Two new initiatives in the Surrey Hills

Surrey Hills Champions’ Programme 


The Surrey Hills Society is delighted to be collaborating with Surrey Hills Enterprises to implement nature recovery projects as part of their Surrey Hills Champions programme.

The programme is an exciting opportunity to become part of a growing network of like-minded individuals and organisations, who share the same love of the Surrey Hills.  There are a number of benefits for those that subscribe to become Champions including exclusive offers for products, experiences and events provided by Trade Mark Surrey Hills businesses. Trade Mark Surrey Hills is a mark of local provenance, quality and sustainability.

The cost of becoming a Champion is £25 of which £10 will be paid by Surrey Hills Enterprises to the Society to carry out vital community projects including selective tree planting, hedgerow planting and supporting young people to benefit from the healing power of nature. These projects are a significant part of our strategy to increase environmental sustainability, encourage native insects and wildlife and play our part to help reduce climate change.

Full details of the Surrey Hills Champion Scheme can be found here

Society members are entitled to a subscription discount of 20% using the following coupon code: SHSCH2021


The first Nature Recovery site – Clandon Wood

The first designated site will be Clandon Wood Natural Burial ground and nature reserve.  The 31 acre grounds are managed to complement the surrounding farmland and woodlands to the benefit of local wildlife. Although most of the site is meadowland the newly planted hedgerow trees will blend the woodlands and grasslands of the neighbourhood together.




Friends of the Surrey Hills

 As a Society member you already receive our regular paper and electronic newsletters, which provide in-depth commentary on a wide variety of interesting aspects of the Surrey Hills.  You also receive our regular mail chimps that alert you to the events that are organised by the Society for its members.

In addition, the AONB is now publishing a more regular e-newsletter ‘News from the Surrey Hills’ that will highlight the work of the entire Surrey Hills Family.  It’s completely free and will be issued direct to your inbox every six weeks. If you wish to receive this simply click here to subscribe and start receiving updates, news and events from across the Surrey Hills.

PLEASE NOTE the Surrey Hills Society will not give your contact details to anyone without your prior consent.  For further information please see our privacy policy.

We are recruiting a Surrey Hills Conservation Volunteer Coordinator

Surrey Hills Conservation Volunteer Coordinator


Salary: £20,000 – £24,000 pa (depending on experience) and usual benefits
Contract type: Employee (probationary period of 3 months).
Working Hours: 30 hours per week (flexible). Evening and weekend work will be required at times.
Location: Across the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with an office base in Dorking.
Closing date: 5:00 pm Wednesday 16 June 2021.

An exciting new role where you can make a real difference to nature conservation and access in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Conservation Volunteer Coordinator will be responsible for working with charitable and similar organisations in Surrey with a view to engaging volunteers in delivering biodiversity and access projects across the nationally protected landscape of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You will engage, advise and support local communities and Parish Councils to take practical action to understand their local greenspaces and assist with habitat management for the benefit of biodiversity and human welfare.

Under your leadership volunteers will be coordinated to implement conservation activities on behalf of the newly created Surrey Hills Champions programme (see below).

You will report to the Chairman of the Surrey Hills Society, who will guide the coordination of programmes, effective communications and fundraising. Key stakeholders will be Surrey Wildlife Trust and the Surrey Hills AONB Board. You will work closely with both organisations. Other stakeholders include The National Trust, The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), the Surrey Association of Local Councils (SALC) and other members of the Surrey Hills family.

The successful candidate will possess a passion for the environment, be able to enthuse and motivate others, and enjoy sharing knowledge and engaging others from a variety of backgrounds. If you have the ability to lead others successfully, particularly in the context of volunteers which requires consideration, motivation and focus to achieve results, we need you to join our team. An out-going, personable and friendly personality with the ability to work with a wide range of people and experience of fundraising is essential.

The job will involve being outdoors and undertaking practical tasks therefore a driving licence and your own vehicle is essential as not all locations can easily be accessed by public transport. A mileage allowance will be paid.

The full job profile and person specification can be found here and you can access the application form here.

Please apply using the application form to Gordon Jackson, Chairman of the Surrey Hills Society     Email: by 5pm on Wednesday 16th June.

About the Surrey Hills
The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is one of 46 nationally protected landscapes in the UK, having equal landscape status and protection to a national park. The Surrey Hills AONB 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 Management Committe which is funded by Defra, Surrey County Council and the local authorities within the Surrey Hills area. The Surrey Hills AONB Board has established a Surrey Hills group of organisations (the Surrey Hills Family) to help support the delivery of the AONB Management Plan. For further information on the Surrey Hills please visit

About the Surrey Hills Society
The Surrey Hills Society is an independent charity promoting the positive enjoyment and care of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), encouraging people to explore and learn about the special qualities and distinctiveness of the area. The Society works in partnership with the Surrey Hills Family (Surrey Hills Board, Surrey Hills Enterprises, Surrey Hills Trust Fund and Surrey Hills Arts) to deliver the AONB Management Plan. Managed by a Board of Trustees, all of whom are volunteers, the Society have over 60 active volunteers. The Society organises a varied programme of talks and events and works closely with a range of partners to deliver projects across the Surrey Hills. For further information on the Surrey Hills Society please visit

About the Surrey Hills Champions Programme 

The Society and Surrey Hills Enterprises are developing a collaboration to deliver nature recovery projects in the Surrey Hills through the Champions Programme, which also aims to inspire and engage more people to support local sustainable businesses and connect consumers with Surrey Hills businesses, products and experiences. Champions will pay £25 a year and will receive exclusive offers and promotions from Surrey Hills Enterprises members. £10 of the £25 will support tree planting or other nature recovery projects by volunteers under the supervision and control of the Society. Champions will be able to attend an event to see what their money has supported.

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.