Surrey news and views - your letters - May 2014

PUBLISHED: 10:25 13 May 2014

Surrey Life magazine May 2014

Surrey Life magazine May 2014


Win a meal for two at one of Surrey’s top pubs by sharing your news and views with Surrey Life magazine

IF you’d like to see your letter printed in Surrey Life, write to us at the usual address, e-mail, comment at the end of this piece or join our community on Facebook and Twitter. Every month, the writer of our star letter wins a three-course dinner for two at the William Bray pub in Shere. The prize is available Monday to Thursday, subject to availability, and booking is required. For more information on the William Bray, call 01483 202044 or pay a visit to their website at



A worldwide concern for all

Dear Editor,

I have just finished reading your article ‘Saving the world’s wildlife, from Surrey’ in your April 2014 issue. Having found this such an emotive subject, I wanted to congratulate you on highlighting such an important worldwide concern.

Conservation is indeed something that we should all have a part in, and as you have already mentioned in this article, the loss of such magnificent animals like the elephants and tigers (to name but a few) is not only critical to the health of the whole world, but would be a profound disaster for mankind on all levels, should they no longer exist. These beautiful beasts have graced our planet for many thousands of years and deserve to be protected by us all.

I visited South Africa a few years ago and had the privilege of staying at an elephant park in Thula Thula for a few weeks. Each day brought tears of joy to see these amazing animals in their natural habitat, and to see the work of others helping these animals to exist.

So it only makes me proud to see what the locals of Surrey are contributing to the conservation of elephants and tigers around the world. It has also inspired me to get more involved in such charities myself. I am at the point of retiring next year, so shall be looking at what I can do myself to help the cause. Thank you again for this inspirational article.

Best wishes,

Dawn Gaines,


Editor’s note: Dear Dawn, thank you for taking the time to write. Like you, we also feel very proud of our wildlife charities here in Surrey, and how wonderful if you have the chance to get involved. It really does mean a lot for us to receive an e-mail like yours, so with that in mind, we are making you this month’s Star Letter – meaning you get to enjoy a dinner for two at The William Bray in Shere. We hope that you enjoy!


The rub of the green

Dear Editor,

Our green spaces are being squeezed from both ends. Last year, the government outlawed the registration of land as a town or village green if it was threatened with development. This year, the Supreme Court has ruled that existing greens can be deregistered after a time lapse of 12 years.

The government has provided no viable alternative to secure good-quality green space close to people’s homes. Although the ‘local green space’ designation was introduced two years ago, the concept remains shrouded in mystery; such sites are few and it is unclear how to achieve them.

Surrey communities, however, are setting an example. The Bishop’s Meadow Trust at Farnham and the Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust have secured open spaces for public enjoyment and have won our Open Space Award.

Find out what can be done at

Kate Ashbrook,

General Secretary,

The Open Spaces Society


A perfect pub meal

Dear Editor,

Back in November, you kindly chose The Children’s Trust London Marathon letter as your Star Letter, making me the lucky winner of a delicious meal for two at the fabulous William Bray in Shere. On Sunday, my colleague and I finally enjoyed our belated New Year celebratory meal (this year has flown past) and I wanted to contact you to say a big thank you.

As the William Bray is only a mile away from Gomshall Station, we decided to take full advantage of the good weather and the bottle of wine included in the prize and get the train. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll past some lovely properties in Shere and have decided we could be quite happy living there. It had quite a buzz with many cyclists and walkers out.

Neither of us had been to the William Bray before and were impressed on arrival. After a drink by the fire, we enjoyed a lovely three-course meal. I’d say the star of the show was the chocolate dessert with cherry crumb, clementine coulis... heavenly! I’m sure we managed to burn off the food and drinks on our walk to and from the station.

The staff were friendly and welcoming, which added to the experience. I’m already planning a return visit to test out the outdoor area.

Many thanks again,

Bryony Eida,

Major sports events manager,

The Children’s Trust, Tadworth


Surrey’s singing cyclists

Dear Editor,

As the chairman of Guildford’s Vivace Chorus, I’m used to saving my lung capacity for one of our concerts at Guildford Cathedral or G Live, but lately I’ve needed that power to push me up the hills around Albury and Cranleigh. That’s because I’m joining 10 other singers for a charity cycle ride from Paris to the Royal Albert Hall.

We’re raising money for the Rainbow Trust, an amazing children’s charity in Leatherhead, and also to promote our performance of the Verdi Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Sunday May 18.

Inspired by local composer, Will Todd, we’ll be cycling over 200 miles, passing through Guildford on the way. Surrey has proved a great training ground as well as a great singing community. If you see us on the road, please give us your support! – and if you’d like to donate, visit

James Garrow,

Vivace Chorus,



Bound for Borneo

Dear Editor,

In August this year, I will be taking part in the Trans Borneo Challenge – a 24-day, 900km trek across Borneo to raise as much money and worldwide awareness as possible to help save the orang-utans and the rainforest.

Orang-utans are 97% genetically identical to humans with the intelligence of a five to six-year-old child. They are fully self-aware and have feelings and emotions just like we do. They are also at serious threat of extinction.

To help with my fund-raising, I am holding a charity dinner dance with an auction and raffle that will take place at Imber Court Sports Ground in East Molesey on Saturday July 19.

To buy tickets for the event, to find out more about the challenge or to make a donation, please visit:

Best wishes,

Carly Stairs,



An ancient art

Dear Editor,

I am writing to let your readers know about the Waverley Dowsers who meet in Godalming to learn about this ancient art/science.

Modern dowsers use this science for many diverse things – from checking foods to identifying strange energies that affect their houses. Dowsing gardeners use it to decide planting places; as strange as that might seem.

Our members come from all sorts of backgrounds, religions and ages; some are professional dowsers whilst others just enjoy this fun activity. We have speakers on a range of dowsing subject and there is a great interest in the various special interest groups of which archaeology is one.

For further information, readers can give me a call on 01252

541639 (evenings only).

Best wishes,

Michael Haxeltine,



Wood for the trees

Dear Editor,

Surrey is one of the most wooded counties in England, with nearly 25 per cent woodland cover, including precious areas of ancient woodland like Ashtead Common. However this also means there’s more woodland at risk of being lost to the ever-increasing threat of development.

I am sure everyone reading this will have a favourite local wood that they visit; many of these are likely to be ancient too. Ancient woods are some of the last remaining links to the wildwood that covered the country after the last Ice Age and are irreplaceable.

The Woodland Trust needs your help to protect these special woods for future generations. Current planning laws provide very little protection for ancient woodland and we’re asking the Prime Minister to intervene.

There are eight simple steps that could make some much-needed changes to the current system, and your support could ensure Surrey’s ancient woods aren’t at risk of being lost forever.

To get involved, simply pay a visit to our website at

Best wishes,

Jo Smith,

Woodland Trust volunteer

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