Surrey County Council owns 6,500 acres of countryside estate, all of which is open for the public to visit. It is their responsibility to ensure the countryside is cared for and managed so Surrey residents can access and enjoy it, and they know it is highly valued by our residents.
However continued cuts to their funding, rising costs and increasing demand for key services means that they need to find savings has reached unprecedented levels. This year alone their need to make savings of more than £100m and some of this needs to come from the countryside budget. So they are exploring how to protect our countryside by making it financially self-sufficient in a way that will enhance biodiversity and the landscape and ensure continued access to support recreation, health and wellbeing, both now and in the future.
One way to do this is by charging visitors for the use of facilities on sites such as countryside car parks. This has been done by many other landowners including the National Trust, the Forestry Commission and other county councils.
Surrey County Council is undertaking a consultation up to 6 November 2017. Further details area available on their website, where people can submit their views via an online survey.
Alternatively people can email their comments to firstname.lastname@example.org