Surrey’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine

Whats on in Surrey this September

Linda Seward’s detailed diary of the best of what’s on in theatre, music, exhibitions, arts, sports and countryside over the coming weeks.
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Disappearing Dawn Chorus - A preparation for the 85th anniversary of Wild Birds Protection There was a time, before people roamed the Earth, before it shook with the thunderous footfalls of the dinosaurs, before the vivid vibration of a dragonfly’s wing troubled the air, that the world was silent. Noiseless, that is, but for the wind and water. These days, the dawn chorus is dwindling, and wild birds are in declining numbers; the planet may perhaps fall silent again.

This was a concern for Eric Parker (1870–1955), pioneer conservationist whose work helped push through the Wild Birds Protection Act that came into force in May 1934, 85 years ago next spring. Parker lived and worked in Surrey, near Godalming. Parker campaigned vigorously for legislation against the indiscriminate gathering of wild birds’ eggs, alongside hunting and other destructive activity. He talks about the period that led to the passing of the Wild Birds act in 1934 as ‘that year of blessed memory’.

David Lewiston Sharpe is a composer and has worked with the Royal Philharmonic. David has set verses by Eric Parker which give sad, soulful expression to the plight of song birds – his Song of the Nightingale. The plan is to present the new song cycle, sung by astounding mezzo soprano Phoebe Haines, in a programme with the Royal Philharmonic alongside works by Elgar, Delius, Butterworth and Respighi – all inspired by the natural world. If the concert goes ahead, we can do a little bit more to aid the work of scientific research and practical activity to promote work towards avian conservation. I invite essence readers to get in touch – perhaps you can help with funding to get this concert off the ground.

essence info
Birds on the Wire & the Waves
Wild Birds Protection – 85th Anniversary Concert, Sunday, 12 May 2019, Cadogan Hall
Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra
Phoebe Haines (mezzo soprano)
David Lewiston Sharpe (conductor)
Programme: Lewiston Sharpe/Parker The Song of the Nightingale, Butterworth Banks of Green Willow, Elgar 3 Songs, Sea-Pictures, Chanson de matin & de nuit, Delius Summer Night on the River,
On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring, Respighi The Birds
Telephone: 020 8362 9971
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Surrey Wildlife Trust
Various locations - Throughout September
Surrey Wildlife Trust manages over 8,000ha of land for wildlife and people in Surrey. A few of the Trust’s events are listed here, but see the website for more. On Monday 17 September, 10am–1pm, at Nower Wood Educational Nature Reserve in Leatherhead, don’t miss Dormice, where expert Dave Williams will explain how to protect these vulnerable creatures. Again at Nower Wood, on Wednesday 26 September, 10am–3pm, a course Introducing the management of woods is available. On Tuesday 18 September, 10am–12 noon, experience Winter migrants at Papercourt Marshes, Send to see the wealth of bird life in this permit-only site.

Little Egret, Surrey Wildlife Trust PHOTO COPYRIGHT: DEREK MOORE
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The Surrey Game & Country Fair
Loseley Park, Guildford - Sunday 23 September
Fabulous event bringing summer to a close (perhaps). This rural day out for the whole family combines top class entertainment, have-a-go activities, shopping, rural crafts and plenty of local food and drink. New for this year is the Shetland Pony Grand National, complete with young jockeys on a customised steeplechase course. As usual, rural pursuits remain at the heart of the Fair with ferret racing, sheepdogs, gun dogs, birds of prey, terriers and a parade of hounds. With fly fishing lessons and demonstrations, a family dog show with prizes, dog agility, the opportunity to learn about beekeeping, woodworking, spinning and weaving there really is something for everyone. Our image (left) shows the stunning Fuller’s Brewery horses, back by popular demand, offering dray rides in front of Loseley House. In addition, why not try your hand at archery or take a stroll around the display of vintage tractors and cars? The Food Theatre and Hall are sure to attract with expert demonstrations and tastings, with Surrey Farmers’ Market also on offer. Youngsters are catered for with Punch and Judy, donkey rides, The Sheep Show and a model railway. The Fair will be open between 9am and 5pm and under fives go free.