Ridgefest

Round & About

Godalming

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

Godalming

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

Godalming

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

Godalming

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

Godalming

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

Cheese & Chilli Festival

Karen Neville

Godalming

If you want to spice up your Sunday then try out the hottest ticket in town – or in Guildford at least – and get along to the Cheese & Chilli Festival in Guildford.

This will be the festival’s fourth year with a whole host of activities for all ages including free cooking demos, a taste tent, beer festival, street theatre, live music, crazy golf, human-sized table football as well as lots of cheese and chilli.

Taking place in Shalford Park today (21st), you’ll be able to enjoy the man v food challenge and a Ready Steady Cook interactive cooking session as well as the chilli eating competition when things will really be hotting up!

And what could be better after you’ve eaten some good hot chillis than taking part in a game of human-sized table football – strap yourself in and attach yourself to a metal bar and swing.

If you prefer something more sedate there are a variety of stalls, a magic show, Punch & Judy show, balloon modelling and treasure hunts to entertain the kids.

As an extra special treat at the Guildford event, there’s the chance to be a VIP with two special price tickets (£50 and £100) offering you the chance to enjoy cocktails, beers, Mexican or Thai lunch, access to the hot tubs and a bottle of hot sauce and limited edition poster.

Get your tickets

For more information and to buy tickets which cost £8 adults, seniors £6 and under 16s free, visit the Cheese & Chilli Festival website below

Tickets can also be bought at the door or in advance at Guildford’s Tourist Information Centre.

The Big Butterfly Count

Round & About

Godalming

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

Godalming

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

Godalming

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

Harrison’s Fund

Karen Neville

Godalming

Join Box Hill brunch walk and raise money for Harrison’s Fund

Two mums from Surrey are organising a walk to raise money for a charity that funds research into a life-limiting condition for children.

Klara Cecmanova, 41, and Vicky Lush, 49, from Epsom have organised The Box Hill Walk as part of local charity, Harrison’s Fund’s Harrison’s Brunch campaign. The walk starts at 9.45am on Sunday, 30th June at Box Hill Viewpoint and sees walkers walk down the hill and back up the steps to the top, followed by a bring your own picnic.

Klara has been a big supporter of the charity since two of her boys Theo (7) and Oskar (5) were diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in 2014.

She said: “Due to their condition, both Theo and Oskar would struggle to walk up Box Hill, their muscles just aren’t strong enough.
“We would love to see as many people as possible at the top of Box Hill ready to help our little warriors down the steep slope, over the stepping stones, and back up the stairs to the top – a tough walk for those that are fully fit but almost impossible for our boys.

“We’ll be able to see the area we live in from the viewpoint so they’ll get a real kick out of this and once back at the top we’ll be relaxing with rugs and a picnic so bring your own and get to know us and your local community.”

We would love to see as many people as possible at the top of Box Hill

Harrison’s Fund was set up in 2012 and funds research into Duchenne – a rare genetic condition which affects all the muscles in the body, causing them to waste away.  Harrison’s Fund’s goal is to get as much money as possible into the hands of the world’s best researchers, who are working to find a cure for Duchenne. The charity is currently funding 16 research projects in the US and the UK.

Klara and Vicky have been raising money for the charity since 2015 when she was part of a local team of women to put on a big community event. Since then it has become an annual event organised by parents with children of the same age who have seen the boys grow from active little boys to becoming increasingly wheelchair bound. The walk is part of the charity’s Harrison’s Brunch campaign which encourages everyone to host a brunch during the month of June to raise money.

Luci Roberts, campaigns executive at Harrison’s Fund said: “Theo and Oskar, like all boys with Duchenne, are an inspiration to us all. Even though their little bodies are slowly failing them, inside, they are just still, little boys who love an adventure, so we hope the local community will join them on their own adventure this June.”

All the proceeds from Harrison’s Brunch will go directly to fund the purchase of a “high throughput analyser” which enables scientists to compare different gene medicines when working in a lab. By using computer automation, the analyser can screen different models and evaluate them in a fraction of the time it would take a team of scientists.

Support the walk or join them