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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

Ghost The Musical

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Interview with Andy Moss

How exciting is it to be doing Ghost - The Musical?
So exciting! I did a few things just after I left college but nothing of note so this is my first treading of the boards since then. I’m so excited but it’s also a bit nerve-wracking – not the idea of performing in front of an audience but because it’s such an iconic role. Patrick Swayze’s shoes are big shoes to fill, for sure, and my mate Richard Fleeshman did Sam in the original West End production and he was amazing too. So there’s a bit of pressure but we’ve not gone for a carbon copy of either the West End or Broadway versions.

What was it about this particular show that made you say yes?
Number one, I’m a massive fan of the movie. Number two, I’ve been dying to get back on stage for a while now. I love TV and stuff but there’s nothing so gratifying as doing a live show. Then number three, there’s the music. It’s by Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics and Glen Ballard who has produced loads of albums that I love as well. When I heard the songs I could hear all their influences in it so the whole package of having those guys on board, this iconic movie and the fact it’s a nice three-month tour sold it to me straight away.

You’ve done TV but what challenges does a stage show present?
The main challenge for me is to make sure my voice can sustain it every day. There are some big numbers in it and I’ve been in bands over the years so I can sing, but doing it every night across eight or nine shows a week is a tough prospect. You have to know when to belt it out and when to hold back and save your voice. Also everything has to be cued to a sound cue or a music cue or somebody else’s line or a lighting cue. I’m not used to that in TV. If we move the lines around a little bit because it seems more truthful they’ll usually buy it, but with this you have to be word-perfect. So it’s about trying to hit the marks for everyone else and trying to make it sound like you’re doing it for the first time.

You’ve also done rock concerts but is a musical a different discipline?
It’s so different. I like musicals, don’t get me wrong, but I’d never seen one and gone ‘My God, that’s amazing, I want to be in it’ whereas with this one when I heard the music I thought ‘That’s well good’. They told me they didn’t want a musical theatre singer and a musical theatre voice, they wanted one with a bit of something different to his voice – and hopefully that’s what I’ve been able to add to Dave and Glen’s music.
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Why do you think this particular story means so much to so many people?

It’s the everlasting love thing, plus it came out at the beginning of the 90s and there hadn’t been many amazing stories like this. It has a bit of something for everyone in it. There’s the life-everlasting love story and everyone knows someone who has passed on and has that longing to see them again. Also it was when Whoopi Goldberg was at her peak as were Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. It had a stellar cast and the culmination of that with the fact everyone can relate to the story, because something similar has happened to them at some point in their lives, is why it resonates so strongly. That’s why people love the film and why they come and see the stage show, plus it’s almost nostalgic now, isn’t it?

Can you recall when you first saw the movie and what effect did it have on you?
I watched it with my mum and dad. It was like a Sunday family movie and it affected me because it’s when I started getting interested in ghosts and stuff. It was the first time I’d seen it in a film and it’s not there to be scary, it’s there for another reason that you don’t understand as a kid. So that’s the first time I started thinking about ghosts. Nowadays the shadow ghosts that come at the end of the movie to get the baddies aren’t that scary, but they used to scare me senseless.

What are you most looking forward to about the tour?
I’m looking forward to visiting towns and cities I’ve never been to. That’s going to be exciting, but I’m quite a homebody. If I go out partying or with friends I like to go home at the end of the night so it’s going to be a bit weird being away, but it’s part and parcel of the job and hopefully it will lead to other things like this. It’s got me so excited about acting again and it doesn’t just have to be on TV or in a film, I can go on tour and I go do it in another country. Hopefully this will be the gateway to other things. It’s a great show and a great part and I hope I manage to do it justice.

Mon 27 February – Saturday 4 March
Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm
Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm
Tickets from £17.90 fees apply

You can book tickets by calling the Box Office on 0844 871 7645 (fees apply)
Groups Booking Line 0844 871 7601 or online at www.atgtickets.com/woking (fees apply)
Calls cost up to 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.

New Victoria Theatre, Peacocks Centre, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6GQ



New Surrey American Football Team Hosts Tournament

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Cobham Cougars U17 American Football team and the ACS International School

The new Cobham Cougars U17 American Football team hosts the third tournament in the British American Football league on Saturday 20th June, 1pm, at the ACS International School, Portsmouth Road, Cobham.

The Cobham Cougars are currently 3 & 3 - won three, lost three - two of those losses were by just a single score. The Cougars have been training together since March and are the only U17 youth team in the South West London area, taking in players from the Kingston, Weybridge, Leatherhead and Woking areas.
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Sponsors Oxberry and Crestron invite local residents to visit the event and watch the new youth team in action. As massive in America as the Premier League is here, the National Football League is getting a following among teenagers in London partly due to the NFL games played at Wembley in September and October in recent years.
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For more information contact Coach Scott: sbarlow@gmail.com Barlow or Caroline Stammers: carrie@oxberry.net or call 07774 904592