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Lady Baden-Powell on her perfect Surrey weekend

PUBLISHED: 17:32 07 January 2011 | UPDATED: 15:30 20 February 2013

Lady Baden-Powell reveals all about her Surrey weekend

Lady Baden-Powell reveals all about her Surrey weekend

Lady Baden-Powell is married to the grandson of Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting and Girl Guide movements. She lives in Albury, near Guildford, and spends many weekends helping a charity in Surrey that she is passionate about

Originally published in Surrey Life May 2008

Lady Baden-Powell is married to the grandson of Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting and Girl Guide movements. She lives in Albury, near Guildford, and spends many weekends helping a charity in Surrey that she is passionate about

I was born in Zimbabwe, which is where I spent my childhood and teenage years. Thousands of miles away it may be, but, just like Surrey, it provides stunning scenery and countryside, which have given me a passion for the great outdoors.

When I first moved to the UK and got married, my husband and I were fortunate enough to live at Hampton Court Palace with my grandmother-in-law. After a time, we wanted our own home and found an old house in Ripley that we renovated.

Both Ripley and Albury have been wonderful places to live. They're very countrified and are surrounded by the farming community, which we like. We need equestrian facilities wherever we live as we have American quarter horses.

Even in Surrey's beautiful countryside, it's a great shame that children are not free to roam and explore as I could when growing up. That's why a good deal of my weekend time is used to help save a 28-acre adventure activity site for young people in Cobham, which is under threat of closure unless funds are urgently raised.

On a typical Saturday, I spend time showing influential community figures around the woodland facility, like the Chief Constable of Surrey, Bob Quick, and his wife. The warden and I show them the fantastic activities children and young adults can enjoy such as archery, abseiling, climbing, camp building and all sorts of other fun educational activities.

The site has been running for 70 years now and hosts around 25,000 children and young adults from the county and from deprived, built-up areas throughout the country. It will be such a tragedy if we can't raise the remaining 100,000 of the 800,000 we need to buy the land.

The other Sunday, I took the chief scout and ex-Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan around Walton Firs as he was staying in Guildford to appear at our wonderful local theatre, the Yvonne Arnaud, in Jack and the Beanstalk.

Going to the theatre is another great weekend pastime of mine. We're so lucky to have the West End shows literally on our doorstep. I've seen plays at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking - most recently I saw Penelope Keith in a production there - who incidentally is also a patron of the Walton Firs Foundation.

I also spend quite a bit of time with the Mayor of Elmbridge, Mrs Rosemary Dane, who has been a great champion for the Walton Firs Foundation, choosing it as her charity for her first year in office.

Occasionally on Saturday, I have to work dutifully in our office in Cranleigh, which is where we run our mail order business that sells top quality fencing and rubber mats, principally for horses but also for play centres and golf courses.

I'm a great gardening enthusiast, too, and I enjoy searching for new plants and shrubs at our local garden centre, Squires in East Horsley, where they've got a superb range. A neighbour, who is an amazing gardener, likes me to take her there and we are often helped by the manager, Ian Wright.

When I'm not working away in my own garden or enjoying the fruits of my labour, I like to visit other open gardens. There's a wonderful nursing home in Albury, called Birtley House, which is where my husband's grandmother spent the last years of her life. They have a beautiful garden that they open to the public to help raise funds for worthwhile causes, including of course, the Walton Firs Foundation. To top it off, they serve a rather splendid afternoon tea - including some cake not to be missed - so I can highly recommend a visit!

My Surrey Weekend is a monthly guest column in Surrey Life magazine, where we discover how some of the county's high profile characters spend their weekend. To catch up with the series, click here.

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