press release
Published: 16 February 2023

Garfield Weston Foundation funding adds new habitats to Space4Nature wildlife protection project

Nature in Surrey’s wetlands, urban areas and urban fringes will benefit from a grant of £200,000 from the philanthropic Garfield Weston Foundation.  

Kingfisher perching on branch copyright Space4Nature Jon Hawkins

This donation will allow scientists at the University of Surrey and ecologists at the Surrey Wildlife Trust, Buglife and Painshill Park Trust to expand their trail blazing Space4Nature work, which combines satellite Earth Observation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and citizen science to boost biodiversity in Surrey. 

The new funding follows the £1.25m Dream Fund 2022 award, thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery. This means a wider range of habitats can be studied, adding Surrey’s towns and wetlands to the grassland, heaths, chalk downland and woodland already being researched through Space4Nature. 

Professor Richard Murphy, Director of the Centre for Environment and Sustainability, University of Surrey, said: 

“It’s fantastic we’re getting this grant to enable more types of habitats and more areas in Surrey to benefit. By combining information from local people exploring nature with AI and satellite images, we are developing a new way to protect and enhance nature, boosting biodiversity.

“Garfield Weston’s support will mean we can look at wetlands, which are particularly sensitive to climate change, and urban and peri-urban areas, which are on the edges of Surrey’s many towns and villages. More funding means we can help more nature recover.”

Andrew Jamieson, Space4Nature’s Project Manager at Surrey Wildlife Trust, said:

“Citizen science will be core to the success of Space4Nature and its mission to connect habitats across Surrey, while connecting more people with nature. This new funding will directly benefit our wildlife and wild places, helping our communities benefit from a healthy natural environment – and making our landscapes more resilient against the effects of a changing climate.”

Philippa Charles OBE Director at the Garfield Weston Foundation, said:

“Our Trustees were delighted to support the Space4Nature project, and the partnership between the University of Surrey, Surrey Wildlife Trust, Buglife and Painshill Park Trust.”

This latest funding adds to the University of Surrey's global philanthropic The Future Says Surrey campaign, which aims to raise £60m between 2022 and 2025 to help Surrey continue making positive impacts on society and confirm it as one of the UK’s leading research and educational institutions.


Note to editors

  • Richard Murphy is available for interview
  • For more information, contact the University of Surrey’s press office via