Talk on the AONB Boundary Review and walk through Happy Valley & Farthing Down

8th October 2021, 10:30 - 13:00


Walk through Happy Valley and Farthing Down, Old Coulsdon

Friday 8 October 2021

Start time: 10.30 am

Finishing at 1pm



Rob Fairbanks, the Director of Surrey Hills AONB, will join our Chairman, Gordon Jackson on a circular walk near Coulsdon in South London, through the beautiful, rolling chalk grassland of Happy Valley and Farthing Downs.

This area is some of the last remaining chalk land habitat remaining in the Greater London area, both these sites are considered Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The area is managed by the Downlands Partnership and we will hear about the work of the partnership and the conservation and landscape management activities that they undertake.

Natural England are DEFRA’s advisors on the natural environment and have statutory responsibility for the designation of land as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). In May they informed the Chair of Surrey Hills AONB Board that the boundary review of the Surrey Hills AONB would go ahead. Behind the scenes Natural England have been working away with the Surrey Hills AONB team to facilitate engagement with stakeholders in what will be a collaborative exercise. Rob will explain the process and the factors that have to be considered.

The key criteria under consideration are whether a landscape has outstanding natural beauty, whether it is desirable to designate and include an area in the AONB for its conservation and enhancement of its natural beauty, and where the extended boundary should be drawn. Both Happy Valley and Farthing Downs might be potential areas of review.

The walk has several climbs and descents throughout including a couple of quite steep sections.  The chalk path surfaces can get very muddy and slippery when wet, so good boots are a must.

The cost is £5 for members and £10 for non-members.

After the walk you may be interested in having lunch in the nearby Fox Pub in Coulsdon.  Please make your own arrangements.

This event is not suitable for pushchairs or anyone with mobility challenges and must be booked using the brown button below.

For further details and enquiries, contact

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