The Countryside Code in the Surrey Hills AONB

Dear Members

Please see below a link to a video that Defra published on social media over the weekend of our local farmer, Paula Matthews talking about how to enjoy visiting the Surrey Hills responsibly.

Paula says “The Countryside Code gives help and advice to plan for a safe and enjoyable visit to the Countryside, whilst remembering that it’s a place of work; growing food for us all to eat and providing habitats and quiet areas to protect and enrich wildlife and biodiversity in the Surrey Hills”.  Click here to watch the video.

Exploring the River Wey around Godalming

Our first Sunday morning walk of the month to explore the River Wey on Sunday 11 April proved so popular our leaders kindly arranged an afternoon walk as well!  In our socially distanced groups, over 30 people were able to enjoy an easy walk around the outskirts of Godalming along the river and concluding at Broadwater Lake in sunshine one moment and snow the next.

Our walk leaders, Sall, Gordon, Chris, Ken and Jeff were thrilled to receive a lovely message from one of our members, Ann Austin who has kindly allowed us to share this with you.  We’ve added some photographs taken by Ken and Gordon that help to illustrate Ann’s message.

“What a splendid afternoon – Gentle Walk beside river/canal (Geese and goslings amongst other things and Farncombe Boats ready to be used again).  Heathland/ Woodland / Common land /Parkland /plus a tiny bit of the outskirts of Godalming (interesting listed building (Old cider house) and the river lock.

Weather sunny (touch of cloud and a couple of mini snow flurries to add interest!)

Great refreshment van on concluding the walk (Coffee and a Fresh Toasted Waffle with sugar and cinnamon)   – Yum

Very good leaders as always (I had the privilege of Gordon Jackson ! )

BUT best of all, the chance to meet other people and have a chat as we walked – after some very difficult months it was wonderful to feel “normal” again.

Thank you Surrey Hills Society – you pulled out all the stops to make this a very enjoyable afternoon and I am very grateful. May there be many more such great outings later this year.

Regards – Ann Austin”                            


   Walk organised by Sall Baring, Events Chairman

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.

Society Catch-up by Zoom on 28 November 2020

Due to the current pandemic, the trustees decided to delay the Society’s formal AGM until the beginning of next year.  However on 28 November 2020 we held a Zoom event where our Chairman, Gordon Jackson and our Treasurer, Martin Cantor, presentented their usual reports.  Joining this event was Sarah Jane Chimbwandira, also a trustee of the Society, who gave us an up to date view of the work that is currently being undertaken and planned to preserve the biodiversity of the precious Surrey Hills habitat.

To view the slides of the Chairman’s Report please click  2020 Society Catch Up Slideshow.