Surrey

This article is about the county of England. For the Canadian city, see Surrey, British Columbia. For other uses, see Surrey (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Surry (disambiguation).
Surrey
County
Surrey.svg Surrey shield.svg
Flag Coat of arms
Surrey UK locator map 2010.svg
Surrey in England
Coordinates: 51°15′N 0°25′W / 51.250°N 0.417°W / 51°15′N 0°25′W / 51.250; -0.417
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country England
Region South East
Established Ancient
Ceremonial county
Lord Lieutenant Michael More-Molyneux
High Sheriff Richard Whittington (2016-17)
Area 1,663 km2 (642 sq mi)
 • Ranked 35th of 48
Population (mid-2014 est.) 1,135,500
 • Ranked 12th of 48
Density 683/km2 (1,770/sq mi)
Ethnicity 95.0%White
2.2% S. Asian
Non-metropolitan county
County council Surrey County Council
Executive Conservative
Admin HQ Kingston upon Thames (Extra-territorially)
Area 1,663 km2 (642 sq mi)
 • Ranked 25th of 27
Population 1,135,500
 • Ranked 5th of 27
Density 683/km2 (1,770/sq mi)
ISO 3166-2 GB-SRY
ONS code 43
GSS code E10000030
NUTS UKJ23
Website www.surrey.gov.uk
Surrey numbered districts.svg
Districts of Surrey
Unitary County council area
Districts
  1. Spelthorne
  2. Runnymede
  3. Surrey Heath
  4. Woking
  5. Elmbridge
  6. Guildford
  7. Waverley
  8. Mole Valley
  9. Epsom and Ewell
  10. Reigate and Banstead
  11. Tandridge
Members of Parliament List of MPs
Police Surrey Police
Time zone GMT ( UTC)
 • Summer ( DST) BST ( UTC+1)

Surrey /ˈsʌri/ is a county in the south east of England and also one of the home counties bordering Greater London. Surrey shares borders with Kent to the east, East Sussex to the south-east, West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west and south-west and Berkshire to the north-west. The county town is Guildford. [1] Surrey County Council sits extraterritorially at Kingston upon Thames, administered as part of Greater London since 1965. With a resident population of 1.1 million, Surrey is the most densely populated and third most populated county in the South East region, after Kent and Hampshire.

Today, administrative Surrey is divided into eleven districts: Elmbridge, Epsom and Ewell, Guildford, Mole Valley, Reigate and Banstead, Runnymede, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, Tandridge, Waverley, and Woking. Services such as roads, mineral extraction licensing, education, strategic waste and recycling infrastructure, birth, marriage, and death registration, and social and children's services are administered by Surrey County Council. The London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark, Wandsworth, and parts of Lewisham and Bromley were in Surrey until 1889. The boroughs of Croydon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Sutton and Richmond upon Thames south of the River Thames were part of Surrey until 1965, when they too were absorbed into Greater London. In the same year, the county gained its first area north of the Thames, Spelthorne, from defunct Middlesex. As a result of this gain, modern Surrey also borders on the London boroughs of Hounslow and Hillingdon.

Surrey is noted for being a particularly wealthy county due in large part to its proximity to London and Heathrow and Gatwick airports along with access to major arterial road routes (including the M25, M3 and M23) and frequent rail services into Central London. It has the highest GDP per capita of any English county and some of the highest property values outside Inner London.

Geography

Main article: Geology of Surrey

Surrey is divided in two by the chalk ridge of the North Downs, running east-west. The ridge is pierced by Surrey's principal rivers, the Wey and the Mole, which are tributaries of the Thames, the river which formed the northern border of the county before modern local government reorganisations. To the north of the Downs the land is mostly flat, forming part of the basin of the Thames. The geology of this area is dominated by London Clay in the east, Bagshot Sands in the west and alluvial deposits along the rivers. To the south of the Downs in the western part of the county are the sandstone Surrey Hills, while further east is the plain of the Low Weald, rising in the extreme south-east to the edge of the hills of the High Weald. The Downs and the area to the south form part of a concentric pattern of geological deposits which also extends across southern Kent and most of Sussex, predominantly composed of Wealden Clay, Lower Greensand and the chalk of the Downs.

Much of Surrey is in the Metropolitan Green Belt. It contains a good deal of mature woodland (reflected in the official logo of Surrey County Council, a pair of interlocking oak leaves). Among its many notable beauty spots are Box Hill, Leith Hill, Frensham Ponds, Newlands Corner and Puttenham & Crooksbury Commons. Surrey is the most wooded county in England, with 22.4% coverage compared to a national average of 11.8% [2] and as such is one of the few counties not to include new woodlands in their strategic plans. Box Hill has the oldest untouched area of natural woodland in the UK, one of the oldest in Europe. Surrey also contains England's principal concentration of lowland heath, on sandy soils in the west of the county.

Leith Hill Tower

Agriculture not being intensive, there are many commons and access lands, together with an extensive network of footpaths and bridleways including the North Downs Way, a scenic long-distance path. Accordingly, Surrey provides much in the way of rural leisure activities, with a very large horse population.

The highest elevation in Surrey is Leith Hill near Dorking. It is either 293, [3] 294 [4] or 295 [5] metres (961, 965 or 968 ft) above sea level and is the second highest point in southeastern England after Walbury Hill 297 metres (974 ft) in West Berkshire.