The Surrey Wildlife Trust’s proposal to revive the iconic landscape of the North Downs has received funding of £56,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

More detailed proposals will be considered by the Heritage Lottery Fund for a chance to win the full funding award of £390,000 in July 2019.

The project, which seeks to restore 80 kilometres of hedgerows in Surrey, aims to involve thousands of volunteers, including local school children, youth groups, landowners, farm managers and contractors.

The project will include hedge laying competitions, a family hedgerow festival and storytelling workshops.

Hedgerows provide field boundaries and enable species such as dormice, bats, insects and butterflies to travel safely across the landscape.

Hedgerows also prevent soil erosion and help reduce pesticides and fertilisers from reaching rivers.

Andrew Jamieson, project development manager at Surrey Wildlife Trust, says: “We’re delighted to win this funding from the National Lottery players.

“It is an incredible opportunity to engage with local communities, to keep heritage hedgerow skills alive and pass on expertise from one generation to the next.

“Hedgerows are like arteries running through our landscape. Unless we keep these thriving, then many species will struggle to survive.”