Future of Tice’s Meadow Nature Reserve secured as councils finalize purchase

A PARTNERSHIP of six councils have come together to support the purchase of Tice’s Meadow Nature Reserve at Badshot Lea, near Farnham, and protect it as an open space for the community.

News of the agreement with landowners Hanson UK was revealed exclusively by the Herald in September, and the meadow will now form part of the Surrey County Council country estate.

Tice’s Meadow offers the option of a circular walk, with links to Tongham Pools and the Blackwater Valley, allowing visitors to explore wildlife and the natural environment. The new wetland, forest and grasslands have high biodiversity value.

The site’s long-term management plan will be led by Surrey County Council with its partners and stakeholders to support the development and maintenance of grassland and wetlands.

Councilor Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, said: ‘I am delighted we have been able to partner with five other councils and Hanson UK to secure the future of Tice’s Meadow as a nature reserve and open space. for the community.

“It really shows the strength of working together and the benefits we can offer our residents. I look forward to continuing this partnership and working with volunteers over the next few years to enhance Tice’s Meadow as a thriving wildlife habitat.

“I also hope locals will visit the site and engage with the natural environment to support their health and well-being.”

Councilor Keith Mans, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: ‘It is great news that Tice’s Meadow will continue to be a haven for wildlife and a wonderful open space to enjoy recreationally.

“It is through working in partnership and a shared vision to protect and enhance the natural environment.

“Although based in Surrey, the nature reserve is immediately adjacent to Hampshire and therefore our contribution ensures access to the site for many residents of that county, including those who live in Aldershot.”

Councilor Joss Bigmore, leader of Guildford Borough Council, said: ‘We were pleased to contribute 10% of the purchase price of Tice’s Meadow so that we can secure the future of the community-use wildlife refuge.

“?The funds for the purchase of the meadow come from the capital program, this money does not come from the same pot that covers the day to day expenses to run the services.?It is a great example of local authorities working together to provide benefit to our residents.”

Councilor Paul Follows, Leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: “Tice’s Meadow has been restored to its current award-winning state thanks to the tireless work of local volunteers and the enthusiastic support of the local community.

“That is why we were absolutely determined to see it protected and, if possible, made public. We are extremely happy that by working alongside our partners in other local authorities, we have been able to contribute to the safeguarding of a such a special place for future generations.”

Councilor David Clifford, Leader of Rushmoor Borough Council, said: ‘Our residents love visiting Tice’s Meadow which is right on our doorstep so it’s great to see six councils working together to ensure this beautiful site is protected for generations to come.

“We are more than happy to pay our fair share to secure its future as a protected nature reserve for the use of the community. I particularly want to thank all the volunteers at Tice’s Meadow, who have done such a fantastic job on the site over a number of years, and I’m sure they’re absolutely thrilled that the sale has gone through.

Councilor John Neale, Leader of Farnham City Council, said: “Farnham City Council is delighted that the collaboration between local authorities has resulted in the purchase of Tice’s Meadow by Surrey County Council.

“The site, with the support of Hanson and its parent company, the Heidelberg Cement Group, is an award-winning conservation site, thanks to the hard work of Tice’s Meadow Bird Group and the local community.

“Farnham Borough Council have been delighted to play an active role in discussions with the Hanson team to secure this outcome and to make a financial contribution which will enable continued public access.

“The City Council will continue to work with the County Council on plans for the future management of the site and the continuation of the impressive voluntary activity in maintaining this important nature reserve.”

Paul Williams, Land and Mineral Resources Manager at Hanson UK, said: “Tice’s Meadow is an example of how a quarry can be transformed, post-quarrying, into a much-loved biodiversity and community asset.

“We are now happy to hand over this award-winning nature reserve to its new stewards and look forward to seeing the site evolve and continue to mature in the years to come.”

Chris B. Hall