Surrey: Hedge-planting scheme modified after glow-worm discovery

A council-run hedge-planting scheme has been modified after the discovery of a colony of glow-worms in Surrey.

The species was found living within a small hedgerow in Norbury Park, near Dorking.

Surrey County Council modified a proposed planting initiative on site after the find.

It said the changes were to benefit the species and enhance the declining habitat to provide a better chance of survival.

More than 3,800 native broadleaf trees were planted to provide a habitat corridor to allow the glow-worms to travel more freely in search of their food and encourage other wildlife species.

Glow-worms, a declining species with no legal protection, thrive in a mosaic of habitats, including a combination of earth, tall grasses and scrub.

To support this, gaps were left within the newly-planted hedgerows to encourage the growth of grasses and wildflowers, helping to attract snails which are the preferred food source of glow-worms.

Marisa Heath, cabinet member for environment, said the council wanted to do all it could to grow the colony of the “rare” invertebrate.

“By adapting our hedge-planting plans we are not only supporting Surrey County Council’s target to facilitate the planting of 1.2 million new trees by 2030, but also playing our part in helping to reverse the national decline of this rare species right here in Surrey,” she said.

“It is important that we work to have a rich variety of wildlife species in the county and we must do our utmost to protect them when we are told that the UK is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world.”

A flock of sheep grazing close to the glow-worms were also moved to a nearby field to minimise disturbance.

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