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Celebrating Surrey’s wild heathland landscape

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Surrey Wildlife Trust and Thames Basin Heaths Partnership welcome local people to celebrate Surrey’s amazing wild heathland landscape during Heath Week 2018, from 29 July to 4 August 2018.

Surrey offers thousands of acres of vast heathland wilderness blooming with bright pink bell heather and Heath Week offers a programme of walks, talks and events to encourage everyone to explore this stunning wild landscape.

Join Surrey Wildlife Trust for a walk at Chobham Common, the largest national nature reserve in the south east of England, to discover its amazing wildlife. During an evening walk people will hear nightjars churring, the mysterious migratory bird that breeds on the Common during the summer months. Other creatures of the night, such as roding woodcock, owls and bats may be heard using bat detectors on an evening walk at Ockham Common.

Dr Mike Simmonds of University of Reading will take visitors on a journey from the Ice Age to the present day at Chobham Common, a story which has been preserved in the peat for over a thousand of years. He will reveal how the vegetation and climate have changed and what life may have been like for the prehistoric people that inhabited this dynamic landscape.

Leigh Thornton, estates manager for Surrey Wildlife Trust, said: ‘With the amazing weather this summer, it has never been a better time for residents to enjoy what Surrey’s countryside has to offer. Sunshine and blue skies bring out the vibrancy of the pink heather and an abundance of wildlife that you will only see in the unique landscape of Surrey’s heaths.’

Other Heath Week events include a chance to meet dog behaviour specialists, the Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group sharing the delights of rare reptiles, the Ministry of Defence talking about vital military training on heathlands near Farnham with the Fire and Rescue Service sharing how they are dealing with the current weather conditions, high risk of wildfires and fire prevention.

Sarah Bunce, senior warden for the Thames Basin Heaths Partnership, said: ‘If you live or work in Woking, Guildford or the surrounding areas, come and experience our wonderful heathlands. Many people don’t realise how lucky they are that a quirk of geology, climate and history has left these amazing landscapes preserved within Surrey. If it hadn’t been for factors such as extensive military activity or protection for rare ground nesting birds, these heathlands might not be here today for us all to enjoy.’

The annual event is designed to encourage local people to explore and appreciate the county’s vast wilderness of heathland, which spans areas between Farnham and Godalming in the south of the county to Woking and Camberley, Chobham and Cobham in the north. One of the most ancient and characteristic British landscapes, it has special conservation protection and provides a living link to our stone age past.

For further information about Heath Week 2018 or to book an event visit surreywildlifetrust.org/heath-week

Loseley Park celebrates first new roof in nearly 160 years

Roof topping ceremony Loseley

Loseley Park - A stately home for all occasions

On Friday May 15 Loseley Park celebrated the completion of its new roof – the first complete re-roofing in nearly 160 years. 90,000 deep orange tiles have replaced the old slate and a party of 60 attended the event, including The Mayor of Guildford, Nikki Nelson-Smith, and Anne Milton, MP for Guildford. The work started at the end of September, using 550 tons of scaffolding soaring 100 foot high and stretching 200 feet across the whole of the House.

A magnificent screen with a giant photo of the façade covered up the scaffolding for the past seven months and 30 men worked on the site at any one time. Before going up to lay the last two tiles on the roof itself, Anne Milton toasted the new roof: “It’s a huge privilege to be here today and everyone has played their part. I’d like to thank the More-Molyneux family for this House, which is part of our history in Guildford.”
Hurrah for the new roof! Loseley celebrates
Mike More-Molyneux, Loseley’s owner, said: “To say we are thrilled would be a gross understatement. It’s lovely to be celebrating this very special occasion and everyone has worked so hard and with such skill to achieve the end result. We really do appreciate it. We also feel that the tiles have mellowed the house and also as a result brought out the colour of the stone.”

Mike is the direct descendant of Sir William More, who built the manor in 1562 at the behest of Elizabeth I, who stayed with her entire Court no less than four times during her reign. “Loseley is deeply rooted in history and it is extraordinary to think that the last time we had a new roof was 1856 when Queen Victoria was instituting The Victoria Cross, and The National Gallery was just opening in London.”

For more information about Loseley Park visit >>> www.loseley-park.co.uk