Surrey Hills Society “Road Map”



Following the release of the UK Government’s COVID-19 four-step plan to ease lockdown in England, we thought you may like to see our timetable for the next few months.



As you know we are currently in national lockdown. We must all avoid non-essential travel and stay local. We can walk outdoors once a day as part of our daily exercise and we hope you have been able to enjoy your local area – especially now with all the spring flowers in bloom and blossom on the trees.

As you are all aware our events are currently suspended.   However, from 29 March we can organise outdoor gatherings under the Governments Rule of 6. We are hoping to have a garden visit on the 7 April followed by a free walk on 11 April.  Our Events Committee will be meeting shortly to start planning many more events as lockdown eases.

From 12 April outdoor areas at hospitality venues e.g. cafés, restaurants, bars, pubs can reopen so we hope to be able to incorporate these into our events. With the availability of refreshments and toilet facilities, we are busy making plans for interesting events.

Not before 17 May

Gatherings of up to 30 people outdoors is now allowed.   Indoors, the Rule of 6 or 2 households will apply and therefore SHS are not holding any indoor events until this rule is lifted.

All our events will be subject to compliance with COVID-Secure guidance and we will take reasonable steps to limit the risk of transmission.  In accordance with our usual SHS procedures, we will complete a risk assessment for each event and ensure that those attending do not mix beyond what is permitted by the social contact limits.

With all our events and especially those at the upper limit of 30 people, we will be advising people to continue to keep their distance from anyone not in their household or support bubble.

From 21 June the Government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact.  Hooray!

We look forward to seeing you all again in April and in the meantime please stay safe.

Please keep an eye on the website for future events and, bearing in mind the limitations on numbers, if you are interested in a published event please book early to avoid disappointment.  If the event is full do please email to go on the waiting list.

Nature Recovery petition

Larger Moths Decline over the last 50 Years

Our Chairman, Gordon Jackson, was very interested to read the latest information regarding our British moths and we thought we’d share this with you.


Butterfly Conversation have launched a new report entitled State of Britain’s Larger Moths.  It shows a worrying 33% decline in the population of larger moths over the last 50 years.  You can read the report here.

You may be interested in the attached petition which urges the government to enshrine their nature recovery targets in law and so be held accountable for them. Find out more here.


           Surrey Hills Society

Off-road impact: 4×4 vehicles causing damage to Surrey Hills

Off Road motorised vehicles are having a major impact on the Surrey Hills. The popularity of these activities through the woods and commons of this designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), with new tracks being illegally carved out on private land, has increased during lockdown and creates tension with landowners and leisure users.

The use of off-road, quad bike and 4×4 vehicles is strictly prohibited throughout the AONB, unless on a designated Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT). Damage by illegal off-road vehicles negatively impacts the myriad of species that call the Surrey Hills AONB home.

Recent developments have seen Surrey Police tackle rural crime in the Surrey Hills by seizing un-licensed 4×4 vehicles, handing out warnings and securing prosecutions.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey David Munro said: “Enhancing the response to crime in our rural communities remains one of my key priorities. We are lucky in Surrey to have access to wonderful countryside and I am pleased to see such proactive work by the local team in response to the concerns raised by the residents that live locally.

In the last two years, I’ve supported Surrey Police to establish a dedicated network of rural crime officers across Surrey’s boroughs and I am proud that these individuals are making a real difference in areas where residents may feel the most isolated – preventing crime as well as apprehending those responsible. In the year ahead, I will be supporting Surrey Police to extend this further, with the addition of 10 police officers and 67 operational support staff that will strengthen the overall service of the Force, and additional funding for the rural crime team that is so important.”

Reports of damage caused by off-road vehicles were made earlier this month in Mole Valley, following the discovery of muddy tyre tracks and circular markings throughout The Gallops on Mickleham Downs. This tranquil area managed by the National Trust is regularly frequented by local dog walkers, and forms part of the popular Box Hill Hike trail. Large rutted, muddy tracks were left behind, with grass churned up and damaged, marring the beautiful ranging views across the Downs. The recent wet weather further exacerbated the problem, with sodden ground more readily damaged. Not only does this kind of destruction look unpleasant, it creates highly dangerous conditions for other people using the local routes, including walkers and cyclists.


Councillor Hazel Watson, Chairman of the Surrey Hills Byways Working Group comments,

“It is awful to see this careless destruction of the local area. The grass and woodland of Mickleham Downs is an important haven for wildlife and plant species. Damage caused by off-road vehicles is a major threat to the Surrey Hills AONB and I urge the local community to alert Surrey Police to any antisocial behaviour taking place in our countryside spaces.”

Acting Borough Commander, T/Detective Inspector Wagjiani said: “Off-roading is a nuisance and can cause considerable damage to the beauty of our countryside and woodland areas. Reporting a rural crime such as this is key. While the reporting of one incident might not lead us to the perpetrator, the collective evidence will support us in gaining the intelligence that will help us to identify a suspect. We can then take action.”

Heather Kerswell, Chair of the Surrey Hills AONB Board, says,

“There is mounting concern about the damage being caused to the protected Surrey Hills landscape by an irresponsible minority of off-road drivers. Current lockdown measures have made the Surrey Hills a popular playground for many. I commend Surrey Police for their efforts in this area and call on all our rural communities to work together to combat this serious issue”.

Reports of antisocial crime can be made to Surrey Police via their online reporting tool;

For further information on the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) visit