Don’t forget, you can pick up a copy of The Ashtead & Leatherhead Local magazine from Ashtead and Leatherhead libraries, as well as the customer service desk of Sainsbury’s Leatherhead.



If you are over 55 and live in the Mole Valley area, you can use Age Concern’s free computer courses based in either Dorking or Leatherhead.

  The course runs once a week for 6-8 weeks with the option of additional weeks to reinforce and build on what you’ve learned. Topics covered will include: internet browsing, basic keyboard and mouse skills, using an iPad/Tablet, setting up and using your own email or skype accounts, and how to shop on the internet as well.

  Those who already own a laptop or an iPad/Tablet are encouraged to bring that to learn on, but computers will be provided as well – it’s up to you!

  Before coming to the course, you must register your interest by telephoning 07442 017169, or 01306 899104, or by email:

  We are also looking for volunteer help with our Dorking course on Thursdays between 10.15am to 2.15pm. If you have basic skills in tablet and computer use, have clear communication skills and a friendly and patient personality, then please contact us for more information on ways you can help.

  Age Concern Mole Valley Registered Charity No 1111678    


Recently, a lorry driver was convicted of causing the deaths of three children and an adult due to his use of a mobile phone when driving.

  After the verdict, the police issued a video of the parents urging drivers to stop using their phones whilst driving. It makes harrowing viewing, particularly the images of the impact and the crushed cars.

  I am sure we’ve all seen bunches of flowers or even cemetery-style ornate planters placed on the roadside. Whatever form they take, each has been left there by someone to mark the site of a loved one’s accident and, most probably, death on the road. Irrespective of our opinion of them, they serve as a warning that we should take extra care.

  But still the accidents happen: on the same roads and usually by us breaking the same driving laws.

  I wonder what it will take to get into our thick heads the destructive power involved in traffic accidents and their impact on the human body. For us to slow down, to stop drinking and to stop texting.

  Not long ago I rounded a slight bend on a road I know well to see an engine on the left verge and the twisted remains of the car it was from on the right. The accident had been dealt with, but what I saw left me thinking “Someone must have died there”.

  Perhaps that mangled wreckage should be left there as a sharp reminder of what happens when you fail to heed the rules of the road.

  If it saves just one life it would have served its purpose.

By Iain Betson    


The Club grants £6,000 towards SeeAbility's new accessible minibus

  The £6000 donation from the Rotary Club of Ashtead will contribute towards SeeAbility's purchase of a specially adapted vehicle for people with sight loss and multiple disabilities to enjoy leisure activities, take trips and access their community in Surrey.

  The minibus is used every day of the week and a number of activity groups simply would not be able to run without it, as they rely on it to transport people to and from different venues. Julie Haines, President of the Rotary Club of Ashtead, said: “We are delighted to be able to contribute to this significant project at the heart of the community.”

  Marie Pitcher, Deputy Manager of SeeAbility’s Millennium Centre, who accepted the grant on behalf of the charity said: “We are overwhelmed and delighted by the generous support that The Rotary Club of Ashtead and our local community have shown us. Our current minibus is getting old and garage down time often means that we have to cancel activities. Thanks to this tremendous grant we can just focus on helping people do the things they love doing.”

  Ashtead's rapidly growing Rye Meadows Project

  Every second week throughout the year an enthusiastic band of volunteers don their wellies and thorn-proof gloves to undertake maintenance and improvement works on Ashtead's own river, The Rye Brook. Over the years this brook has become rather sterile and devoid of much wild life through run-off from the roads and other sources of polluted water. Some while back City of London Commons built new reed beds and wildlife havens and helped check the high flows from storm water which caused much flooding downstream.

  In the last four years The Friends of Rye Meadows have taken on the task of improving The Brook's habitat along the section between Ashtead Common and the Leatherhead border... that's some 14 acres donated by former resident Daphne Burnett.

  New meanders, scrapes and berms have been built and large amounts of scrub removed. Footpaths have been up-graded so that they may be used throughout the year come rain or shine. The benefits are clear already with clear water in the stream and flooding much reduced. A large number of indigenous, native trees have been planted and wildlife too is returning with a number of small fish being seen and a beautiful outlook visible along this quiet valley.

  The works involve a considerable expenditure in materials and equipment and compliance with Environment Agency rules. The Rotary Club of Ashtead has been following the progress of this project with deep and avid interest. President Julie Haines joined the working party on 6th December and presented a cheque for £1000 to demonstrate that commitment towards this continuing, valuable community asset. Len Wood    


The Ashtead Tree Wardens would like you to tell them which is your favourite tree, for Ashtead’s 2017 Tree of the Year. This can be any tree in Ashtead on land open to the public.

They will announce the winner at Ashtead Village Day on 10 June 2017. They will also publish a list of notable trees in Ashtead and, possibly, a guided tree trail as well.

  If you would like to nominate a tree, please email Please include a short description of the tree, its location, and why you think it should be Tree of the Year. If you can provide a photo of the tree it would be helpful.

  The Ashtead Tree Wardens were established this summer and have been busy making plans for caring for Ashtead’s trees. You may have seen the new Tree Wardens, with their Hi Viz jackets, wandering the streets studying our verge side trees. As well as improving their tree identification skills, they are putting together a record of the number, type and health of our trees, including those with Tree Preservation Orders.

  In recent years several of our road side trees have died but have not been replaced. Others have been cut down when, due to old age or disease, they have become unsafe for pedestrians and traffic. Surrey County Council says that it has neither the resources to remove dead trees that are not dangerous, nor to replant with new trees. Our Tree Wardens are keen to find ways, with the support of local residents, to plant new trees in Ashtead, and have started discussions with Surrey County Council to achieve this.

  If you would like to discuss a tree issue with the Ashtead Tree Wardensor join them as a Tree Warden, please contact them at .

  Keith Lelliott    


The Ministry of Justice is issuing a warning to the public after a recent increase in scams where consumers are telephoned or emailed by people falsely claiming to be from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

  Scammers trick members of the public by suggesting to the person they’re calling that they could be owed money – often for repayment of bank charges, payment protection insurance (PPI), or a court settlement - but first ask for an upfront payment from the consumer in order to enable them to receive the money.

  These callers have no connection with the MoJ, HM Courts & Tribunals Service, or other genuine organisations. Fraudsters have already tricked and harassed some victims into handing over thousands of pounds, only for them to find that the call was a fake.

  The MoJ would never contact consumers asking them for personal bank details, or request an up front payment by money transfer.

  The MoJ is warning consumers not to pass on personal or financial details to such callers. If you have already done so, contact your bank immediately to stop or check any unauthorised transactions. Do not transfer money unless you are absolutely confident the company is legitimate.

  Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly said:“These are callous fraudsters who target people they believe are vulnerable to scams, often seeking out those who might already be struggling with debt. While their frauds are becoming increasingly sophisticated, remember that the Ministry of Justice and other genuine organisations will never approach you asking for financial information or money transfer payments.

  “I would urge the public to be on their guard and not to hand over any money until completely confident a company is legitimate, and to contact the authorities immediately if they are concerned. The simple rule remains: if a call like this comes out of nowhere and seems too good to be true, there’s a good chance it could be scam.”

  Personal details

The bogus callers often ask for personal financial information such as bank account details, and consumers are often asked to use electronic money transfer services such as UKash vouchers or Paysafecard to provide an upfront payment. In several recent cases scams have used the MoJ logo to try and add to the appearance of legitimacy, while web or email addresses seemingly similar to those used by the MoJ have been quoted.

  Calls from London phone numbers

Often calls or contact numbers appear to be from London phone numbers, although frequently the contact actually originates from outside the UK. The MoJ is working with Action Fraud, the police and affected money transfer companies to regularly disrupt these scams and close down telephone numbers or email addresses associated with them.

    If you believe you have been a victim of this scam please report the matter to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or by reporting it on We will pass your reports to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau who analyse fraud information with a view to passing it to the police for further investigation.