Celebrating 60 years of the Surrey Hills AONB at Loseley Park

“What a super evening you organised with such very interesting showcases of what goes on in the Surrey Hills.  Delectable canapes too! “

This was just one of the many emails and comments received following our event at Loseley Park, Guildford on 26th June to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Surrey Hills Society and the 60th anniversary of the Surrey Hills AONB.

Having had such a successful, high profile, event at Speakers House, Westminster on 8th May (the actual anniversary of the AONB designation), we wanted to hold a further event that enabled more of our active volunteers, local partners, parish councils and other affiliates to join with us in celebration of all that has been achieved.  And what a lot there was to celebrate.  It was only when one looked along the length of the Loseley Tithe Barn, that the breadth of our network and partners became apparent.  We could have filled the space twice over!

  

In addition to the Surrey Hills AONB’s own stands, showcasing the many and varied projects we are involved in, there were displays by partner organisations including Surrey Wildlife Trust with their Hedgerow Heroes project and the GASP Motor project.  GASP is doing incredible work helping local youths become competent mechanics, across the Surrey Hills and beyond. Also included was a display of the current AONB promotion of vintage-style posters by local artist Louise Dunckley, which evokes an earlier period when the Surrey Hills first became a leisure destination of choice for rail and other visitors.

   

We also had a display promoting our HLF funded projects – the Tales of the Tillingbourne, which highlighted the industrial heritage of the area, plus the recently launched book “Our Changing Landscape” which was written specifically to celebrate the anniversary.  (See separate news item.)

As for the canapes…  we were privileged to have sponsorship from Playle and Partners, who have been providing clients in the public & private sectors, with construction and property advice for 60 years. Their support enabled us to put on this special event.  With support from Greyfriars Vineyard, the event was able to include Surrey wine and showcase our growing number of vineyards in the AONB.  The Loseley & Guildway Charitable Trust also supported the event.  Great thanks are due to all these organisations.

An enormous thank you must also go to Michael More-Molyneux, Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, for hosting us in the Loseley Tithe Barn and for supporting our work throughout the years.

 

 

It was a great pleasure to have the company of actress and charity champion, Dame Penelope Keith, Patron of the Surrey Hills AONB, for the evening and to have the opportunity for her to meet with the now large group of people that volunteer for the Surrey Hills Society. The setting up of a charity dedicated to supporting this special landscape was a legacy aspiration from the AONB’s 50th anniversary.  The Surrey Hills Society, now a thriving charity, celebrated its 10th birthday as part of the evening.

With wonderful weather on the evening, a fascinating range of displays, an incredible venue, excellent food and drink – plus well received musical entertainment by Phillipa Reed and David Maxfield – it is small wonder that we have received the plaudits noted at the start of this item.

Congratulations to everyone who made the event such a success!

 

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