We are recruiting for a Surrey Hills Care Farm Coordinator




Job title Surrey Hills Care Farm Coordinator
Reporting to (post) Chair, Surrey Hills Society
Hours of work 3 days a week (22.5 hours), flexible working by agreement. Some evening/weekend working required.
Located at Mainly home working with easy access to sites across East Surrey.
Salary Actual £18,000 (£30k pro rata)

About the Surrey Hills Society: The Surrey Hills Society is an independent charity promoting the positive enjoyment and conservation of the Surrey Hills National Landscape for those who live, work in, or visit the area. The Society encourages people to explore and learn about the special qualities and distinctiveness of the area through walks, talks, events, practical conservation, and volunteering.

The Role:
An 18-month employment contract with the Surrey Hills Society (reviewed after a probationary period of 3 months) to oversee the coordination of the Care Farm pilot project in East Surrey.

About the project:
Care farming refers to the therapeutic use of farming practices. There are many different models for how a care farm may operate and these are as diverse as the people that they support. One thing all care farms have is common is providing a supervised, structured programme of farm-related activity for people with a defined need. Care is bespoke, person-centred and focused on the individual. Care farming activity has a real purpose behind it where people are able to make a meaningful contribution to the running of a farm.

The Surrey Hills Society, in partnership with the Surrey Hills team and Growing Health Together have been awarded a grant to initiate a pilot of nature-based health interventions on farms in East Surrey. These can support the mental health of people from all ages and backgrounds with Surrey Heartlands’ priority communities as the focus. The approach will be tailored to the local beneficiaries and hosts, while adapting the model in response to real time learning. Our plan is deliberately open and will evolve according to local needs and circumstances, initially using a small number of farms. Once a successful model has been established the ambition is to develop this into a wider programme to support health outcomes and help diversify farm incomes across Surrey.

We are also looking to develop a particular arts component to this initiative, recognising the significant additional benefits to mental wellbeing of engagement in the creative arts, particularly for groups who have historically been underserved by traditional services.

The proposed care farm initiative responds to unmet need that cannot be met through traditional services and would engage those who are currently struggling to access holistic support for their mental wellbeing. The provision would be novel for the NHS, social care, and social prescribing in Surrey and will, additionally, offer educational opportunities.

The role will involve developing, managing, and promoting a varied programme of group activities and events on working, commercial tenant farms to support farm incomes and people who are socially isolated and are experiencing mental health issues in East Surrey.

Being part of a small charity, you will need to be a self-starter and work closely with the Growing Health Together and the Surrey Hills National Landscape Teams.

You will work to coordinate referral programmes and help evaluate the impact of the project.

For full job description, to download an application form and to apply for the job, please click here

Glass Fusion workshop


Yesterday, Surrey based Mark Laird of Hazelhouse Jewellery, came to West Horsley Village Hall to tell us all about glass fusion and give us the chance to make two pieces to take home.


Well, what an interesting talk and demonstration!  Now for the exciting bit.

Once we had decided on our design, we chose our colours from a table full of jars and pots of crushed glass which we learnt is called frit.  Back to our benches to use a glassline pen to outline our design or a stringer, which is a thin ‘spagetti like’ piece of glass for straight lines.  Frit is used for the main body of the design and we also had the option of using larger beads of glass, again in a variety of colours.


Some of us made a wave and others decorated glass to ultimately become tealights after firing.



3 hours later, Mark packed up our afternoon’s work and took them back to his kilns to be fired. The two pictures below show everyone’s work ready to go in the kiln.

Now we have to wait for a week to see the result.







One our of guests, Carolyn wrote to us this morning and said:

“What an absorbing and enjoyable afternoon under Mark’s expert guidance at the glass fusion workshop! Everyone was really friendly, the tea and cakes were delicious and, for me, the best part was seeing the huge variety of designs people came up with. I can’t wait to see everyone’s finished pieces after firing. Thanks for a great event. Cheers Carolyn”

I think we can safely say that everyone had a wonderful afternoon and as this event was such a success, we will try and organise another workshop for next year.

The Surrey Hills Society visit Farnham for their AGM

What a treat we were in for, with the 2023 AGM of the Surrey Hills Society being held in Farnham in the far west of the County.

Quite a few of our members said they had never been to Farnham before and were quite amazed at what a vibrant and interesting place it was.

We were welcomed by the Mayor, Cllr Alan Earwaker, while Iain Lynch, the Farnham Town Clerk gave an interesting talk on the famous people associated with Farnham including English radical, journalist and politician, William Cobbett (1763 – 1835), who is well known in Surrey for his book “Rural Rides”.

Other famous residents included, rugby player, Jonny Wilkinson CBE (1974 – ), car and motorbike racer, Mike Hawthorn (1929- 1959) and John Henry Knight (1847- 1917), who is believed to have designed the first ever petrol car driven on a roads.

There are too many to all mention here but included Charles Ernest Borelli (1813-1950) who was clock maker to Royalty, author Jonathon Swift, and Augustus Montague Toplady (1740 – 1778) – cleric and author of the hymn, ‘Rock of Ages’.

The Town Clerk also highlighted that Farnham was awarded UNESCO Craft Town in recent years, in recognition of its long creative history, which included famous Victorian potter, Absolom Harris (1837 – 1927). Well known for his green owls and other pottery glazed, in a particular deep green colour, it is known as ‘Farnham Greenware’.


To bring us up to current times, Farnham is, these days very proud to have Prof Magdalena Odundo OBE (1950 – ) as their Vice Chancellor of the University of the Creative Arts based in Farnham. She is an internationally renowned ceramicist and her work has fetched the highest price for any living ceramists in the world to date.

The event was held at the historic Bush Hotel in central Farnham. An old coaching inn, it has recently been refurbished and provided the most wonderful buffet lunch for our members- probably our best AGM lunch ever! To take a closer look at https://farnhambush.com/

After lunch we were treated to tour of this charming Georgian town by Farnham Town Guides. Even our Coordinator and local resident, Lesley Crofts said she learnt some new facts about her town. There is lots more information about this surprising town on the Town Council website at https://www.farnham.gov.uk/town-council


Many have fed back that this was the best AGM they have been to and Farnham was definitely a delightful surprise. A huge thank you to Farnham Town Council for hosting us and giving us such a welcome.

What a brilliant Council! What a wonderful town! Seems to be something going on every week, including this month which is Craft Month. See https://www.farnham.gov.uk/farnham-life/crafttown for more details.






Chris Howard, President Surrey Hills Society


Titsey Place visit on 30 August 2023

Many thanks to Sall Baring and Ray Jessop for sharing your photographs of the beautiful gardens at Titsey Place.














Our visit to Godstone Caves


10 am Saturday morning July 29th 2023 saw 9 SHS members gathered in a wood near Godstone, eager to be taken down into Godstone Caves.

The members were being escorted by enthusiastic leaders from the Wealden Cave & Mine Society for what turned out to be a memorable excursion underground.


This was not about walking into a nicely prepared, well-lit set of chambers. This event, unlike any other on the Society’s list, was about getting down on all fours, crawling through narrow tunnels, clambering over rock falls and spending much time stooped below low ceilings.

The caves – or more properly, a mine- which date from ancient times were worked up to the end of the 19th century for the extraction of Firestone and Reigate Hearthstone, some of the latter being used at the Tower of London.

Evidence of all this past industrial activity is all around, as are the extensive remnants of mushroom beds which were extensively worked in later years. Abandoned rail and cart tracks are seen throughout.

The leader of the trip- Che – was knowledgeable and kept us informed throughout the two hours underground. We emerged at 12.30 to warm sunshine and refreshments provided by Stella.

Our grateful thanks to the Wealden Cave and Mine Society members who gave their time so generously. This was a visit for the physically fit but I do hope we can return for another visit before too long.

Stella Cantor

Alice from Atkins shares her experience of a corporate volunteering day with Surrey Hills Society.

On the 13th of June employees from Atkins and Pick Everard, teamed up to spend an afternoon volunteering with Surrey Hills Society (SHS) across Banstead Downs.  The group of volunteers spent the afternoon, working out in the sun to support the Banstead Common Conservators (BCC) with the maintenance of the Downs, pulling back invasive species across the land.

Specifically the team supported with the removal of Canadian Goldenrod, an invasive species that had taken over vast swathes of the fields across the downs, causing other indigenous flora to die back. The reduction in biodiversity across the Downs was threatening the existence of some of the local wildlife, such as the Small Blue butterfly, due to the change in their natural habitat.


Our team of volunteers split into three groups to tackle the land and with the support of the team from SHS and BCC, were successfully able to pull back the majority of the Goldenrod! We all left feeling incredibly satisfied with the day’s work but, also with a much greater understanding of the history of this local area as well as the natural wild flora and fauna that complete it.

Working with the two charities, SHS and BCC was the clear highlight for all involved. It was incredibly rewarding to work with such a knowledgeable team and broaden our understanding of the local environment and importance of its conservation for the direct wildlife involved.

Thank you so much to Christa Emmett for supporting with the organisation of this day, as well as the wider team for sharing all of their expertise with us!

The team would also like to make an honourable mention of Indi the dog, who provided much needed motivation and encouragement to the teams throughout the afternoon!


“It was great not only to be able to learn more about the flora on my doorstep but to do so while contributing to the conservation of this beautiful natural grassland. I will definitely keep an eye out for other conservation opportunities or a guided walk with Surrey Hills Society. I have however checked out a local wildlife site nearby and rather than viewing it as a “patch of grassland” used my new skills to pick out knapweed, rattle and birdsfoot trefoil!”

Sarah Horrocks, Head of Air Quality and Emissions on volunteering with Surrey Hills.

Alice Bettis Marsh, Atkins Epsom

Chaldon’s Hidden Treasurers

On Friday 9 June 2023 16 people were split into two groups – one group went into Chaldon Church to listen to a talk given by Ted Howard whilst the other group went to visit the adjacent 14th Century Chaldon Court owned by Mrs Madeline Hutchins.  The groups then swapped over before having tea and cakes.

Ray Jessop, who helped organise this event, took photographs throughout the visit and is happy to share them here.




The picture on the west wall of the church is famous as the earliest known English wall painting – it dates from about 1200 and is without equal in any other part of Europe. It is thought to have been painted by a travelling artist-monk with an extensive knowledge of Greek ecclesiastical art.




Madeline Hutchins then gave an illustrated talk on the history of her home, the 14th century Chaldon Court.  Madeline told us how she has carefully restored Chaldon Court to retain its historic features.  As the sun was shining we were able to enjoy tea and delicious cakes in the garden.


We have already had one member contact us to say “Thanks to the society for arranging today and for making todays outing very special.  I had a great time”.


Thanks go to Stella, Ray and Joyce for organising this event and to Ray for the phographs.