The GREAT outdoors!

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We’ve never appreciated being outside more than we do now and with more gradually opening up to us, let’s get out and enjoy it

t’s the time of year when we’re normally thinking about going on holiday and spending as much time as possible outside – and with more of us likely to opt for staycations and short breaks closer to home this year, where do you start?

Fingers crossed, campsites are preparing to reopen this month with social distancing measures and a limited number of places, some will reopen second fields while others will introduce measures such as a system including timed use of showers.

If you’re a camping virgin, The Camping and Caravanning Club is a great place to start with all you need and some helpful advice:

• Stay in the open air – there are many physical and well-being benefits of camping and caravanning thanks to spending time in the fresh air

• Stay local – there will be a campsite near you, there’s no need to travel far for a change of scene and the local economies will benefit too

• Stay comfortable – there will be social distancing measures in place when they’re able to re-open campsites

The Club’s Director General Sabina Voysey said: “We believe the great outdoors will never feel greater and we can’t wait for the day when we’re able to welcome people back to our campsites. By sharing our handy guides, top tips and online content we hope we can introduce even more people to the joys of camping and caravanning.”

TV presenter Julia Bradbury is president of The Camping and Caravanning Club and created The Outdoor Guide (TOG) website to share her love of all things outdoors. She said: “Green spaces are incredibly important to me. And they don’t have to be big, wide open landscapes. Yes, I love the Peak District and the Lake District, and Dartmoor and I love exploring the wilds of Scotland, but green spaces, parks, gardens, even simple window boxes. These ‘little bits of green’ or smaller green environs are equally important.

“Growing something, for example, in a window box is a way to connect with nature. And that is something that we have evolved to do. And it’s an important part of our makeup. We know for example, that time spent in green spaces, whether that is parks or bigger landscapes, either of those, time spent in green spaces is good for us.”

For many time spent in outdoor spaces means enjoying a walk and while Julia won’t commit to a favourite she explained that was the reasoning behind TOG: “People have been asking me for years and years about my favourite walks or where I like to stay or the pub that I was at, or where I was when I had that pie and pint, or that little woodshop that I called into, or the blacksmith/carpenter I talked to…

“So we’ve put all of that information up on the website and there are hundreds and hundreds of really good walks up on there. It’s not fair for me to say a favourite walk because I just like being out there.
“And it depends where you live. Some people will never get to the other side of the country. They’ll explore what they’ve got on their doorstep and that’s absolutely fine as well.

“Of course, the Peak District would always have a special place in my heart as will the Lake District because that’s where I made my first TV walks – The Wainwright walks – filming in the footsteps of Alfred Wainwright, so those two places are special.”

Julia believes it’s just important for people to get out and enjoy it, especially now. She added: “A University of Exeter study of nearly 20,000 people in England last year revealed people who spend at least 120 minutes a week in nature are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological well being, than those who don’t visit nature at all. 120 minutes a week is nothing but the benefits to all are enormous, quite simply nature and green spaces help to keep us healthy. Governments that don’t recognise this are being incredibly foolish – it’s almost like having a second health service… This study found the majority of nature visits took place within just two miles of people’s homes.”

There’s lots more information on Julia’s website The Outdoor Guide, www.theoutdoorguide.com

UK tourism industry site Visit Britain is developing a quality mark for tourism businesses, including campsites, in response to Covid-19. It aims to reassure visitors businesses are complying with government guidelines.

The National Trust is another taking its first tentative steps to reopening some of its properties and the sheer joy of being able to set foot somewhere other than your doorstep or local park is overwhelming.

With many restrictions still in place, the Trust has welcomed visitors to walk in some of its open spaces locally – Runnymede; Witley and Milford Commons; Frensham Little Pond; Hindhead Commons; Swan Barn Farm, Black Down and Marley Common in Haslemere; Petworth; Lavington Common at Woolbeding; Selborne Common and Hydon’s Ball and Heath, Godalming. Car parks have reopened at these sites, some
with limited space on a first come first served basis.

As from the beginning of June, some of its sites have been able to reopen further with gardens, parklands, estates and car parks welcoming visitors. Booking is essential at all properties although the houses themselves will not be open.

Those you can now visit locally are: Hinton Ampner, Mottisfont and The Vyne in Hampshire; Polesden Lacey, Hatchlands Park, Claremont and Winkworth Arboretum in Surrey and Standen House and Garden and Nymans, West Sussex.

Visit the National Trust website for details, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/how-to-book-your-visit-and-what-to-expect

A National Trust spokesperson said: “We knew that once we started a gradual opening of our gardens and parklands, tickets for our places would be very popular; particularly with such fine weather.

“We’ve made careful decisions about which gardens and parklands can open, and we have limited their capacity to ensure everyone can adhere to social distancing to maintain the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers, which remains our top priority.”

Historic Painshill is welcoming visitors again with appropriate social distancing measures in place. The grotto, upper floors of the Gothic Tower and gift shop are closed but the tearoom is open for takeaways and picnics can be enjoyed in the grounds. Bookings must be made in advance and entry numbers are restricted, visit www.painshill.co.uk/visiting-painshill-covid-19-pandemic/
RHS Wisley has also partially reopened to the public, again with limitations on numbers and with areas such as glasshouses, alpine houses, bird hides and play areas staying closed.

Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, said: “We are delighted the government has said it is safe to reopen our RHS Gardens because it is proven that spending time outside in green open spaces surrounded by plants has an immensely positive effect on our health.

“We look forward to welcoming our members and visitors safely back and to bringing the joy of plants, flowers, trees and nature back into people’s lives, which for so many will be a much-needed tonic.”

There is limited capacity to comply with government guidelines and booking is essential. Visit https://tinyurl.com/y9l7b4gs

Make the most of the English outdoors and celebrate it as The Camping and Caravanning Club says on its website ‘the good times will never feel better’ and ‘the outside will never feel greater’.

Make your own garden for wildlife 

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Photo credit: Adam Cormack

A new campaign launched today by The Wildlife Trust and RHS is asking you to pledge some garden space for butterflies and moths

This year’s Wild About Gardens campaign is calling on gardeners to get growing to help the UK’s falling numbers of butterflies and moths.

The new campaign draws inspiration from a new film adaptation of the Frances Hodgson Burnett classic, The Secret Garden, starring Colin Firth, Julie Walters and newcomer Dixie Egerickx as Mary Lennox. The film will be bringing the magic of wildlife, childhood and gardening to the big screen this spring when it blooms in cinemas across the UK from Good Friday, 10th April.

The Wild About Gardens campaign, run jointly by The Wildlife Trusts and Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), looks at butterflies and moths as important pollinators, who, along with caterpillars, are vital food for birds like robins and blue tits as well as bats. However, their habitats have faced catastrophic declines and once-common species like the small tortoiseshell have dropped by up to 80% in the last 30 years in some areas.

An ideal butterfly garden has a wide variety of plants throughout the year to support their life cycles – for butterflies and moths emerging from hibernation, egg-laying females, caterpillars and then as adults. Early-flowering species such as dandelions, aubretia and native bluebells are good sources of nectar; these could be followed by buddleia and red valerian and, finally, ivy flowers which are a great late-season asset in the autumn. Many wildflowers and long grasses are also excellent larval food-plants. Whether your garden is large or small – or simply a flowering window-box – it could throw these declining insects a lifeline, especially in urban areas.

The Wildlife Trusts’ gardening champion, horticulturist and TV presenter Frances Tophill said: “Our garden flowers and plants provide a rich source of rejuvenating nectar for these much-loved garden visitors as they emerge from hibernation to herald the start of spring.

“Go wild in your garden and leave the dandelions and daisies in the lawn to provide a meal, aim for year-round flowers and include a wildflower area for egg-laying females as well as gardeners’ favourites like lavender, nasturtium and verbena.

“The Wild About Gardens website is packed with information and easy actions we can all take to support butterflies and moths throughout their impressive life cycle.”

The Wildlife Trusts and RHS believe every butterfly garden counts and want to know about every new wild area, box or border that’s being grown for butterflies. Each garden contributes towards the network of green spaces that nature needs to survive and they ask you to pledge a bit of garden for butterflies and put it on the map here www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk. 
In the story of The Secret Garden, the garden eases grief, heals rifts and brings the joy out in all who experience it. Make a special place for wildlife – your very own Secret Garden where you can replenish your soul, reconnect with nature and help wildlife to thrive. You’ve probably noticed how spotting butterflies or birds, or walking through woodlands, or alongside rivers and streams can help to lift your mood. Make some time for nature today and enjoy the restorative benefits!

Download or pick up a booklet 
The Wildlife Trusts and RHS have published a beautiful – free – booklet with colourful advice and easy tips designed to make our outdoor spaces more attractive to butterflies, moths and their caterpillars. Available here https://wtru.st/butterfly and on the Wild About Gardens website from today, 12th March. 
These will be available at special events during the spring including the Chelsea Flower Show and promoted through Wildlife Trust events, visitor centres and community action groups including the In Bloom network.

Find more

Find the full range of wildlife gardening booklets, advice and inspiration here 

World Book Day

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Thursday is the annual worldwide celebration of books and reading that is World Book Day. 

The registered charity is on a mission to give every child and young person a book and champions authors, illustrators and books generally. 

This is the 23rd year of World Book Day which promotes a love of books and reading and gives children the opportunity to have a book of their own. Book tokens are sent to schools along with age-ranged World Book Day resource packs full of ideas and activities for book-related fun. 

Children just take their tokens to a bookshop and can use it for one of the new and completely free books or to get £1 off any book or audio book over £2.99.  

Among the £1 books you can choose from this year are Meet Amelia Fang, the tale of a young vampire by Laura Ellen Anderson; Evie in the Jungle by Matt Haig – meet Evie who can hear what animals are thinking; Chris Smith and Greg James’s Kid Normal and the Loudest Library; a murder most unladylike mini mystery The Case of the Drowned Pearl by Robin Stevens; teen super spy Alex Rider returns in Anthony Horowitz’s Undercover: Four Secret Files and Beth Reekles’s story of young love in The Kissing Booth – Road Trip among others for all ages. 

More info

To find out more visit

British Pie Week

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Never has the saying ‘nice as pie’ been so apt – who doesn’t love a tasty pastry pie and what better time to indulge than in British Pie Week. 

With so many great recipes to choose from all you need to do is decide whether it’s savoury, sweet, crumble or pasty – why not make a different one every day this week and get all members of the family involved in the cooking too? 

According to the most common internet search results, here’s our top 10, love them or loathe them:- 

1: Cottage Pie 

2: Fish Pie 

3: Shepherd’s Pie 

4: Chicken & Leek Pie 

5: Chicken and Mushroom Pie 

6: Steak and Ale Pie 

7: Meat and Potato Pie 

8: Pork Pie 

9: Steak and Kidney Pie 

10: Corned Beef Pie 

We asked our star baker Christine Wallace to share a pie recipe with us so why not put this on the menu this week? 

Left over turkey, leek and mushroom pie 

 

• You will need an 8” (20cm) Pie dish.
• 500gm block of butter puff pastry.
• 1 large leek – cut into large chunks
• 120g button mushrooms
• 300g cooked turkey meat
• 1 tsp dried thyme
• 1 tblsp oil
• 50g butter
• 50g plain flour
• 1 pint milk
• ½ tsp onion salt
• White pepper
• Beaten egg for glaze

Method 

• Place the oil and butter in a pan and add the leek, gently sweat for 5 minutes but do not brown.

• Add the mushrooms and thyme, cook for a minute.

• Stir in the flour and gently cook for a minute.

• Slowly add the milk until you have a nice thick sauce, add the turkey meat and cook for a couple of minutes.

• Add the onion salt and a little pepper then pour into your pie dish

• Roll out the pastry and cover the pie, sealing well and fluting the edges.

• Brush with beaten egg and cook for 30 minutes or until the pastry is well risen and golden brown.

N.B. If you are making the pie to freeze, do NOT add the turkey meat until the leek and mushroom sauce is completely cold. Use fresh puff pastry if you are freezing, not frozen! 

Food, friends and fun

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Host a supper club on 7th March and raise funds for Eva’s Friends

If you enjoy food, friends and fun while raising money to change children’s lives then Eva’s Friends Supper Club is the event for you.

It couldn’t be easier to get involved – just invite some friends round for dinner on Saturday, 7th March and ask them to donate to Eva’s Friends what they would have paid if they’d gone out to eat and if you don’t fancy cooking, drinks and nibbles works as well.

Last year more than 40 supper clubs were run in aid of the Oxfordshire-based charity and they’re hoping for more this year which will also feature an online auction and competitions too. Chefs Tom Kerridge and Richard Bertinet donated raffle prizes last year.

Eva’s Friends works to fund research into rare neurological conditions in children and is currently helping to fund a gene therapy project to find a cure for Rett Syndrome which affects thousands of children, almost exclusively girls, leaving them unable to walk, talk or use their hands.

There is no known cure and it is thought to affect about 1 in 12,000 girls born each year such as Eva after whom the charity is named.

If you can’t make the main Supper Club event on the 7th, why not arrange another foodie treat in the week beginning 2nd March, how about brunch with friends, afternoon tea, cakes at work – whatever you fancy.

Simply register by emailing [email protected] to receive a fundraising pack and get cooking!

More info..

To find out more about the charity and how you can support their work visit

Journey of discovery

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Fi Harding tells us more about Chiltern Arts Festival 2020 which takes place at various venues between Friday 28th February and Saturday 7th March

As the world celebrates 250 years since Beethoven’s birth, Chiltern Arts is celebrating overcoming adversity in the arts, with its usual array of venues including those in Henley, Marlow, Wallingford and, for the first time, Princes Risborough.

‘It’s a busy year for Chiltern Arts,” says founder and creative director Naomi Taylor, “and an exciting one! I’m particularly excited to have a theme linking all events for the first time and I hope people will get on board and follow the festival as a bit of a journey of discovery. There are also lots of opportunities to get involved as well as sitting back and enjoying; a Come and Sing day, poetry competition and Youth Music and Art Day… come and join us for what we think will be a brilliant week!”

Chiltern Arts offers an array of concerts for all musical tastes: Septura Brass Septet celebrate the music of female composers; the Come and Sing Company invite you to explore Tippett’s Five Spirituals alongside Tippett’s biographer Oliver Soden; the Marian Consort uncover the Catholic music kept under wraps in Elizabethan England; the Phoenix Piano Trio present piano trios from Beethoven and Fauré, both of whom suffered hearing loss; pianist Danny Driver presents Beethoven and the loss of Vital Senses with music from Gabriela Lena Frank and Rodrigo partnering Beethoven’s impressive Hammerklavier; and the City of London Sinfonia close with Beethoven’s famous Septet.

One of the highlights is undoubtedly a mini-residency from eminent solo percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, performing with Trio HLK a piece called Extra Sensory Perception; and we’re thrilled to be commissioning a piece from Stephen Goss for Dame Evelyn and Matthew Wadsworth. The piece will be premiered at the Candlelit Lute recital in Great Missenden on Thursday 5th March. Dame Evelyn and Matthew both also precede their respective events with pre-concert talks.

Chiltern Arts’ popular concert and dinner event returns to The Gatsby in Berkhamsted with music from members of the Piccadilly Dance Orchestra, featuring cabaret and a seven-piece band.

Three outstanding young professional ensembles feature at the festival: the Salomé String Quartet, baroque quartet Ensemble Hesperi and wind group the Magnard Ensemble. The first entirely youth-focused event features music from several local young musicians and performers, including students from the Mary Hare School for the Deaf, Amersham Music Centre, Tring School and Chiltern Music Academy, as well as a massed choir led by the Marian Consort.

More info..

The poetry competition also returns, open to writers of all ages. There’s information about all of these events online, where you can also request a brochure, buy tickets and find out how you can get involved with Chiltern Arts. You can also call the box office on 01442 920303.

Golf: Hole lotta love

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“Golf is a good walk spoiled” according to some but to others there’s nothing like the challenge of hitting that small round ball to the best of your ability, avoiding hazards and wayward shots along the course and eventually seeing it drop in the hole.

Whether you’re a fair-weather golfer or are out bright and breezy on a chilly morning, you get to play in some of the most stunning scenery and well-maintained land around and none more so than in Surrey and Hampshire, where you literally can’t hit a golf ball without
coming across a course.

Some of the many clubs in our area have been telling us about their course, favourite holes and offering tips for how to play it as well as sharing their thoughts on this year’s Ryder Cup, the biennial tournament between Europe and the USA. Europe are the holders but will they retain the trophy this time in the USA who will have the support of their vociferous fans?

SURREY, HAMPSHIRE & WEST SUSSEX COURSES

liphook golf club, liphook gu30 7eh

John Douglas, Secretary

Favourite hole on the course & why? My favourite hole is the 18th. It’s a great risk and reward hole where you can pick up a birdy just as easily as a bogie! It’s also nearer the bar!

Best and worst features of it? It is very picturesque. You come over the hill and the green with its bunkers can be seen with the clubhouse behind. The worst aspect is that you can overshoot the green and end up on the clubhouse car park or worst of all hit the windows to my office!

Any tips for how to play it? A good drive down the left hand side of the fairway is essential. The lay of the land will result in your ball ending up in the middle of the fairway.

Looking ahead to the Ryder Cup, what do you expect? Who will star? I expect Europe to win with (Tommy) Fleetwood being the star! I have no idea really!

clandon regis golf club, west clandon GU4 7TT

Favourite hole on the course & why? The 11th hole, a long par three from white tees with carry over water.

Best and worst features of it? It’s a beautiful and testing hole. Requires a carry of 170 yards.

Any tips for how to play it? Practise your putting before playing the course!

Looking ahead to the Ryder Cup, what do you expect? I expect Europe to win.

Alresford golf club, so24 0pn

Favourite hole on the course & why? The 11th, All Aboard!, so called because the old railway carriage that was the clubhouse from 1953 to 1969 was sited where the 11th tee now stands. It’s the best looking hole on the course and is a lovely dog leg right to left with a tricky raised green with mature trees as a backdrop.

Best and worst features of it? A long testing par 4 hole, visually challenging with the drive played through an avenue of trees. The green slopes back to front and can be slick. A cavernous deep front right bunker is to be avoided at all costs.

Any tips for how to play it? A draw from the right to maximise distance – but make sure you find the fairway. Play your second to avoid the fairway bunker. For handicap golfers lay up well short of the green and take an extra club to the raised green. Two putts and run to the next hole…

Looking ahead to the Ryder Cup, what do you expect? Who will star? Tommy Fleetwood will lead from the front again. The outcome will be close, but the Europeans will retain the trophy.

bramley golf club, GU5 0AL

Favourite hole on the course & why, best & worst features? The 17th is a great par three, measuring 176 yards, from the highly elevated tee you get fantastic views of Chinthurst Hill but with the beautiful take to the left of the green and out of bounds to the right it can be an intimidating tee shot.

Any tips for how to play it? To play Bramley well it is key to hit accurate tee shots and plan your round with precision. The start is challenging but once you’ve reached the 6th you can loosen up and let the ball fly. Make your way down the hill to the 16th and prepare for the three most demanding finishing holes in the area.

You may not know… Bramley Golf Club is the ony club in the area that offers a flexible weekend membership for those members who work during the week but are keen to play at weekends. This also gives members the opportunity to play after 5pm in the summer after work. With around £120,000 being invested in the course over the next three years and excellent practice facilities with a 7-bay covered range, short game area and indoor studio, Bramley is investing in its future.

Looking ahead to the Ryder Cup, what do you expect? Europe to win!

chobham golf club, knaphill GU21 2TZ

Favourite hole on the course & why, best & worst features? The 15th hole is Chobham’s signature hole requiring a long iron or fairway wood to carry the large lake that extends 170 yards from the tee. The well-guarded green with three bunkers makes this par three a true test. Walk off here with a par and you’ll be very happy.

You may not know… Colin Montgomerie laid the last brick at the club and our function room upstairs is named after him.

Looking ahead to the Ryder Cup, what do you expect? Europe to win, of course!

THAMES VALLEY COURSES

Newbury & Crookham Golf Club, Thatcham RG19 8BZ

Gareth Williams, General Manager

Which is your favourite hole on the course and why? My favourite hole is the 8th hole, the legendary golf commentator Peter Alliss described it on air as one of the hardest holes in Berkshire.

What are the best and worst features of it? A 424-yard par 4 with a stream 270 yards from the tee, with out of bounds to the right.

Any tips for how to play it? A long iron or fairway wood are ideal but a driver would make the second shot easier. The first half of the dog-leg hole is flat, left and up the hill, the second half always plays longer. The green slopes from back to front the trick is staying below the hole with your approach and decide whether to go for a par or accept a bogey and play it as a par 5.

Looking ahead to the Ryder Cup, what do you expect/who will win? With it being in Wisconsin, I would expect the Americans to be favourite. I think Jon Rahm will be strong for Europe. Justin Thomas has a good match-play record for USA.

Ogbourne Downs, Marlborough SN8 1TB

James Short, General Manager

Which is your favourite hole and why? The 14th hole, ‘our signature hole’, called The Long Valley.

What are the best and worst features of it? The hole follows a steep sided valley, the tee is raised and gives a great view down the valley.
Any tips for how to play it? It’s a par 5, the big hitters can go for it in two, it’s really important to get the drive straight as there is a lot of trouble both sides of the fairway.

Interesting fact about the club… Ogbourne Downs Golf Club has had three different names North Wilts Golf Club, Swindon Golf Club and now Ogbourne Downs Golf Club

And looking ahead to the Ryder Cup, who will win? Who will be the star? Europe of course! Tommy Fleetwood will be the star yet again.

Frilford Heath, Abingdon OX13 5NW

Which is your favourite hole on the course and why? 9th on the Red Course is a signature of the club and firm favourite of many. Recently one of our 95-year-old members achieved a hole in one here!

What are the best and worst features? Best thing is having 54 holes of championship golf available, our day rates mean visitors can enjoy unlimited golf for one fee when they play. Worst thing is there aren’t enough hours in the day to play them all, unless you fancy a challenge!
Any tips for how to play it? Each course has its own defence whether it be the tricky greens on the Green Course or the length on the Red. My advice would be to identify and adapt to the defences quickly.

Interesting fact about the club… The late Roger Bannister was a member for over 35 years. We have hosted English Amateur Championships for men and ladies since the club opened and for the last couple of years have hosted the Brabazon Trophy, European Tour Q School and Regional Open Qualifying.

Which Ryder Cup Team will win this year? Europe. We hope our own Eddie Pepperell will be in consideration. Frilford hosted a trial for the Ryder Cup in 1931, we’d love to be involved again.

Temple Golf Club, Hurley, Maidenhead SL6 5LH

Keith Adderley, Club Secretary

Which is your favourite hole and why? I’ll plump for the par 4 18th, it’s a classic risk and reward. The green is in reach but beware the meadow rough and refurbished bunkers. A well-positioned drive leaves a short approach to the green and a very realistic birdie opportunity and then it’s off to the clubhouse for a well-earned drink and meal, with more time to take in the stunning views before heading for home.

What are the best and worst features? Temple is built on chalk and drains very well so it really is a year-round golf course. On the downside we can’t accommodate all the visiting golfers who want to play here at weekends as there isn’t enough car-parking available.

Any tips for how to play it? Temple is a Willie Park Jr. course with a challenging and interesting layout – difficult enough to test low handicap players but friendly enough to encourage those with higher handicaps.

Who do you think will win the Ryder Cup and who will be the star player? Whistling Straits is a links-style course and should suit the Europeans more than other US Ryder Cup venues. Jon Rahm could be the most influential player on the European team.

Bearwood Lakes, Wokingham RG41 4SJ

Which is your favourite hole on the course and why? The 9th, it’s a little par 3 over the water.

What are the best and worst features of the club? We’re friendly and welcoming. Our Sunday carveries are so delicious they are bad for the waist line!

Any tips for the club? Even if you don’t play golf, you could be a social members to make use of the Clubhouse and restaurant.

Interesting fact about the club… Featured in the top 10 most exclusive golf clubs in England.

Who will win the Ryder Cup? Europe, of course!

Harleyford, Marlow SL7 2SP

Which is your favourite hole and why? The best holes at Harleyford are on the back nine, notably the 12th, a picturesque, short par 3 enclosed by steep banks of white chalk. With danger both short and long, the correct club selection is vital. The 14th, a driveable risk and reward par 4, only 314 yards, surrounded by tight, steep pot bunkers, so a wayward tee shot may cost more than your par on this hole.

What are the best and worst features? Throughout the course and grounds are hand crafted driftwood sculptures by James Doran-Webb, notably the iconic stag, standing proudly above the 1st tee. The fantastic short game facilities and range may mean you’re so caught up in your practice you’re late for your tee time!

Interesting fact about the club… Harleyford is the home club of Tyrrell Hatton, who played here as a junior and still practises here regularly.

Who do you expect to win the Ryder Cup? Who will be the star? A tough assignment, but I’m hopeful of a successful trip to Whistling Straits for the European team. We hope Tyrrell will excel again and expect Jon Rahm feature successfully.

Bird Hills Golf Club, Maidenhead SL6 3ST

Ian Richard, Course Manager

Which is your favourite hole on the course and any tips for how to play it? The 17th, it’s a fantastic short par 4. It is well protected with three fairways and two greenside bunkers. If you are out of position from the tee then you will have to navigate around a beautiful large oak tree. Once at the green you will need to read your putts carefully and look out for subtle breaks.

Looking ahead to the Ryder Cup, what do you expect? Who will be the star? Europe to win, it would be nice to win away and relive the memories from Medinah in 2012. Tommy Fleetwood has been flying high for a few years now. I can see him taking this form into the Ryder Cup and bringing it home.

Badgemore, Henley RG9 4NR

Which is your favourite hole and why? 13th is our signature hole, a great challenge! 192 yard for the men and 159 for the ladies. It’s a par 3 across a valley playing to a large green. Once you’ve hit your way across, it makes three putting a distinct possibility.

Any tips for how to play it? It is certainly advisable to know your yardages, with dog legs and sometimes tight flags you’ll have some tricky but exciting shots.

Interesting fact about the club… It was opened in 1972 by Sid James of Carry On fame who was a keen golfer!

Who will win the Ryder Cup? And who will be the best player? We have to back Europe and with Rory McIIroy back to World No. 1 he’ll have a point to prove.

Henley Golf Club, RG9 4HG

Mark Howell, Head PGA Professional

Which is your favourite hole? Hole 18

What is the best feature of it? Hitting the shot into the arena of the 18th green with people watching from the terrace.

Any tips for how to play it? If you think you can go for the green be cautious, it is well guarded with bunkers left and right but it does provide a great opportunity for a birdie finish!

Interesting fact about the club… The peace and tranquillity of nature when playing the course.

Which team will win the Ryder Cup? And who will be the best player? Europe and Justin Rose.

Lost Letters

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Community heritage project, Lost Letters, launched 

hrough a series of more than 40 workshops and a touring exhibition, the newlylaunched community heritage project, Lost Letters, will engage people across Surrey in the lost art of letter writing.  

Lost Letters aims to engage people across Surrey with their local history through a partnership with Surrey County Council’s Surrey History Centre and the rich archives they hold. 

The project wants to bring to life the lives and experiences of our predecessors and ask for a response, by letter, from current residents, who will be invited to take part. It will culminate in a book, touring exhibition and an online legacy, displaying the original letters alongside some contemporary responses.  

Most people can relate to the key experiences and phases of life – childhood, school, love, parenting, friends, work, home, holidays, loss, celebrations – and this project will share them through the medium of letters, bringing to life some personal heritage of the people of Surrey and illustrating its importance, value and relevance for people living in Surrey today.  

Collections explored will include:

→ The frank and engaging letters of Lady Mary Wallis to her friend Mary Turner that cover all aspects of life in Surrey while raising a family and being married to the engineer Sir Barnes Wallis. “May’s twins have arrived – well but rather feeble. George was 4lb and John 3 ¾. They have already been christened as they are so weakly. They are true twins made of one ovum. They won’t suck but have to have food dropped into their mouths.”   

→ The evacuee letters of Vera Dawes who was billeted from Ewell to York and writes to her family and friends to share her experiences 

The love story of Frank and Isabel Baker of Mitcham who were lifelong Labour supporters and committed socialists but whose relationship was strained by the Second World War and Isabel’s politics moving towards communism

Letters retelling the details of VE Day celebrations in the county and people’s hopes for the future after a very difficult period 

→ The letters of Herbert Henry Bowerman, a private in the trenches during the First World War, “I feel awfully weak some days but they say it is no use going to the doctor unless you are nearly dead.” 

Participants will be encouraged to respond to letters in both written and visual art form using the archives to shape their creative responses and will be supported by professional artists. The written and visual responses to the letters created will be shared in a touring exhibition free to access between September and November and with opportunities for the public to add their own responses. Confirmed venues include Surrey History Centre, Princess Alice Hospice and Riverhouse Barn. 

Surrey History Centre is supporting the project. Julian Pooley, Heritage Public Services and Engagement manager, Surrey County Council said: “We are looking forward to being a major partner in this exciting community project which will engage people across the county with our heritage in a very immediate way.   

By using these letters with schools, in care homes and other community settings, we will enable people to discover their local heritage and recognise that so many of the issues and concerns that we face today are nothing new.” 

Lost Letters is organised by It’s Not Your Birthday But… (INYBB) and created in response to seeing increasing social isolation in communities and recognising the power of arts and heritage to combat it by connecting and bringing people together through creativity, reducing isolation and improving wellbeing.  

The project has been funded by £68,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

More info

If you are interested in being involved in this project, they are looking for volunteers to help curate a selection of diverse letters as well as volunteers to help run the workshops and support the tour. They would also like to hear from you if you are able to host the touring exhibition in the autumn. Contact [email protected] or write to INYBB, The Old Bank House, 26 Station Approach, Hinchley Wood, KT10 0SR. 

Business School

Round & About

Activities

Make money from your passion at Pop-Up Business School in Didcot 

Have you always wanted to start your own business but don’t really know how or what the next steps are? 

Help is at hand at a Pop-Up Business School in Didcot next week when you’ll be able to get advice on starting a business with no money, marketing, all the legal stuff and much more. 

The five-day course at the Civic Hall will help new and established businesses get going and to  kick start them in the right way. You don’t need to attend every day but the more workshops you can visit the better, the more you’ll learn and the more you’ll get out of it. 

The Pop-Up Business School has been running live events for seven years and shows a new way of thinking and practical ways to get your business off the ground. 

Each day is split into two sessions and the week starts with help on how to start a business for free and the quickest way to do so. Tuesday is all about sales and marketing before website Wednesday teaches you how to build a website for free and setting up online payments. 

Thursday focuses on social media – where are your customers online and using social media to find them before the week ends with a guide to the legal stuff on Friday. 

In addition to the workshops, Pop Up also provides one-to-one support whenever possible and continuing online support to all participants after the event. 

All sessions are free, but places are limited so booking is essential for the course which runs from 27th to 31st January, 10am to 3pm daily except Friday, 10am to 1pm. 

More info...

To find out more and register for your place to make money from your passion visit

Let’s get crafty!

Liz Nicholls

Activities

Happy half term everyone! How’s it going so far?

My daughter and I stayed in our pyjamas until gone lunchtime on Monday then decided to get some fresh air by foraging for autumn leaves and returning for some Halloween-themed craft!

Blue Peter celebrated its 60th birthday last week and we’re inspired to make lots of Halloween crafts.

Here at Round & About we’re keen to promote responsible trick or treating, so please make sure that you only knock on doors which have a pumpkin or similarly spooky paraphernalia on display! The quandary we find ourselves in is that we want to welcome knockers on the evening but are also keen to go out & about so we try to race back as soon as we can!

There are so many great ideas for decorating pumpkins (or kits if you want to make it even easier!). This year we’ve decided to go for bats which was an easy and fun choice (see pic!).

We’ve also raided the craft cupboard at home to create some pipe cleaner critters – snakes and rainbow tarantulas! They look fab in our window web display, with a random collection of cacti and spooky bits and bobs.

We want to know and see what you’ve been making so please drop a line & share!