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.



The Esso Service Station In The Street, Ashtead closed in 2004. A decade later you may well be asking yourself, what is happening, bearing in mind a planning application to develop the site for a new Tesco supermarket was approved in November 2012.

  If there is any consolation, the ARA has been asking the same question. After many aborted attempts to negotiate a way forward the ARA joined forces with SAVE and Transition Ashtead for a meeting with the Corporate Affairs Manager, Tesco South East last month.

  Unfortunately Ashtead seems to be on the wrong end of Tesco’s corporate review and a new store appears to be some way off. After numerous complaints about the untidy state of the site that you will agree is not becoming to the appearance of our village we are pleased to report that progress has been made. We have negotiated with Tesco for Ashtead to be treated as a unique opportunity to make 40% of the site available as a community facility in the following way at their expense until the building work commences:-

  • Fencing off the front to a depth of 20 metres
• Levelling the site, clearing weeds etc. and providing new top soil
• Removing the gates and chain linked fence at the front
• Providing seven new raised planters with compost ready for planting. Transition Ashtead will be making an appeal for plants in due course
• Installing two 3-seater benches in front of the planters with wood chip pathways

  Whilst there has been much publicity about changes at the top of Tesco we remain confident that at long last the site will be given a face lift. We wish to assure you that Ashtead is working together to impress upon Tesco their responsibility to improve and maintain their site in Ashtead at all times.

  John Morgan, ACV member


The Woodland Trust has purchased the agricultural land and associated woodland of Langley Vale Farm to establish a new wood to commemorate the outbreak of World War 1. Over the next 12 years, the plan is to transform the 640 acres into a mixture of existing woodland, new broadleaf planted woodlands, areas of natural regeneration and open chalk grassland. The Trust aims to secure £9 million from donations to realise this vision which will not only cover the cost of 200,000 new trees but also improved access and routes within the wood.

  The first trees are expected to be planted this winter by volunteers including school parties. Almost the whole area is with Epsom & Ewell BC but the ARA has been watching the plans develop and has been in communication with and met the responsible officers of the Trust.

  The ARA is concerned that the maximum ecological and biodiversity benefits are derived from this exciting initiative and the impacts it will have upon Ashtead. In particular, the proposed site for the car park, subject to approval, is in the Mole Valley area on the southern side of the junction of Headley Road and Langley Vale Road, with the entrance directly from Headley Road. The ARA is concerned over increased traffic movements through Ashtead (e.g. Farm Lane) which it is anticipated will involve coaches from around the country.

  Dialogue with the Woodland Trust is continuing and the ARA is endeavouring to arrange a public meeting about the plans. For further information, visit


The brave can get up close with some seriously creepy crawlies; battle it out to win one of the prizes up for grabs in the fancy dress competition at the Swan Centre from 5pm. The competition is open to all so expect a few ‘mummies’ – and daddies – too!

  Those up for a challenge can try their luck with the delightfully disgusting ‘Yucky Dip’ game, see if you have what it takes to be ‘Grave Digger’, chance your arm at ‘Doughnut Bobbing’ or deduce the number of ingredients in the poisonous potion. A small entry charge applies to these games.

  Meanwhile, younger spooks can join in the fun and let off steam by entering the ‘Track the Troll’ competition which is taking place around the town’s shops; or ride the miniature steam train (50p per ride or free if you have Leatherhead town centre receipt for 30th/31st Oct).

  Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie from ‘A Nightmare Before Christmas’ spook things up. Keep your eyes peeled for the giant troll and crazy chimp that will be crashing and scampering through the centre and watch out for Abercrombie Zombie lurking in the shadows before showing unsuspecting passers by his glow juggling expertise.

  Please note: The barrier in the high street will be closed to vehicles until 6.30pm to allow this event to take place.


The Autumn programme has just been announced and there are some very interesting events taking place both in The Institute and away from it.

  On the third Wednesday of each month there is a music appreciation meeting from 2.15pm-4.15pm, only £2 for non- members, and on two Wednesdays in October and in November there are 'Art History' lectures covering such subjects as 'The Bloomsbury Group' and 'Dutch Painting in the Golden Age'. There is an afternoon each month for 'Tea and Talks', including cake, with the November one being about the 'Joe Lyons story' - who doesn't remember the 'Nippys'? There are also visits planned for concerts at the Royal Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.

  There is a very wide walks programme shorter ones, longer ones and strolls, often finishing near a hostelry for sustenance! Also, did you know that, apart from Rooms being available to let for meetings etc, it is now possible to hire the Association’s new high quality digital projector for only £15.

  Membership is only £5 a year and full details of all the events organised by the LCA can be found on the website - Alternatively please phone or email the Administrator on 01372 360508 or between 9am and 12pm who will be very happy to answer any of your questions.


Members from the Rotaract Club of Epsom descended on Ebbisham Ward at Epsom General Hospital to present a £1,000 neonatal blood pressure baby monitor to Senior Sister Jane McCourt which will record the vital signs of very young babies.

  Jane said “It is incredibly hard to monitor BP's in very small babies and they need to have this piece of equipment because it is very sensitive and therefore able to pick up the very minute changes in these babies blood vessels. Babies obviously do not lie still when having these investigations done, but this monitor can still function even when baby is moving.”

  John Bishop, Epsom Rotaract president, says: “I was born in Epsom Hospital. I wasn't breathing when I was born and a nurse saved my life by giving me the kiss of life. As president of Epsom Rotaract in the 2013/2014 year I wanted to raise money for Epsom Medical Eqipment fund as a way of giving back to the hospital.”

  Jane McCourt expressed her gratitude to the Rotaract Club of Epsom and to John Bishop for making Epsom Medical Equipment Fund one of his Presidential charities which has enabled the purchase of this special monitor.

    Further information from Bess Harding 020 8337 8181


  Whether strolling through the beautiful bluebells in the spring or creeping through the trees at night to listen for bats, most visitors agree that Nower Wood is a very special place indeed.

  Purchased 41 years ago to protect the ancient wood and establish an Educational Nature Reserve, Nower Wood is one of the oldest Education Centres across the UK Trusts. Acquired with the help of members and local supporters, the Trust took what seemed like a huge risk at the time, but one which has delivered untold benefits for the thousands of children who have since visited our Education Centre and experienced the magic of the wood.

  The Heart of SWT’s Wildlife Education
Wildlife Education is one of the key missions of The Wildlife Trusts, and Nower Wood is the heart of Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Education services. Over 10,000 children visit our education centres each year, and in total we reach 15,000 children annually through school visits, family activities such as Halloween and Birthday Parties, and a huge range of Outreach and Forest Schools courses. Nower Wood is an inspiring ‘outdoor classroom’ for young people to learn about science and nature conservation. The wood is teeming with wildlife, and students study woodland ecology, soils, trees, wildflowers, invertebrates, and the world of pond life. Adders, roe deer, badgers and foxes are resident; the woods house dormice and other small mammals, and bats and butterflies are plentiful. All native reptiles are present, including great crested newts.

  Securing the Future of the Wood
Originally, the Education Tutor used to camp in the wood to run nature walks for children from local schools each summer. Finally, in 1978, we were able to purchase a second-hand ‘temporary’ classroom – which is still in use today as the main classroom! Unsurprisingly, the existing buildings are now close to the end of their useful life – one classroom cannot be used for teaching after autumn because it is not heated. The toilets, while clean and functioning, are cold, draughty, and regularly freeze in cold weather!

  Now we are embarking on the next exciting phase in the Nower Wood story - replacing the old buildings and classrooms. To complete this vital project, we need to raise a daunting target of £470,000.

  The new Education Centre is vital to enable us to continue teaching children to understand and value their natural world – but we really need your help to secure the future of Nower Wood as a unique site for outdoor learning for generations to come.

  A New Patron
Dame Judi Dench recently became our new Patron and is specifically supporting our ‘Nower Wood New Build’ campaign. Dame Judi Dench said: “As a local Surrey resident with a love of wildlife, I’m delighted to be supporting Surrey Wildlife Trust and its Nower Wood New Build Project. “I also recognise the importance of outdoor education and the need to inspire the next generation about wildlife and conservation.”

  To find out more about this exciting project please visit or contact Tania Ord-Smith on 01483 795469, email:  


In July 2014, twelve children from the Ukraine who were enjoying a month's respite holiday in Mid-Surrey from their homes in an area of the Ukraine which is still contaminated by the fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, were kindly treated to free eyesight tests and products from Specsavers in Epsom.  The children who stayed in pairs with local volunteer Host families are unlikely to be able to receive such good eye care at home as this can be particularly costly.  Just one month's respite away from the contamination is likely to provide up to two years of health benefits to these children.  In addition to visiting the Opticians, the children were also fortunate enough to visit a Dentist for free dental check ups and treatment.  

    As well as visits to the Opticians and Dentists, the children had many exciting days out and lots of fun!  They enjoyed a day at the beach with their Host families as well as a trip to Chessington World of Adventures and Mizens Railway.  The Epsom branch of Riding for the Disabled kindly gave the children a horse riding lesson and Clarks Shoes of Epsom provided the children with school shoes for the coming Winter and a pair of trainers.

    Clothes are very costly too in the Ukraine, so the Mid-Surrey Link of the Charity Chernobyl's Children Lifeline who have organised the respite holiday, also provided the children with plenty of second-hand clothing for the children to take home with them.  Kathy, a spokes woman for the Link, said "Earlier in the Summer we put up lots of posters asking for second hand clothes, and we had a great response.  All twelve children are now fully kitted out for the year ahead and have plenty of warm Winter clothing to see them through the cold Winter ahead."  She went on to say, "We couldn't do all this without the support of local people and the companies who have stepped in to help us.  Everyone has been so kind."  

  If you think you might be interested in Hosting two children for a fortnight during next Summer's visit, or Supporting a family who are Hosting, then please contact Kathy on 01293 734813.  Kathy added, "We are always looking for new Hosts and Supports and anyone who thinks they might be able to assist please get in touch". It's a big commitment but also a really worthwhile one, and it's so rewarding to know that you've helped to make a holiday of a lifetime come true for these children."