Ridgefest

Round & About

Farnham

Raise a glass of Ridgeview English Sparkling Wine to Ridgefest 

 

Following its huge success in 2018, Ridgefest is back this year on 24th August – and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever before.  

Nestled among the vines of the Ridgeview Wine Estate, with a stunning backdrop of the South Downs, Ridgefest is the perfect summer day out, bursting with beautiful food, great live music and of course, award-winning English Sparkling Wine will be flowing. 

Ridgeview started in 1995 and more than 20 years later, production has increased to more than a quarter of a million bottles, sold worldwide. 

2019’s line-up promises to delight all the senses – there will be delicious offerings from an eclectic selection of street food vendors, live bands and acoustic sets, DJ sets and a silent disco. Added to this is Ridgeview Sparkling Wine as well as unique drinks offerings in the cocktail lounge and tours of the vineyard and winery. 

Ridgefest is held at a winery and is so much more than a traditional wine festival – like the ethos of Ridgeview itself, Ridgefest promises to be a fun, unique, fantastic festival for all.  

The festival in Ditchling Common, Sussex, welcomes around 600 guests, between noon and 10pm.

Tickets

Available to buy from the Ridgeview website

Be Nice, Say Hi!

Round & About

Farnham

Respecting the rights of all users is the idea behind a new campaign which has launched in the Surrey Hills 

 

Visitors to the Surrey Hills are encouraged to “Be Nice, Say Hi”, as the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) adopts the joint campaign to help cyclists and horse riders to pass safely. 

Cycling UK and The British Horse Society (BHS) joined forces to launch a consideration and courtesy awareness message of Be Nice, Say Hi to help users to pass safely last summer, as they believed better advice was needed for people cycling to understand how to overtake horses safely.  

The Surrey Hills AONB is the first area in the south east to take up the initiative. Board director Rob Fairbanks said: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Cycling UK and the British Horse Society to raise awareness of shared access in our landscape and respecting the rights of all users.” 

Lovers of the outdoors will soon notice the discreet message of Be Nice, Say Hi appearing on signposts across the region, however for more detailed information the charities have produced a downloadable leaflet and two short films. 

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns said: “Every time a cyclist encounters a horse, there are three brains involved: the cyclist’s, the rider’s and the horse’s. Many people aren’t familiar with horses, and there can be confusion on what they should do when overtaking on a bike. 

He urged cyclists to be more aware when passing horses and added Cycling UK was delighted to be the BHS promote the Be Nice, Say Hi message. 

Horses can react quickly when startled, so the two charities are encouraging cyclists to drop their pace and call out a greeting, giving the horse and rider time to react before overtaking wide and slow. By alerting the rider and horse to their presence, cyclists run less risk of the horse reacting, and reduce the risk of injury – not just to the rider and their horse, but also themselves.  

Mark Weston, director of access at The British Horse Society said they were thrilled to see the area adopting the message. 

He said:  As vulnerable road users, horse riders, carriage drivers and cyclists face considerable dangers on our roads and the need for safer off road riding opportunities has never been greater. 

The first sign was put up close to Mane Chance Sanctuary in Compton, Surrey. Founding trustee and actor Jenny Seagrove hopes to see the campaign take up elsewhere. 

She said:The welfare of horses is at the very heart of what we do at Mane Chance Sanctuary and I think the Be Nice, Say Hi campaign should be applauded for considering the needs of both horses and humans as they share our beautiful countryside.”    

Parade with Pride

Karen Neville

Farnham

Woking is the venue for the first Pride event to take place in Surrey and Woking couldn’t be prouder to be hosting the celebration.

The colourful vibrant parade will start at HG Wells Conference Centre, when accompanied by the Mayor of Woking it will pass through the town gates and around the centre.

From midday the gates will open in Woking Park where you can enjoy live entertainment on the big stage until 10pm. There will be a large family/youth zone including activities, workshops, face paint and support guidance as well as food and drink stalls and local traders.

The chairman of Pride in Surrey, Stephen Ireland said not only does this year mark the 50th anniversary of Stonewall but also now the first year of an LGBT+ Pride event in Surrey.

He said: “I am thrilled to be working with such a supportive council and Outline Surrey to not only create an amazing event but also raise awareness of the available support to those within the community.”

Mayor of Woking, cllr Will Forster, said they were delighted Woking will host the inaugural Pride in Surrey parade on Saturday, 10th August.

He said: “It is another example of Woking’s growing reputation for hosting colourful and inclusive annual events.

“Pride in Surrey celebrates the inclusion and diversity of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) culture and community within Surrey.”

Want to go?

Tickets are required for the event in Woking Park, they are free to all but organisers need you to register to plan for your health and safety.

For more information

Millie’s Milestone

Round & About

Farnham

Local mum Jessica Simmons explains more about how you can help her wonderful daughter walk, run and jump like any other child

Millie was born at 29 weeks weighing just 3lbs 2oz. Having spent time at the special care baby unit at Royal Surrey County Hospital under a special lamp to treat jaundice, we faced the first major battle – a feeding problem. Her tummy would swell when she had breast milk which meant her feeds would be dropped and then started again. Eventually the swelling stopped and she was growing well.

A routine brain ultrasound revealed ‘white matter’ which we were told is normal in pre-term babies. Finally, our time in SCBU was over and we were able to go home to Millie’s sisters and enjoying having three happy healthy girls.

We were admitted to hospital several times the first winter when she contracted bronchiolitis. At the last admission she was connected to a CPAP machine to help her breathe as it was so laboured.

At home we carried on like any other family. Millie wasn’t reaching the milestones of other children, but we put this down to her being born early and that eventually she would roll over, sit and crawl.

At her yearly review we talked about how Millie’s legs were very stiff and tight which made getting her into a sitting position very difficult. A few days later we received a letter – one part stuck out – “Millie is showing signs of Diplegic Cerebral Palsy”. I stood in my kitchen reading the letter and it just felt like my world was falling apart. I felt so alone.

A consultant confirmed Millie was showing signs of Diplegic Cerebral Palsy, which causes tense muscles and spasms. Leg muscles tend to be very tight, and over time, this causes joints to stiffen reducing movement. Since Millie was diagnosed she has tackled so many obstacles, and we have too – our day-to-day lives have changed dramatically, we have had to learn various ways of aiding Millie. She has developed her own way of carrying out everyday movement.

When Millie was diagnosed we began looking for answers and stumbled upon SDR – Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, the nerves which cause the spasticity in the legs are cut. We are due to see specialists at Great Ormond Street in September to see if it’s suitable for Millie. We have to meet the NHS funding guidelines but that’s no guarantee of getting the financial help. Since last June we have been fundraising – holding a grand ball, doing obstacle courses and quiz nights. But we need to raise a lot more. The operation isn’t a miracle cure, Millie will need to have several years of intensive physiotherapy to get the most out of this.

Millie is amazing, every day she has a smile on her face and we want to share that with everyone!

Donate to the cause

Museum & Jigsaw

Round & About

Farnham

Haslemere Museum and Jigsaw School have teamed up to help special needs visitors get the most out of museum visits.

Autism gives people a special view of the world which can make unexpected events and visits to unfamiliar places very challenging but this initiative can help with that.

Hayley Locke, a senior teacher at Jigsaw, visited the museum, which already had many facilities for school visits, after being approached by them.

She said it felt like a safe place “with lots of interactive activities”. Hayley added: “I could see our pupils enjoying a trip there, including those I wouldn’t usually suggest to visit a museum.”

Kay Topping, the museum’s education officer, visited Jigsaw to watch some classroom sessions as the school worked on preparing pupils to visit the museum’s dinosaurs gallery. The class teacher demonstrated the four-step format used, based on a method called Attention Autism. This ranged from handling dinosaur and fossil toys to making fossils.

“It was great to see the children in their own environment and see how a session works at school,” said Kay.

“I learnt not to expect them to engage too much, and that engagement is more likely to be with individuals rather than as a group.”

Six pupils aged six to 11 went on the museum visit – which was a great success and included a session on dinosaurs, handling the toys and making fossils. The children were prepared with the visual schedule and social story and arrived to a familiar face.

“The trip went well, especially as this was a totally new environment for the children,” Kay said.

Hayley agreed: “It was lovely to see each pupil engaging with the activities. The preparation and the familiar learning format certainly helped them get a lot more out of it.

“One pupil was nervous of the new place but once calm he enjoyed stirring the plaster to make fossils. Another loved all the dinosaur toys and is now keen to explore other animals in the museum.”

Further visits are planned including to the African exhibition.

Photos show Harry exploring dinosaur toys and Tristan getting to grips with the ammonite 

More information

Find out more about the Jigsaw School and what they do here

The Big Butterfly Count

Round & About

Farnham

Join the Big Butterfly Count and spot the species

This summer marks the 10th anniversary of the Big Butterfly Count – the world’s largest butterfly survey. 

Wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation is calling on everyone to do as many 15-minute counts as possible between today, Friday 19th and Sunday, 11th August. 

Just record what you see and send your results to www.bigbutterflycount.org or submit them using the free Big ButterflyCount app. 

Last year a record 100,000 participants took part, spotting almost one million butterflies across the UK. 

This summer, experts are keen to see how common garden butterflies are faring, as despite many species bouncing back in the 2018 heatwave, colourful favourites such as the Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock both recorded poor years.  

Butterfly Conservation vice-president Chris Packham is following in the footsteps of Sir David Attenborough by getting behind the campaign this year. 

Chris said: “It’s easy to feel powerless when confronted with endless decline statistics from birds to bees to butterflies, but the fight for our environmental future starts with small acts, it starts with you.  

“That’s why I urge you to take part in the Big Butterfly Count this summer. By taking part in the count you are showing that our butterflies, our wildlife and our environment are worth fighting for.” 

Get involved:

People can take part in their gardens or local parks, but there are plenty of free events taking place across the country too – more details can be found here…

30 Days Wild challenge

Round & About

Farnham

Picture credit: Nick Upton

More than 10 million random acts of wildness in month-long challenge

More than 400,000 people carried out in excess of 10 million ‘random acts of wildness’ as part of the 30 Days Wild Challenge in June.

Wildlife enthusiasts were encouraged to do something wild and enjoy nature every day, taking part in the Wildlife Trusts’ initiative which proved to be more popular than ever this year.

As well as the 50,000 households who signed up for their free packs, wall charts, stickers and wildflower seeds, more than 9,000 schools, 1,300 businesses and 570 care homes also took part.

Wildlife Trusts’ head of communications Joanna Richards said: “It’s been an extraordinarily wild month! We’ve loved seeing the creative and inventive activities of people taking part right across the UK – getting up close to bugs, butterflies and birds, rewilding a garden or making a daisy chain.  You don’t need to go far to appreciate wildlife and often the simplest interactions can bring us the most joy.”

Wildlife gardening in homes, care homes and schools was a popular activity, with people creating small ponds, building homes for bugs, sowing wildflowers, noticing the birds and insects that visited and pledging not to mow their lawns, to encourage more variety of wildlife to flourish.

Other Random Acts of Wildness included:

– Waking up early to hear the dawn chorus at its best

– Organising beach cleans and litter picks

– Noticing a rainbow of flowers and trees growing in towns and countryside

– Creating wild works of art from petals, leaves and feathers.

– Care homes residents and carers have enjoyed planting pollinator-friendly blooms, making leaf art and creating wild playlists, with music inspired by nature.

Wisley garden

Karen Neville

Farnham

Make the most of the longer evenings thanks to some highlights this month at RHS Garden Wisley in Woking

Various events “after hours” at RHS Wisley should have you enjoying summer to its fullest. Quad Cinema will screen three films from 11th – 13th July including Mamma Mia, Bohemian Rhapsody and The Greatest Showman.

On Wednesday, 17th July, join Surrey Bat Group for an evening walk, and on 24th July pet owners can bring their dogs for walkies. On 26th visitors can enjoy and evening stroll and some live music in the garden until 9pm. There will also be an open-air theatre performance of The Wind in the Willows on Sunday, 28th, at 5.30pm.

Fuchsias are the focus of the Glasshouse display at RHS Garden Wisley from 6th July to 18th August, with a colourful display from Wisley’s fuchsia collection. The Glasshouse Gallery hosts the Carnivorous Plant Society for its show between 20th and 21st July with talks, advice, sales and a special presentation each day at 11an and 3pm entitled The Natural History of Carnivorous Plants.

Jazz in the Garden will take place each Saturday afternoon, 1-4pm at RHS Garden Wisley, when Chi Jazz entertain Wisley visitors from the Butterfly Pavillion. RHS Garden Wisley invites you to help celebrate 50 years of The Very Hungry Caterpillar with some fun family adventures in the Garden. They will also explore lifecycles and help children understand where their food comes from and how it grows.

Info

RHS Wisley, GU23 6QB; call 01483224234, email [email protected] or visit their website

Castle to Coast

Round & About

Farnham

Take on a triathlon with a difference from Windsor to Brighton

Travel from Windsor Castle all the way to the coast at Brighton on a journey covering more than 81 miles –  but you’ll be completing it in a one-day triathlon. 

You’ll start with a 1.2 mile swim at Eton Dorney followed by a 67mile open road cycle through the Surrey Hills before finishing off with a 13.2 mile run up Ditchling Beacon and over the South Downs. 

There’s no competitive side to it and no timings instead it’s just about enjoying the adventure of the swim, cycle and run on Saturday, 10th August. 

Lee Brown, director and founder of Fullsteam, the endurance events company, says: “In 2019 we wantedtocreate something new in the world of triathlon.Castleto Coast’s sportive format will appealtothose lookingtostep uptoa middle-distance triathlon without the pressures of racing and beating the clock.” 

Swimmers will start the event in the water, in waves, and take on the continuous lap before taking to the saddle and embarking on the cycle ride which is fully supported with a feed station, toilet facilities, mechanical assistance and marshals at key locations as riders make their way along the route and 3,400ft of climbs. 

Then you’ll hand over your bike over to the transport team who will either take it on to Brighton for you or back to Windsor. All equipment for the run and changing facilities will be available in a sports centre. 

A finish line party will greet you on the seafront in Brighton where you’ll collect your medal. If you’re then heading back to Windsor, support staff from Fullsteam will take you back on the organised transport. 

Entry, which is limited to 500, costs from £160 before 1st August. 

  For more information about the event and full entry information, including costs, visit www.fullste.am 

SWT photography exhibition

Round & About

Farnham

Surrey Wildlife Trust puts winners’ work on display

There are just a few days left to view the winning entries in the Wild Surrey Art & Photography Competition.

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, Surrey Wildlife Trust is exhibiting the work at Guildford House Gallery until Sunday, 16th June.

The over-18 winner of the art category is artist and art tutor Charlotte Baker from Woking, with Midnight Prince. “Foxes are really mischievous creatures but I think they are so majestic. I wanted to capture that royalty in this piece. I’m really overwhelmed to win.”

The over-18 winner of the photography category is Matthew Nunn, Farnham, with Swan, Frensham Pond. “I went for a walk around Frensham Ponds and grabbed my camera as I wanted to capture the drip shot. I set the shutter to freeze the drip and was absolutely thrilled I got exactly what I wanted.  Winning the competition has inspired me to go forward with my photography – all thanks to Surrey Wildlife Trust.”

The under-18 winner of the art category is Isabelle Saunders, 13, a pupil from Manor House School with Bluebell Badger. “I love bluebells and badgers and I painted them from my imagination. I was surprised to win because I didn’t even realise there would be winners.  But I’m so pleased because I’ve loved art since I was little.”

The under-18 winner of the photography category is Caitlin Ruddock with Butterfly Crossing.

Highly commended are:

Art, over 18 – Shannon Van Lier, Tawny Owl; Alexandra Oldham, Thoughtful Things; Paula Boyd Barrett, Striding Out; Katie Bree Art, Round Leaved Sundew; Emma Bloomfield, The Elusive Kingfisher; Imogen Hartridge, The Conservation Pond, Ashtead; Lisa Benson, My Stag Hill

Photography, over 18 – Alan Seymour, Inquistive Brock; Amanda Cook, Morning Has Broken

Art, under 18 – Alicia Manrique, Bee Aware; Ash Morgan, Scaly Sojourner; Margarita Harff, The Incredible Insect

The exhibition features 80 works showing an appreciation of Surrey’s wildlife.

For more information about this and the work of Surrey Wildlife Trust visit Surrey Wildlife Trust