Surrey news and views - your letters - November 2014

PUBLISHED: 09:16 27 October 2014 | UPDATED: 09:22 28 October 2014

Surrey Life magazine November 2014 cover

Surrey Life magazine November 2014 cover


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 or visit Every month, the writer of our star letter wins a three-course dinner for two at The William Bray in Shere (available Monday to Thursday, subject to availability, and booking is required). For more on The William Bray, call 01483 202044 or see





A lifeline for animals in need...

Dear Editor,

This month, the Animal Protection Trust, a Surrey animal rescue charity formed in November 1984 to help unwanted, abandoned and ill-treated animals, will be celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Over the last 30 years, the Animal Protection Trust has helped to re-home thousands of domestic pets and has provided advice and support to desperate pet-owners who have found themselves in circumstances where they can no longer keep their pets. The Animal Protection Trust does not charge for its services or its animals – relying on the support of public donations.

All the work carried out by the charity is voluntary, and over the years volunteers of all ages and from different walks of life have made a huge contribution to ensure that the charity has continued its work, particularly during some very difficult years.

On behalf of the Trustees of Animal Protection Trust, I would like to say a huge thank you to all these people, who have given their support during this period. The charity’s band of loyal volunteers have given help ranging from providing foster homes for pets, home-checks, manning phones, running a ‘lost and found’ register and various fund-raising activities.

At the same time, I would also like to express our very grateful thanks to Jacqueline Ward-Reel, chairman and co-ordinator. It is a huge testament to Jacqueline that the Animal Protection Trust has continued its invaluable work helping pets and helping people.


Yours sincerely,

Allison Brewer,

Trustee, Animal Protection Trust,


Editor’s note: Dear Allison, thank you for your letter and congratulations to you all on this important landmark. By way of a small thank you for all you have done to help Surrey’s pets in need, we reckon you deserve this month’s delicious dinner for two at the wonderful William Bray in Shere! All the best, Caroline



Touching wood

Dear Editor,

Further to your feature on Surrey’s woodlands (Surrey Life, October), I’m writing to let readers know about a project that’s taking place to restore ancient woodland in the Low Weald.

The Woodland Trust is offering advice and support to members of the public who are lucky enough to own a piece of this rare and irreplaceable habitat, where it has been damaged by non-native species such as conifers and rhododendron.

It’s a really important project that’s been launched after the Trust was awarded £1.9m from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore 52,000 hectares of ancient woodland across the UK.

I hope readers are encouraged to find out more and get involved. Working with them is vital to make sure we restore and protect this precious resource.

Anyone who would like to find out more can call me on 07768 506664 or e-mail


Kind regards,

Jim Smith-Wright,

Project officer,

The Woodland Trust,



On the record…


Dear Editor,

Further to your recent article on Surrey’s world record-breakers (Surrey Life, October), I thought you might like to hear about Mat Dibb, a Godalming resident who has just smashed the World Record for the Isle of Man TT Mountain Bike Course, beating the previous record by one hour and 13 minutes!

What is more, Mat is expecting a kidney transplant within the next six months, but says that keeping fit is his way of dealing with kidney disease.

Please support Mat on his Facebook site ( and help him with his fund-raising for the South West Thames Kidney Fund here:


Best wishes,

Anne Collard,

South West Thames Institute

for Renal Research



Dear Surrey Life,

Following your article on the world record-breakers (Surrey Life, October), I wanted to let readers know about Callum Gathercole, 19, of East Horsley.

Callum broke the aged 19 and under, lightweight, timed indoor rowing world record for 100km at the Friary Centre, Guildford, just last month. The new world record is seven hours and two minutes – at least 15 minutes faster than the previous record. Callum also raised £1,330 for Brain Tumour Research in memory of his father.

Next, Callum and a friend are aiming to beat the world record as the youngest pair to row across the Atlantic, also for charity. For details, visit


Many thanks,

Anita Bathurst,

East Horsley




Fly by night

Dear Surrey Life,

I write to let readers know that Lions Club members in Surrey are calling for support to help raise vital funds for the life-saving 24-hour helicopter service provided by the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust (KSSAA).

Following a Night Flying Appeal launch by Lions across the south-east in 2012, our county’s Lions have raised £67,938 so far towards a £250,000 target. However, more help is needed so that we can continue to generate funds that will go towards saving up to 700 more lives each year, thanks to the night flying air ambulance service that is now running. Each flying mission costs about £2,500, so support from the Lions and the general public will really help the night service.

If you would like to make a donation to the Lions Night Flying Appeal, please visit, and for more on the service see


Best wishes,

Vikki Croxson,

Lions Club, Surrey



International times

Dear Surrey Life,

We have been thrilled with Surrey Life’s support over the years and wanted to update readers on what is currently keeping the Shalford-based team of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation so busy in the fight to save endangered wildlife.

Our most urgent concern is the survival of the orphaned elephants in our care in Zambia. The victims of Africa’s escalating ivory crisis, these vulnerable babies require round-the-clock care to ensure that they not only survive but thrive. Our aim is to return them safely to the wild where they will help ensure a sustainable future for Africa’s elephants. But looking after them is pushing resources to the limit and we desperately need your help.

The knock-on impact of losing a cornerstone species like the elephant is sometimes hard to grasp but, as with all the animals we fight to protect including rhino and tigers, they are vital in maintaining healthy eco-systems, which in turn create a balanced and healthy planet, something that is important for us all wherever we live.

Readers can support and find out more about the orphans in our care and all our wildlife projects on our website at or drop into our gallery in Shalford where we have a huge range of art and gifts that help support our work.


Thank you,

Vicky Flynn,

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation,




A driving force...

Dear Editor,

I must write to tell you about an event I attended recently; the Henry Surtees Karting Challenge is an annual event that takes place to commemorate the life of a young racing driver and raise funds for a number of charities.

At the event, I was particularly impressed by the presence of a group of severely injured serving and ex-serving troops. Called Kartforce (Karting for Injured Troops), they compete in events around the UK and abroad.

Returning from war zones with horrific injuries, and sometimes suffering from PTSD, they have found that competing in the adrenaline-filled world of motorsport gives them back the confidence they have lacked since their injury. With variable controls designed by their founder, Dave Player, they are able to compete on a level playing field with able-bodied karters. Thus, they can be seen for their ability and not their disability.

They were utterly inspirational, coming home in 5th place and obviously loving it. I learned that they receive no official funding for this activity, which means so much to them, and rely on donations/auction items. I would urge your readers to check out their website,, and make a donation, however small, to enable them to continue their sport.


Thank you,

Diane Bird,




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