I had the pleasure of visiting the beautiful Titsey Estate in the Surrey Hills recently. I was so pleased to be joined by Christine Howard, Vice President of the Surrey Hills Society (and a superb tour guide!), Pam Whyman of the Surrey Wildlife Trust, Tracy Caroll who founded Local Food Britain, and Ken Bare who is also a Vice President of the Surrey Hills Society.
We spoke about the importance of young people spending more time outdoors, and one recommendation was that all school pupils should spend a night 'under the stars' to encourage a greater connection with nature as a means of taking care of their mental health. Like many of you, I know that my other half and I have found great comfort in exploring the Surrey Hills over the past year - so I thought this was an excellent idea.
We also discussed the conservation of biodiversity, as well as the importance of local bodies working together to support nature, wildlife and sustainable nature tourism. On the national level, this is an area where the Government is doing a lot of work - just recently Ministers made the pledge to plant 44,000 large trees and establish a new woodland creation grant to create over 10,000 hectares of new woodland across the country.
As some of you will know, Surrey Hills offers a free walk on the first Sunday of every month, so do take a look at their website if that's something you'd be interested in. Or if you have a private estate and want to know about proper woodland management to best enhance the environment, do get in touch with the team as well. Click here for more details.