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.



Listen up! There’s a good chance you might get a phone call from Ashtead Community Vison over the next few weeks to get your views on the Ashtead Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP).

  ACV members Glynis Peterkin and Jean Bradley will be ringing around those who represent the very many groups, associations and societies that thrive around the village.

Anyone who has read anything about development and NDPs in their area will know that a central tenet of these plans is that the local community MUST have a say in the policies that will be created to help determine the outcome of planning applications for future development in and around the Village.

  I say ‘help’ because the NDP is meant to be a distillation of the views of the local community in terms of how they would like the planning authorities – Mole Valley District Council – react to planning applications that come before them.

  So if, for example, a significant development were to be proposed, then the views of the local community to that sort of development, would be broadly known. Of course, it doesn’t mean that the right of individuals is then reduced, rather the NDP aims to provide a community view of how they would like to see their area develop.

  So back to Glynis and Jean and the purpose of their calls. At first glance it may not be obvious to those involved why ACV will be calling an organisation like the Busy Bees Nursery, Compost Works, or the Local History Society (I choose these three completely at random from the Ashtead Resident’s Association Website). But think of it this way, do we have enough suitable accommodation for nurseries?; is there some public open space where composting could take place?; does the local history need to have an interpretation centre in the village? The simple answer to these random questions, is that I have absolutely no idea, which is why Glynis and Jean will be calling to find out.

  The overriding point is, that EVERY society, organisation and group, will, to a greater or lesser extent, have something to contribute as future development in the village could be swayed in favour of something that the community, through its NDP, seeks - be that accommodation for nurseries, local composting facilities or interpretation centres.

  So be creative and come up with some ideas which the ACV can then take into account when developing the NDP.

  Don’t forget this is is not my NDP; nor is it ACV’s NDP or the Forum’s – it’s YOUR NDP, so please get involved and do what you can to help inform YOUR Plan.

  And DO NOT assume that ACV has your contact details or that your chairman, leader or whoever speaks for your group will actually speak to Glynis, Jean or the ACV, as we don’t have everyone’s details, so do contact us via the website link which is here:-

  Otherwise you can email us at:- John Morgan, ACV member


With the mosquitoes calming down in late September, and nesting season over, autumn is proving to be the most active time of year for volunteer and professional conservation work. There is a really good feeling of it all coming together, and having seen what can be achieved by diverse groups and individuals working in collaboration, we should feel very confident about a healthy future for this precious piece of land. The benefits to people are already obvious - the project to understand and care for the wood is creating new partnerships and new friendships, teaching all involved a great deal, enabling engagement with vulnerable community members and establishing a mutually-beneficial connection with similar projects.

  Surrey Bat Group identified seven bat species, including a rare Bechstein’s bat. The Rye was surveyed and new groups formed to improve this neglected stretch – a kingfisher was spotted in October. Teazle Wood’s bees produced their first (delicious!) honey, thanks to the skills of beekeeper Hilary. A major tree survey was carried out, and we are now looking at some very exciting archaeology.

  'Alliances of contrasts' is the phrase that keeps springing to mind. It was used by Gavin Saunders (British Association of Nature Conservationists) at the Natural Connections conference in London (where I was speaking about Teazle Wood). Gavin said that the strongest projects in the end are often the 'messiest' ones at the beginning, and can unite people from surprisingly different fields, with great outcomes - I think Teazle Wood falls into this category! I love the volunteer days, where marketing executives, motor trade bosses, food specialists, tree surgeons, ecologists, supermarket staff, students, the retired, the intrigued and the unemployed all turn up and enthusiastically rally to improve things. There is always a lot of laughter, and despite some of the foulest litter and fly-tipping tasks to date, smiles at the end of the day. If you want to join us, get in touch.

  The launch of the Teazle Wood Trust is planned for April 2015, to catch the bluebells.

  Thank you, as ever, to all those supporting the wood in so many ways - you are always appreciated. Some of you have given many days of your free time to very varied aspects of the project this year, and your contribution is why this is working. 

  If you use Facebook, do follow us (Friends of Teazle Wood); we have 144 members of the Facebook group, and there are some great images on there. It forms a very instant and useful 'Teazle Wood Diary'.

  We wish you all a very happy Christmas, and a peaceful and healthy 2015.

Lucy Quinnell. Friends of Teazle Wood.  


A project started last November asked people who receive their winter fuel allowance to donate the sum to the Leatherhead Lions club to help those in fuel debt. In an arrangement with the Leatherhead Citizens Advice Bureau the funds were allocated to their clients needs and over 40 people were able to have their bills paid off through the generosity of Mole Valley residents.

  Mike Rushby Lions organiser stated “ In the short space of three months from November we were delighted to receive donations which totalled nearly £14k, this has prompted us to repeat the appeal this year in hope that we can do even better this time.”

  Many pensioners will have received their payments by now but it is never too late to help others as problems of debt are ongoing. As the Wenceslas carol goes “ Gathering Winter Fuel” so help us do the same. Either send a cheque payable to ‘The Treasurer’, Leatherhead Lions Club, 32 The Mount, Fetcham, KT22 9EE

  along with your full name address for claiming Gift Aid or refer to for on- line payments. For more information contact Mike Rushby 07833 574089  


Heading for a Bumper 2015

The local history society together with its museum is all set for a year of activity which covers many aspects. It is probably best known for the monthly programme of lectures at which non-members are always welcome. As usual there will be talks on a wealth of diverse subjects, starting in January with the story of The Crystal Palace. Followed in February with a look at the history of crime in Surrey. Other titles will be announced as the year progresses.

  The Museum in Church Street, Leatherhead (pic above) is already preparing for its seasonal opening in April. New exhibits are being made ready and these will include displays illustrating Leatherhead’s history in Roman and mediaeval times and dealing with the story of how Leatherhead grew. There will be costumes for children to try on and chances for visitors to handle archaeological objects. Even sound effects will be featured.

  The web site continues to be expanded and the recently launched digital archive will see new growth. The society exists not just for its members but for all those who care about local history. As always, new members are being sought.

  The society and the museum are funded entirely from members’ subscriptions and is run by loyal volunteers. Right now we are looking for more of these and some posts are needing to be filled. For example we want to strengthen our team of communicators – our “public relations” people, working to make the Society better known. By this means we work to invite new members and to tell about the museum. It is interesting work and doesn’t require fantastic skills or a knowledge of history. Anyone who would like to know more about this activity please contact John Wettern via email on

  Leatherhead & District Local History Society covers Ashtead, Leatherhead, Fetcham and the Bookhams. Address and Museum location: 64 Church Street, Leatherhead, KT22 8DP.  


Surrey Historic Buildings Trust (SHBT), a registered charity, gave more than £12,000 in grants to heritage conservation projects in the first half of 2014.

  SHBT members were also given a guided tour of Leith Hill Place by the curator, Gabrielle Gale, who highlighted the property’s fascinating connections to the Wedgwood family, Charles Darwin and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

  The Trust awarded grants for repairs and restoration work at The Durdans in Epsom, Hope Mausoleum in Dorking, Goddards in Abinger Common, the East Battery Lime Kilns at Betchworth, and to Leith Hill Place.

  A grant of £4,000 was made by SHBT towards repairs to Grade II Listed horse graves in woodland adjacent to The Durdans riding stables in Chalk Lane, Epsom. The grant was for the repair of grave slabs and railings at the property, which was owned by the Victorian statesman and racehorse owner Lord Rosebery. The graves are of horses owned by Lord Rosebery and include those of several famous Derby winners of that era. The stables themselves have recently been refurbished thanks to a substantial grant from English Heritage to enable the building to come off the Heritage at Risk Register.

  The Grade II Listed, Regency era, neo-classical Hope Mausoleum in Chart Park, Dorking, was granted £3,000 by SHBT for essential work as part of a long-term conservation plan for the site. The mausoleum was designed by Thomas Hope, a collector and connoisseur who was a major figure in Regency England. Hope is interred there, together with eight members of his family. The SHBT grant has been made for the reinstatement of the railings and forecourt, destroyed in the 1960s. The long-term plan is for the mausoleum to be accessible to the public via a long walk around the estate.

  SHBT also made a £3,000 grant towards the repair of windows at Leith Hill Place. This Grade II Listed, 18th-century country house, in the Palladian style, belonged to the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, whose grandfather Josiah Wedgwood III had moved there in 1847. Vaughan Williams’ uncle, Charles Darwin, was a regular visitor to Leith Hill Place. The property was given to the National Trust by Vaughan Williams in 1944 but was leased as a school boarding house for many years and was only opened to the public for the first time in 2013.

Goddards, a Grade II Listed Arts & Crafts-style house in Abinger Common, was given a £1,500 SHBT grant for restoration of the ha-ha in the grounds. The creation of architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll, Goddards was built in 1898-1900 and enlarged in 1910, and exemplifies the traditional “Surrey style”. The property is now owned by the Lutyens Trust and leased to the Landmark Trust for holiday lets. It also houses the Lutyens Archive.

  The Trust also made a £1,000 grant to fund a topographic survey of the East Battery Lime Kilns at Chalkpit Lane, Betchworth. The 19th Century kilns are scheduled ancient monuments – the highest level of protection for historic buildings – but are currently on the Heritage ‘At Risk’ Register. The results of the topographic survey will form the basis of a long-term conservation programme for the kilns, which will preserve their historic significance and also their value as a wildlife habitat. The kilns provide an ideal natural environment for a growing bat colony.

  Surrey Historic Buildings Trust was formed in 1980 with the aim of helping to preserve the historic architectural heritage of Surrey for the benefit of future generations. The Trust has provided hundreds of thousands of pounds to fund heritage conservation in Surrey over the past three decades. The SHBT supporter scheme – Friends of Surrey Historic Buildings Trust – is open to anyone interested in Surrey’s heritage, and offers opportunities for guided tours of historic properties across the county.

  For more information on SHBT please visit the website:; Email: or write to: Andy Smith, Trust Administrator, Surrey Historic Buildings Trust, c/o Room 121, County Hall, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 2DN.      


Mid Surrey Link of Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, is a local Charity that brings a group of children over to the UK for a month each Summer, to provide respite away from the contaminated areas in which they live due to the fall-out from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

  2015 would be the 14th year in succession that this Charity has provided children with such a holiday of a lifetime. Just a month in the UK is likely to provide health benefits to each child for up to two years, as their bodies reap the rewards of being in a healthy environment and of being able to eat healthy foods full of vitamins. In the past children have come to Mid-Surrey from Belarus and Ukraine.

  However, this year the Charity are in dire financial trouble. “We really do need help from your readers this year. Funds are very low, and without donations coming in, we are unable to run a visit this coming Summer” said Kathy, the Publicity Co-ordinator for the Link. “We really do need the public’s help and that of local businesses to come forward and help us” she added. “We do have a number of fund-raising events in the pipe-line, but even with these based on current figures we need more money.” Kathy went on to say, it’s such a worthwhile thing to do – these poor children are desperate to come to Mid Surrey for a holiday, they’ve heard from their friends and relatives who’ve been here in previous years and they know how much they will benefit from a holiday here. They’ve seen the health benefits for themselves.”

  “Any amount of a donation would be gratefully received” said Kathy, “or if you are about to undertake an event to raise money for charity, then please consider ours”. Volunteer Host families are also needed.

Contact Kathy on 01293 734813 for further details or check out the website