Walk Categories

To help all of our members, we are introducing a system whereby every walk will be categorised as either Easy, Moderate or Challenging.  The details of these categories are set out below.   



A sedate walk at a relaxed pace with frequent stops and no steep inclines. The walk is normally  between 2 and 3 miles.  There may be stiles to negotiate.



A medium walk with a constant but reasonably comfortable pace.  You should expect sections of different inclines and some steep hills.  There may be a few short stops at points of interest but otherwise it will be at a unbroken steady tempo.  The walk will be around 4 to 5 miles.



A reasonably demanding walk, for people who are fairly fit/brisk walkers.  The pace will be around 2 to 3 miles per hour and the terrain may be difficult.  There may not be any stops incorporated into the walk.  The length of walk would normally be around 6 miles or more.



All walk leaders will know the walk they have organised and they are responsible for all attendees.  If they feel that you may not be capable of keeping up with the pace they need to set in order to complete the walk within the time allocated, they will be at liberty to refuse you to join the group as this may affect the enjoyment of the other attendees and could prove to be dangerous.  Please be aware of your own personal fitness to avoid disappointment.

Gordon Jackson, Chairman

SHS Day in Bletchingley

On Tuesday 21st March, a group of 22 society members made a visit to Bletchingley and some of the surrounding area. We formed two groups so that numbers were more manageable with one group doing a walk in the morning, and the other a tour of the village, and in the afternoon, after lunch in the Red Lion, we swapped over.

Mr. David Martin of The Bletchingley Conservation and Historical Society kindly took us around the village giving us plenty of interesting and historical information.

The walks were led by Victoria Gregory, also of the Bletchingley Conservation and Historical Society. She took on the task of walking us to the outer lying places. Thus providing the opportunity to stumble across some other interesting buildings. The house at Place Farm formed the gatehouse of Bletchingley Palace; a great Tudor house, which Anne of Cleves occupied after her marriage to Henry VIII, was annulled. Also, to the north can be found Brewer Street Farm (15th century) and the Old Rectory (1786).

The existence of the village can be traced back as far as Saxon times and was subsequently mentioned in the Domesday book. It is still possible to find signs of this long history today; parts of the Church date back to 1100 with considerable enlargements in the 13th century. This long history means that it is still possible to see several buildings that date back to around 1500 in the High Street area.

David was able to tell us a lot about the church while we were in there, before our walk up the High Street.

In 1225 there is mention of Bletchingley as a borough. In the Middle Ages a borough was created either by the King or one of the Lords as a potentially profitable element in the development of their estates. It appears that after the 14th century Bletchingley began to lose its importance as a borough, perhaps losing out to the market town of Reigate. However, at one point it managed to achieve the status of a rotten borough !! Parliamentary elections were held in what is now the Whyte Harte Hotel.

This was a very interesting, informative and enjoyable visit, so next time you are in the area we recommend that you stop and have a wander.


Joyce and Ray Jessop

United in action against environmental damage by Off-Road vehicles

A small group of off-roaders continue to carve out illegal tracks in an area of ancient woodland in the Surrey Hills. In response, off-road user groups, residents and landowners are now united in taking action by reporting this illegal activity to the police to assist them in prosecuting the offenders.

Green Lane Association Director and Surrey local Stuart Boreham said “It’s always infuriating to see the selfish actions of a few damaging the countryside we all love. Driving unsurfaced roads and byways, often called ‘green laning’, is a hobby enjoyed across the nation by our 5000 members and many others. We see drivers of all ages, races, and backgrounds, able-bodied and less able, peacefully using their vehicles to access the countryside. The Green Lane Association will, as here, always support councils and local groups to promote and enforce safe legal laning for all. I look forward to action being taken against the vandals.”

Kristina Kenworthy, Chair of the Surrey Hills Byways Working Group said “I am saddened and shocked by the ongoing abuse by a small group of off-road users, inflicting such destruction in the bluebell woods and special landscape of the Surrey Hills. This is not a new issue, but I am pleased to see the collaboration between residents, community groups, local councils and organisations and the Surrey Police to take serious action. A huge thank you to Surrey County Council for all their efforts so far in supporting the mitigation of this issue.”

Chairman of Mole Valley District Council, Paul Potter, who is a keen motorcyclist and advocate for safe and respectful riding along our green lanes, and Claire Malcomson, member of the Surrey Hills Board and Climate Change Cabinet Member for Mole Valley, with residents and concerned stakeholders have been attending regular meetings in the Ranmore area to try to save our green lanes. Some parts of these ancient byways are being destroyed by what could be just a handful of off roaders breaking the law through trespass, churning up the land and destroying the special woodlands in the Surrey Hills. This creates deep ruts in the tracks that then fill with water and make them impassable.

These meetings have welcomed the support of Surrey Police to help take serious action against this illegal and destructive activity.

Cllr Malcomson said, “We are so very thankful to the police for taking this seriously and supporting the residents. We want to also thank the Surrey Hills National Landscape for organising and funding the initiative. This will then deter the behaviour, supply evidence of who is doing this and identify the culprits. What a team.”











Damage by Off Road vehicles at Ranmore Common in the Surrey Hills National Landscape.


The Surrey Hills National Landscape is one of 46 nationally protected landscapes in the UK, having equal landscape status and protection to a national park. The Surrey Hills was designated on 8 May 1958, which makes it the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (now known as National Landscapes) in southern England to be designated (the first was the Gower Peninsula near Swansea in 1956). The Surrey Hills National Landscape stretches across a quarter of the county of Surrey and includes the chalk slopes of the North Downs from Farnham in the west to Oxted in the east, and extends south to the deeply wooded Greensand Hills which rise in Haslemere. The Surrey Hills Board is a Joint Advisory Committee which is funded by Defra, the National Trust, Surrey County Council and the local authorities within the Surrey Hills area. For further information on the Surrey Hills please visit www.surreyhills.org

Lectured and Institutionalised!


On Thursday 26 January we visited The Guildford Institute, an old and venerable building just off North Street, where after climbing many stairs (or taking the lift), we enjoyed learning about our Surrey area past and present.

The sell-out lecture was delivered by Lorraine Spindler a Military Historian, Genealogist, ex curator of Leatherhead Museum and all-round knowledgeable Surrey lady.


The informal talk was accompanied by slides and the clever technology that was able to pinpoint areas where past architecture could be uncovered beneath the various guises of different stages and eras of modernity.

Guests attending were encouraged to ask questions and there were many “oh I remember” comments on the nearer past about buildings which are long gone or replaced. We were also shown projected images of our towns planned modernisation. There was not a great deal of enthusiasm shown for future “improvements”!

Suitably educated and in need of refreshment we all trooped into the Institute dining room for tea, coffee, and an array of homemade cakes. Here we were beautifully entertained by the accomplished Trevor who played semi classical and “music from the movies” tunes on the old and perfectly preserved Bechstein piano.

The Institute has proved to be a good venue offering many possibilities for future events…..watch this space!

Heather Aitken

Work Experience Opportunities with Halow


Earlier this month, Year BG from the halow project in Guildford enjoyed 2 fantastic days working with the Surrey Hills Society where they were tree popping and planting fruit trees.


The young people were pleased by the stunning views, friendly team and the lovely sunshine we had, and couldn’t have asked for a better location to be working in.


On the Tuesday the young people were removing and cleaning Hawthorn from the hills and then on Wednesday were planting trees in Puttenham bonfire field to be part of the new orchard. Both days required new skills and patience which the young people showed plenty of!

Having never come across a tree popping tool before, the young people very quickly learnt and developed lots of new skills and had to use teamwork and perseverance to complete the tasks. They loved working with the other volunteers and were even very kindly treated to lunch which went down a storm!

They are very keen to work with Surrey Hills Society again and look forward to possible opportunities in the future.

Written by Hannah Jackson from Halow

Allianz Surrey Hills Champions Volunteering Day


Following the success of our first tree planting event back in February, it was time to get our wellies out again for some more conservation and planting.

On Friday 11 November, over 100 employees from our Guildford office got together to help plant hedgerows and wildflowers at West Horsley Place. The sun shone all day and we loved getting out of the office to use our volunteering hours. We planted 870 hedgerow plants along 250 metres of pathway and created several large wildflower beds.

The day was a great success thanks to the team at Surrey Hills who organised the day so that we could be as productive as possible. They explained how the work needed to be done as well as how it would help preserve the local environment so everyone felt that it was a really worthwhile day out of the office. We are looking forward to planning more events together in the future.




Jessica Pike
Marketing Assistant for Brand and CSR Allianz

This was as part of the Surrey Hills Champions programme in partnership with Surrey Hills Enterprises.

Our visit to Adam Aaronson’s glass studio


On a cold November day over 30 members found the perfect place to keep warm! Adam Aaronson treated us to a fascinating display of specialist glassmaking at his West Horsley Studio. Adam told how he had learnt his trade in Stoke having originally been encouraged to study law by his father!

Adam has been at the heart of British studio glass for nearly 40 years, first running galleries dedicated to glass art and subsequently as a glass artist in his own right, learning how to create glass art later in his career and developing self-taught methods. Adam is a skilled maker and a truly diverse and talented glass artist. He is constantly experimenting with techniques and exploring new ideas, including the potential of large sculptural works designed for the outdoors.

We watched spellbound as he expertly fashioned several separate pieces including a glass, a bowl and a small bird. Several of our members were so enthused that they have signed up for one of the several classes that Adam runs regularly. “Anyone over 9 years old can do it!” Adam assured us.

Halfway through we enjoyed tea and cakes which gave us the opportunity to look at the extensive samples of Adam’s work available for sale with a new appreciation of the skill and effort involved in even the simple pieces.

None of us wanted to exchange the warmth of the furnaces for the cold outside at the end of an excellent afternoon!

Gordon Jackson