time seeing how this urban greening campaign has influenced the spread of measures through the URBAOs zones. 

How To Get Involved


You can use your own garden to help nature recovery in Surrey, Just pop over to the Commonplace page, make your pledge, and send us photos to let us know how it goes! 

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