These projects have been delivered with partners by the Surrey Hills National Landscape, made possible by the DEFRA Access for All fund.
Capital funding, of £7.66m, has been distributed across each of England’s National Parks and AONBs from Defra’s three-year Spending Review settlement. The funding is specifically to make our protected landscapes more accessible to people of all ages and abilities and from all backgrounds and to bring the benefits of spending time in nature to everyone.
The funding is divided between two years, 2022/23 and 2024/25 (not available in 2023/24) and the Surrey Hills National Landscape has been allocated a total of £447k (£215k in 22/23 and £232k in 24/25).
In line with the Surrey Hills AONB Management Plan and with our Farming in Protected Landscapes grant programme, we adopted the four themes of People, Nature, Climate, and Place. All projects are required to deliver on the People theme and ideally two or more of the other four.
For 2022/23, we worked with the Surrey Coalition of Disabled People to give feedback, advise and provide appropriate training for the Surrey Hills team and its partners. For the first year we have focussed on Surrey Hills ‘gateway’ sites, to ensure that visitor welcome is of a high-quality. This approach will be reviewed during 2023/24 to consider which priorities will be taken forward with the funding in 2024/25.