The Borough of Reigate and Banstead, though only twenty miles from the centre of London, contains some of the most beautiful countryside in the south east of England.

The Council owns and manages approximately 3000 acres (1250 hectares) of rich and diverse countryside comprising some very rare and important habitats.

Lowland heath and chalk grassland are both internationally rare.

They now occupy only between 10 and 25 percent of the land that they used to be found on.

Our Guide highlights the best free places to enjoy the stunning scenery and rare wildlife our borough has to offer. Produced by our Greenspaces Team, it’s packed with tips on what to look out for, from mammals to bats, reptiles to butterflies, at 16 sites including Stagbury Downs, Felland Copse, Nork Park, Riverside Garden Park and many other.

The Council owns parts of three Sites of Special Scientific and Nature Conservation Interest

It has a statutory duty to manage these sites in accordance with guidelines laid down by Natural England, the government body responsible for nature conservation in this country.

Surrey is one of the most wooded counties in the country. Reigate and Banstead has large areas of woodland, some of which has been woodland possibly since the last ice age (about 10,000 years). Ancient woodland, land under continuous woodland cover since at least 1600, is a fast disappearing feature of our countryside.

The Council owns two Local Nature Reserves (Reigate Heath and Earlswood Common) and has plans to designate more in the future.

The Council recognises its responsibilities towards the management of its countryside land and works with various partners to ensure that our countryside retains it beauty and value. Details of the volunteer groups that work in the borough can be found on