Effingham Parish Council are considering designating Effingham Common as a Local Nature Reserve (LNR). Guildford Borough Council have indicated that they are supportive of formally designating the site.
Effingham Common is already registered Common Land, and people have the right of access on foot to the land under the CRoW Act 2000. Dogs must be kept on a lead of 2 metres of less between 1 March and 31 July, and at all times around livestock. Horse-riding is confined to bridleways. Cycling and vehicles are not permitted. Effingham Common is also designated as a SANG (Suitable alternative natural greenspace), which permits development within 7km of a SPA (Special Protection Area), such as Wilsey and Ockham Commons which are part of the Thames Basin Heath SPA.
If Effingham Common was designated as a LNR, this would mean that
- There would no increase in pressure to install a car park at Effingham Common, The main pressure comes from its SANG designation, and if anything designation as a LNR would slightly decrease the pressure
- There would be no increase in furniture at the site (e.g. benches), but there might be increase in signage noting the designation close to entrances to the Common
- any development around the Common would need to take into account the impact to the LNR
- There would be no change to the access to the site
- The site would need to be managed for the nature present
Guildford Borough Council have confirmed that they have no plans to change the character of the Common, but are looking to improve habitats at the woodland edge and around the ponds. The ambitions for the Countryside Estate are set out on page 18 of GBC’s A Vision for Guildford Borough’s Countrside Sites
What do you think? Post your comments to the website, or let the parish clerk know by email to Jon Short