ARC Members Area

Welcome to the ARC Members Area!

We have created this exclusive area on the ARC website just for our ARC Members. The members pages will only be visible to ARC Members who are logged in to the website (log in via the link at the top of this page). Don't forget to activate your access by following the instructions in you confirmation email or joining letter.

The Members Area includes a new look ARC nature reserves section with an interactive map, a resources library and news and events section. Take a look around and let us know what you think via [email protected] 

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  • Heathland Connections Nature Recovery Project, covering 16,000 hectares, will create wildlife-rich habitats, improve climate security, and offer opportunities for the local communities

  • Project part of six nature recovery projects launched, backed by £7.4 million funding, to support government target to halt and then reverse the decline in nature 

  • Rare Natterjack toads set to be first species to benefit, along with habitats that are home to rare, bird, reptile, dragonfly and plant species 

ARC will be a major partner in the Heathlands Connections Nature Recovery Project, either owning or managing some key heathland areas within the project area such as Hankley Common, part of Witley Common and Crooksbury Common. We are excited to be working with Heathland Connections to improve areas of this rare and threatened habitat and the wealth of wildlife it supports. Over 400 hectares of ARC nature reserves in west Surrey stand to benefit from this landscape scale initiative. It is particularly pleasing that our rare reptiles and amphibians are at the forefront of this project with plans to benefit the Natterjack toad which is currently restricted to just two sites in the whole county of Surrey, both of these being reintroductions carried out by ARC around 15 years ago.

- Rob Free, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust's Weald Reserves Manager

An area bigger than the size of Hertfordshire is to be dedicated to fast tracking nature recovery, as six new landscape-scale nature recovery projects are launched by Natural England and the government.

The Heathlands Connections in Surrey is one of the six Nature Recovery Projects supported by £7.4 million funding from Defra and Natural England. It is a new, ambitious project working with ARC amongst other partners to enhance, restore and connect the special habitats found in the western most section of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) landscape.

This project will connect designated sites, such as Thursley, Hankley and Frensham Commons SPA, with surrounding heathlands, owned by partners who are keen to work more closely together. Collectively, the project will find innovative solutions to management challenges such as habitat degradation, disturbance to ground nesting birds, and the emerging threat of more frequent and more devastating wildfires.

The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) currently sees approximately 30 million visitors annually due to its proximity to London and other significant urban areas. This project will produce and deliver a ‘gold standard’ sustainable recreation plan to encourage those visiting the landscape to use active travel, improve access and therefore create a better connection to nature.

Funded by Natural England and led by the Heathland Connections partnership, the project aims to restore natural processes and make the landscape more resilient. These unique habitats are hotspots for important, and rare, bird, reptile, dragonfly and plant species and are an iconic landscape for the local community to enjoy.

Allison Potts, Thames Solent Area Manager, Natural England said:

We’re really excited to launch our Nature Recovery Project here across the iconic heathland of West Surrey, a rare and important landscape and habitat.

This project is all about connections. It’s connecting the heathlands together, so they have a more certain future. It also connects the landscape with the people that live or visit here; connecting partners that work here to achieve a bigger impact together and connecting in the exciting, new ways to fund biodiversity and green infrastructure improvements. Doing so will help us achieve ambitious nature recovery progress in a place that matters for people and wildlife.

Matt Cusack, Lead Ranger, Natural Trust said:

Heathlands are home to some of our most precious plants and wildlife, and we need to do everything we can to not only protect them but give them the best chance of recovering. We’re excited to be working alongside these partners to help achieve that.

Rob Fairbanks, Director, Surrey Hills National Landscape said:

Heathland Connections will help us really engage with the local community and visitors on the importance of thriving with nature. The better connected they feel to the landscape and the nature with in it, the better chance we have to safeguard and enhance it for generations to come.

The project will empower local communities, generating long-term sustainable funding opportunities while providing sustainable recreation that improves peoples’ health and wellbeing as well as their understanding and appreciation of this unique landscape. 

The six multi-partnership collaborative projects covering 176,000 hectares of land across England – from the Tees Estuary to the South Downs – will create improved and better-connected habitats for wildlife and improve public access to nature. The projects will strengthen the national Nature Recovery Network and showcase delivering nature recovery at scale.  

All the projects, announced today (20 July 2023), will help to manage flooding and wildfire risks, improve carbon stores and build diverse habitats for wildlife such as the endangered wart biter cricket and the elusive twite.