In 2012 a survey was undertaken for Shortfield Common by Surrey Wildlife Trust and the Surrey Botanical Society, in which over 100 species of wildflowers were identified. As a result, the Parish Council submitted the common for selection as a Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI) which was granted.
The Parish Council are in the process of updating the Shortfield Common Management Plan and recently instructed Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) to revisit this area. Their report highlighted that the common is made up of Acid Grassland which qualifies as a Habitat of Principal Importance (HPI). Nationally, Acid Grassland is very scarce and in serious decline. Additionally, it reported that we have several rare species of plants; one of which was recorded as an England Red Listed Plant (ERL) and Near Threatened and another as ERL and Vulnerable.
Of the 100 species of plants on the common only 31 were identified within the Acid Grassland area showing how diverse Shortfield Common is.
In summary, Surrey Wildlife Trust states that:
“Acid Grassland, woodland and other habitats together create the beautiful landscape in Shortfield Common, steeped in history and provides a place of beauty and tranquillity for the community to enjoy”
We are extremely lucky to have such a wonderful common and the Parish Council are taking heed of the SWT’s report to ensure the area is protected and allowed to flourish. To this end we are following the advice in the report and will be arranging a number of volunteer activities to undertake the actions they have suggested.
We recently had an incident where a traveller set-up camp on the common. Although he kindly agreed to move on it brought home the fact that the common is open to unauthorised access and serious damage that would require us to engage the courts to remove. Additionally, there are a number of cars that have parked at the sides of the common that have caused some of the grassland to have been eroded.
We therefore intend to replace the woodland posts around the common that were in-place a number of years ago but allowed to rot away. We will extend the existing woodland posts around the common as highlighted in yellow on the map below. There will also be a low barrier gate to allow a single point of vehicular access. The erection of the posts is planned to start on March 1st this year, but we would be welcome any questions or feedback and ask you to email these to Rachel at email@example.com
Frensham Parish Council