The beautiful countryside spaces in Guildford are free for you to enjoy all year round.
We own and manage 50 countryside sites covering an area of nearly 700ha, 2.5% of the borough's land area, including woodland, meadows and heathland.
These areas contribute to a network of publicly accessible countryside as well as wildlife habitat managed by other landowners.
It is our aim to make our countryside accessible and enjoyable for all, while providing habitat for wildlife. We manage our sites so that future generations are able to enjoy the same or improved nature areas.
Two of our heathland sites and Shalford Water Meadows are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and we currently have five Local Nature Reserves.
As the landowner, Guildford Borough Council has an obligation to protect and safeguard the Special Protection Areas, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and registered Commons for future generations.
Please note we do not allow BBQs on any of our open spaces or countryside sites.
The Countryside Code
When visiting the countryside please follow the Countryside Code, which sets out responsibilities for visitors to the countryside and those who manage the land:
Be safe - plan ahead and follow any signs
Leave gates and property as you find them
Protect plants and animals, and take your litter home
Keep dogs under close control
Consider other people.
You can read more about the The Countryside Code.
Come and volunteer with us!
If you want to help with local conservation work, make friends, learn a new skill or just get some exercise - come and join Guildford's Countryside Volunteers.
Our Countryside Wardens lead practical conservation tasks across the borough all year round, with their volunteers. Together we manage many of Guildford's beautiful open spaces.
The sessions run from 9.30am to 2pm.
No previous experience is needed, just enthusiasm, a raincoat, and sturdy footwear.
Conservation tasks are open to everyone over 18.
We welcome new volunteers.
Tools and equipment provided
All tools, safety gear and supervision are provided by the Wardens. They will also explain how to use hand tools safely and explain why the tasks need to be carried out.
Tea and coffee are provided, but please bring your own lunch.
To find out more, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please let us know in advance if you are joining us.
Sessions run from 9.30am to 2pm - please bring a packed lunch!
Thursday 18 October
Site: Weybrook Woods
Meet: At Sainsbury's car park, Clay Lane, GU4 7JU
Task: Coppicing Hazel to improve regrowth, using hand tools
Saturday 27 October
Site: Heathfield Nature Reserve
Meet: By pond on site, Sanger Drive, Send, GU23 7EB
Task: Scrub cutting with a bonfire.
Thursday 15 November
Site: Pirbright Heaths
Meet: At the site entrance, next to the Pirbright Institute, GU24 0NF
Task: Cutting young pine and birch to enhance heather (heathland management)
Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG)
SANGs are green spaces that provide recreation opportunities in a natural setting to reduce visitor pressure within the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.
Whether you want somewhere to walk your dog, or you like to relax and enjoy natural scenery, these sites are ideal for you and your family to visit.
There are currently four SANG sites in the borough:
Lakeside Nature Reserve
Riverside Nature Reserve
Special Protection Areas (SPAs)
Certain areas of heathland within the Thames Valley are designated as the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (TBH SPA) under European law. These areas support populations of vulnerable birds.
The TBH SPA includes areas of heathland across Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire, covering 11 different local authorities including our borough.
For more information, please read our page on Special Protection Areas (SPAs).
Job Title Parks and Leisure ServicesAbout Opening hours for the Parks and Leisure Services office are: Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm; Fridays 8.30am to 4.30pmEmail email@example.comTel 01483 444718Mobile Ranger Team hotline: 07880 784947