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High Sheriff of Surrey, Rob Douglas reveals his home truths

PUBLISHED: 10:15 15 February 2011 | UPDATED: 17:20 20 February 2013

High Sheriff of Surrey, Robert Douglas

High Sheriff of Surrey, Robert Douglas

As the new High Sheriff of Surrey for 2010-11, Rob Douglas, who lives in Walton-on-Thames, is something of an expert on our beautiful county. Here, we put him under the Surrey Life spotlight, to find out what it is he likes best about the area

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine May 2010

As the new High Sheriff of Surrey for 2010-11, Rob Douglas, who lives in Walton-on-Thames, is something of an expert on our beautiful county. Here, we put him under the Surrey Life spotlight, to find out what it is he likes best about the area

What was it that first brought you to Surrey?
I came down to London from Newcastle in 1972, and got married the same year. My wife and I moved to our first house in Walton-on-Thames in 1975 after living for three years in North London. Her parents lived in Surrey and after we had both found ourselves with jobs near Waterloo station, living in Surrey made a lot of sense.

Tell us your favourite thing about living in the county?
I like having equally easy access to the good walking in the woods and hills of the county on the one hand and to the bustle of London on the other.

Is there anything you dont like about the area?
The traffic congestion is frustrating and just seems to get worse.

How would you choose to spend a lazy Sunday morning?
I like to head off down to the RHS gardens at Wisley. There is so much to see and so many different paths to take. Even on a busy Sunday morning, it is surprisingly quiet out in the arboretum and heather garden or in the orchards.

If you were heading out for a pub lunch, where would you go?
I would probably go to the Thames Court at Shepperton. Its a great setting on the river just above the lock and it has a nice atmosphere.

Its your wifes birthday coming up. Where would you go for a meal?
We both spend a lot of time out for evening functions so when we go out for a meal we tend to look for a restaurant where we can relax and where we know the food and wine are reliable. Weve had various favourites over the years but at the moment we would probably head out to Carluccios in The Heart at Walton. We always enjoy our meal there.

You decide to go for a country walk where would you choose?
We love walking in Surrey weve walked the Greensand Way, the North Downs Way and the Downs Link, as they go through the county, as well as lots of circular walks. Our favourite walks at the moment are in the woods and hills around Polesden Lacey.

Whats your favourite hidden treasure in the area?
The view from the corner of a field (OS reference: TQ110515) on a walk in the Surrey Hills its a stunning view over fields and a fold in the hills and is beautiful at every time of year... and timeless.

What do you think is the biggest single issue facing the area?
Surrey is overall a very wealthy county but there are serious pockets of deprivation; sometimes just a couple of streets, sometimes whole wards. We need to make sure that we give every support to the people in those areas, and particularly the young people, to realise their full potential.

Finally, if Surrey had a symbol, what do you think it should be and why?
As the county with the highest percentage of woodland in the country, then I think the oak leaf on the current badge is spot on.

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