Chairman’s Day in Buckland on 14 July 2021

How lucky we were to chose the first sunny day for several weeks for Chairman’s Day at Buckland.

Our morning started at the home of our guide for the day – local historian Duncan Ferns. Yewdells is a Grade II listed building built in 1713 and we enjoyed our welcome tea and coffee in Duncan’s delightful garden, which he personally designed. That was not all – situated in the garden is the only surviving wind-powered sawmill in the UK. Built between 1860 and 1870, the mill powered a timber saw and was used by the Sanders family who ran their sawyers business from the site.

Duncan then led us a wonderful tour of Buckland Village, which included a visit to Buckland Parish Church.

There has been a church on this since the Domesday Book and probably earlier. Parts of the church are thought to have been built in 1380 although it was extensively refurbished in 1860.


Other highlights of the tour included a visit to the former Old Parsonage where we admired the original late Georgian frontage and the fabulous views across to the North Downs.

We also heard about and visited Buckland’s three village greens, which arose because the entire village was moved to avoid the Plague. The current green is idyllic with a an old timber barn and picturesque village pond along one edge and the Old School and a number of timbered cottages opposite.

Duncan then led us on a 30 minute across the fields and into the Buckland Estate, which is newly open to the public.

Here we enjoyed an excellent meal overlooking Park Lake, which was a former gravel pit.  Buckland Sand has been quarried since the 1920’s. Sand extraction activities were completed in 2014 and whole area has been sensitively restored with a view to reintroding biodiversity. Over 100 bird species have been recorded in the area.

Duncan was ideally placed to tell us all about the area as he was the Estate Manager until very recently. The newly opened Cliffe Cafe served an excellent meal and most of us felt the need to stretch our legs for 40 minutes around the perimeter of the Lake before returning to our cars.


All in all a fabulous day which will be remembered by all for some time to come.

Gordon Jackson, Chairman

Butterfly walk near Netley House

This excellent walk was led by Mike Waite, Living Landscapes Officer at the Surrey Wildlife Trust. The weather was perfect for butterflies but Mike is hugely knowledgeable about all wildlife and gave us a real insight into the ecology of the area.

We saw several species of butterfly including the Common Blue, the Speckled Wood and the Red Admiral. We also heard about work of the Butterfly Conservation Trust and the Stepping Stones Project, which is designed to create chalk scrapes planted with kidney vetch, the sole food plant of the Small Blue butterfly. These scrapes have been created at strategic spots between Pewley Down in the West and Denbies Hillside in the East to encourage the colonies that exist in these two places to spread out across the North Downs.

Quite apart from the flora and fauna, we also heard about the history of the Netley Estate particularly during the First and Second World Wars and stood on one of a number of pillboxes that are built on the North Downs ridge to enjoy breathtaking views of Shere and the surrounding countryside beneath us.

Mike also introduced us to several species of Orchid. The Bee Orchid was a special find. This is a fine example of a highly evolved mutual relationship where the plant relys on floral mimicry by imitating the bee upon which it is dependent for pollination.

Gordon Jackson Chairman

Surrey Hills Community Forum – 29 July 2021


A FREE Community Forum for parish councils, community groups in the Surrey Hills and all Surrey Hills Society members.

About this event
The Surrey Hills AONB Board and the Surrey Association of Local Councils will be hosting an online Community Forum for parish councils and community groups on Thursday 29 July.

This will be an opportunity to hear about the Surrey Hills Boundary Extension, Making Space for Nature – Greening Communities and the work of the Surrey Hills Family.

Welcome and introduction
Liz Cutter, Vice President of SALC and Surrey Hills AONB Board

Update on the Surrey Hills
Rob Fairbanks, Surrey Hills AONB Director

Surrey Hills Boundary Extension
Heather Kerswell,Surrey Hills AONB Chair
Clive Smith, Surrey Hills Planning Adviser

Making Space for Nature – Greening Communities
Liz Cutter, Vice President of SALC and Surrey Hills AONB Board
Caroline Price, Surrey Hills AONB

Anne Bott,Deputy CEO SALC

To book a place, visit: