CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

Wildlife campaigner Lorraine Platt on her perfect Surrey weekend

PUBLISHED: 17:15 28 November 2013 | UPDATED: 17:15 28 November 2013

Lorraine and Charlie get ready to set off on one of their regular rides

Lorraine and Charlie get ready to set off on one of their regular rides

N/A

A well-known wildlife campaigner, Lorraine Platt was shortlisted as a finalist in the Inspiration Awards For Women 2013, for which the nominees included Helen Mirren and Victoria Beckham. Away from the campaigning trail, she can often be seen riding along the Thames Towpath, with her dog Charlie tucked in her cycle basket…

I adore living in Thames Ditton where we have been based for over 20 years. We brought up our two children here and it’s a perfect place to live – and yet we can be in central London in 35 minutes by train.

Our weekend often starts on Friday evening with a relaxing drink at one of the old pubs in our village. A favourite is Ye Old Swan, a 14th century low-ceilinged pub on the river. Another pub we often visit is The Albany, which has a wooden jetty right on the Thames with magnificent views opposite the riverbank to Hampton Court Palace.

Thames Ditton is quaintly called the ‘village’ by the residents and has retained its appealing high street of individual little shops. One of our favourites is Stitchery, which sells lovely handmade chocolates. The Secret Garden shop sells beautiful flowers, which often feature in my paintings – exhibited with the Hay Hill Gallery in Mayfair.

Trips to the park

Saturday often includes a morning cycle ride in Home Park, which extends from the back of Hampton Court Palace, to see the wild deer amidst the old oak and lime trees. It’s a joy to watch the stag herds and reminds me of our purpose in the voluntary wildlife campaign we founded in 2010 to protect stags, foxes and hares from a return of hunting with dogs.

We started our campaign, Blue Fox, to encourage Conservative MPs to vote to keep the ban in place when the free vote on repeal of the hunting ban is offered. We have organised several Parliamentary events, which have been well attended by the Conservative anti-hunting MPs in the House of Commons and reported on national TV and newspapers.

We also founded the Blue Hare campaign, which pioneers to introduce a closed season for hares, whose vulnerable populations have declined by an estimated 80 per cent in the last 100 years.

Our Blue Badger campaign is against the badger culls, which the overwhelming scientific evidence says will not solve the problem of TB in cattle.

I was delighted to be awarded the Campaigner Winner Award 2012 by the International Fund For Animal Welfare, which took place in the House of Lords with Brian May of Queen. More recently, 
I was shortlisted as a finalist for the Inspiration Awards For Women 2013, for which the nominees also included Helen Mirren and Victoria Beckham.

Back to my weekend, though, and those cycle rides. I have a special dog basket on my bike where our King Charles Cavalier sits on a blue tartan cushion. It has a protective white metal cover over the wicker basket. Riding along the Thames Towpath with Charlie never fails to raise smiles! When we get to the park or towpath, Charlie is lifted out and has his walk for the rest of the way.

We enjoy being in the royal market town of Kingston on Sundays for some clothes shopping and a leisurely coffee and cakes in the market square. 

Watching the boats
In the evening, with family and friends, we like to pop into The Albany pub and watch the boats pass by. I look out for the local grand blue and white steamer boat with its pipe chimneys and waterwheel, which looks like it should belong in New Orleans on the Mississippi river of a bygone era!

I love living in beautiful Surrey and couldn’t imagine ever wanting to live anywhere else.

***

For more information on Lorraine’s wildlife campaigns, visit thebluefoxgroup.co.uk

More from Surrey Life

16:05

The new hotel is set to open in spring 2019 and will be located in the heart of the vineyard, offering sweeping views over the North Downs Way.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:53

From Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Surrey this season

Read more
Yesterday, 10:47

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Yesterday, 10:41

Having bloomed in Brighton’s restaurant scene over the past decade, The Chilli Pickle opened its second site in Guildford this summer

Read more
Mon, 14:32

Historic Royal Palaces and IMG have announced that Kylie Minogue is the first headliner confirmed for Hampton Court Palace Festival 2019. These will be her only London shows of summer 2019. Here’s how you can get tickets

Read more
Mon, 12:56

Enjoy this linear rail to ramble section of the Thames Down Link route taking the short train-ride from Box Hill & Westhumble to Ashtead before walking back

Read more
Mon, 12:13

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (16, 17 and 18 November): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Friday, November 9, 2018

We round up 10 of the most beautiful photos of Surrey shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It’s that time of year when our beautiful countryside is alight with the colours of autumn. Here, we pick out some of her favourite spots to enjoy the seasonal splendour – as well as some perfect places for a post-walk refresher

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Found on the stretch of the River Thames between Weybridge and East Molesey, Sunbury-on-Thames is blessed with a village feel where it meets the water. From antique hunts to the joys of river life, here are a few of our favourite reasons to visit

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Verity & Violet are Loui and Jess – a singing duo from Surrey who specialise in blending vintage classics with modern favourites. The two have achieved success in the capital, but are now hoping to attract an audience closer to home

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

With the Christmas celebrations seemingly starting earlier every year, it all feels a little too ‘soon’ sometimes, but what if you want to look your best for Christmas & New year celebrations and are considering having cosmetic non-surgical procedures? The Bella Vou Pantiles Clinic offers surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures and treatments from a purpose-built private clinic in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells

Read more
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Living in England’s most densely wooded county, it’s always a pleasure to witness Surrey donning its autumn finery. Here’s some of the best places to do just that - plus a few pub pit stops to enjoy on route!

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We are regularly reminded of the high cost of housing with statistics revealing that only one in three millennials will be able to afford their own home during their lifetime and that most will remain in the category known as Generation Rent

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search