What's going on on our commons?
Your commons are under threat of enclosure by Surrey Wildlife Trust Limited
TERRACE Action is opposing perimeter fencing of Thursley, Elstead, Royal, Ockley and Bagmoor Commons. Protecting the interests of horse riders, dog walkers, residents, cyclists, walkers and all who currently enjoy the Public Open Space of these commons now under threat from Surrey Wildlife Trust Ltd.’s enclosure plans.
This campaign is not anti-conservation. It is about trying to get a balance between public access and conservation. SWT Ltd.’s plan is excessively weighted to an unproven conservation methodology, to the serious detriment of public access and public enjoyment of the contiguous commons as Public Open Space.
Natural England, who have paid SWT to carry out this work, have a statutory duty to have an EQUAL REGARD for Public Access and Conservation.
Cattle will be grazed freely across all the commons. The commons will no longer be open spaces but accessed through pushchair, wheelchair, bicycle and horse unfriendly self-closing gates set into an unsightly, wire, perimeter fence. These gates are known to cause serious accidents (admitted in writing by SWT Ltd).
Dog walkers will be required to keep their dogs either on leads (on the MOD land), or on the paths and beside owners for more than half the year on the Natural England land. SWT keep denying this but many Elstead people were at the meeting where the MoD announced their plan for ‘Dog Zones’; they have not retracted the statement, and anyway, SWT have now posted their own ‘dogs on SHORT LEADS’ notices across the commons.