Naturals wonders

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walking

Giant bird boxes, crocheted funghi and a striking metal sculpture are among the artworks you can enjoy as part of this year’s Heathland Artworks.

Now established as an annual event, all work is inspired by the RSPB Farnham Heath.

Local emerging artists studying craft, fine art and textiles at the University for the Creative Arts have explored the wildlife, geology and history of the heath all year to develop a series of artworks that are temporarily placed on Farnham Heath and incorporated into a walking trail.

This year pieces include giant bird boxes, crocheted funghi, ceramic birds and a striking metal sculpture. There is also the added bonus of The House of Invisible Hands by sculptor Walter Bailey and a result of his research into historical forest glassmaking locally.

Heathland Artworks is a Surrey Hills Arts project and provides a new way to view and learn about the heath. Visitors can get up close to each of the 12 artworks by following a specially created trail.

The project has given the students an invaluable experience in preparing a proposal, presenting this to a panel, and developing the necessary skills to create and install the works.

Surrey Hills Arts aims to engage and inspire people in the natural landscape through the arts programme, promoting heritage, health and tourism.

Programme co-ordinator for Surrey Hills Arts, Ali Clarke said: “It has been fascinating seeing the students develop their artworks in response to the wildlife and environment on the heath.

“The final pieces will be enlightening for visitors of all ages providing pauses for thought along the route.”

Heathlands Artworks is free to enjoy and open to visitors until 27th October at Farnham Heath which is next to the Rural Life Centre. Visitors are welcome to use the facilities.

For more information

Chilterns Walking Festival

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walking

Photo – Walkers at the Chilterns Walking Festival, credit: Chilterns Conservation Board

If you want to get out and enjoy the fresh air over the next fortnight how about trying the Chilterns Walking Festival?

Now in its third year the festival, 5th to 20th October, has more walks, more activities, more crafts and more dates, and is set to be bigger and better than ever.

The walks provide opportunities to meet artists, craftspeople, farmers, archaeologists, historians, countryside rangers, food producers and storytellers of the Chilterns, and each walk is guided by an experienced walk leader who will bring their story to life.

Whether you’re interested in sampling local drinks and produce, finding out about the history of the Chilterns heritage, or trying out a new activity or experience with your family, there is something for everyone at the Chilterns Walking Festival.

How about…

Spending quality time with the family?

From Iron Age time travelling and stunning autumnal walks with breath-taking views, to ghostly tales from the riverbank, there are so many to choose from

Exploring and discovering?

The Chilterns is brimming with history and heritage and with so many places to explore it is no surprise there are many walks offering the chance to discover more about our rich heritage and ancient landscapes. Why not take a ride on a heritage steam railway from Princes Risborough to Chinnor, explore and discover Grims Ditch or hear the story of the 1830 machine breakers’ riot

Learning something new?

Whether it’s mastering tree identification, practicing map and compass navigation, or having a go at Nordic walking or a watercolour workshop, there are lots of opportunities to get involved and try something new

Time for a rest?

What better way to end a scenic walk than by sampling some of the fabulous food and drinks by local producers. Why not try a gentle guided walk around Wilstone Reservoir Nature Reserve followed by a distillery tour and gin sampling? Or sample the famous “Bedfordshire clangers” on a ranger-led walk around the beautiful Barton Hills National Nature Reserve and Farm

Joining a storytelling walk?

For those looking to escape the everyday and immerse themselves into something a bit different, why not try one of our storytelling walks such as Ghostly tales from the Riverbank: complete with hooded monks, phantoms & headless horsemen

Improving your health and well-being?

Focused on sharing techniques and tips to increase health and improve general well-being, there are a number of walks from yoga and mindfulness to a visit to Amaravati Buddhist monastery

More details

Details of the more than 80 guided walks, events and activities available in the autumn programme can be found here

Most are free of charge though some require a small fee which is advertised. To assist walk leaders with expected numbers, most events must be pre-booked

Chilterns Walking Festival

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walking

There are a wide variety of walks to enjoy – however you like to take yours – as part of the Chilterns Walking Festival from Saturday, 18th May to Sunday, 2nd June.

Are you an ambler? Do you like to saunter? Would you consider yourself to be a plodder or are you a trekker?

However you like to stroll, trudge, wander or roam, the Chilterns Walking Festival is the right route for you if you like to put one foot in front of the other. The 16-day event offers spectacular views, local stories and fun activities to enjoy as you get out and explore the countryside on one of more than 50 guided walks and special activities this month.

There’s a wide variety of walks to choose from, ranging from short gentle ambles to more challenging hill hikes, all to the backdrop of the stunning Chilterns countryside. The walking festival offers the chance to meet artists, craftspeople, farmers, food producers and storytellers.

You might choose to “meet the maker” with an art and craft walk from Nuffield, visit a blacksmiths and a furniture maker and be inspired by the scenery around you or perhaps you’d like a walk to a woodland camp where a simmering kettle and chance to cook lunch over a campfire await?

For something rather different how about discovering “powerful places in the Hundreds of Aylesbury”: an Iron Age fort, a medieval castle and the Prime Minister’s country residence at Chequers. Discover Henley, explore its history and go on the trail of Midsomer Murders and filming locations – you’ll hear personal anecdotes and details not found in the guide books.
There’s lots of history to enjoy along the way, too. Follow in the footsteps of your ancestors along the Tuddingway, a medieval route along the Thames corridor with divisions up into the beechwoods and take a guided tour of the historic Jordans meeting house (complete with tea and cake at the end) in the company of a life-long resident of the Quaker-founded village of Seer Green.

How ever you decide to walk the Chilterns, there’ll be a trail for you with walks for different ages, interests and levels of fitness; walks for young families, those with limited mobility and dog walkers. Each walk is guided by an experienced knowledgeable leader.

The main event sponsor is camping shop Complete Outdoors. Managing director Andrew Inkley said: “For over 35 years, we’ve been helping people to prepare for their adventures, whether walking in the park, or climbing a mountain. As a Chilterns company we loved the idea of supporting a local walking festival that helps people to discover what’s on their doorstep.”

The festival is also sponsored by family-owned and run brewer and pub company Brakspear and many of its 132 pubs are located along the routes of the Chilterns, so why not pop in to in and enjoy a well-deserved pint along the way?!

  Most of the walks and events are free but must be booked in advance. For full details and to book head to Visit Chilterns

Health walks

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walking

Step out and step up your health and fitness with a good walk

Walking, we all do it everyday, but have you ever really thought about all the health benefits and how you can make it really count?

With Walking for Health, the Guildford walks programme, you can take part in a short free walk nearby to get active and stay active at a pace that suits you.

And as well as being active, it’s also a great way to explore what’s around you and make new friends while you walk, you don’t need any fancy equipment and unlike most things – it’s free!

To take part in one of the Guildford Walking for Health walks just pop along to the start point and one of the trained leaders can take your details then you can get involved in as many and as often as you like.

Walks currently take place every Monday in the Guildford area and are due to start on Tuesdays in Worplesdon and Thursdays in Shere. For more information about any of these contact Annelize Kidd on 07554 423010

Shalford area walks can be enjoyed on Wednesdays, contact Georgina Churchlow on 07714 821159

For walks in the Whitmoor Common area on Fridays, contact Roger Philo on 07905 282658

Volunteers are also needed to help the walks happen either as a walk leader or a back marker. If you are interested in helping with the walks, contact Annelize Kidd on 07554  423010

Or email any queries to [email protected]

If you still need convincing, it’s worth bearing these health benefits in mind:

– Help your heart and lungs work better

– Lower your blood pressure

– Keep your weight down

– Lighten your mood

– Keep your joints, muscles and bones strong

– Increase “good” cholesterol

The Walking for Health programme operates around the country helping people to lead healthier, more active lives. To find more walks near you or if you’re not in the Guildford area have a look at walkingforhealth.org.uk