Our News Blog

Recycle Those Unwanted Items for 4Sight Vision Support!

4Sight Vision Support is sending out a call to encourage donations of recyclables and unwanted items to help raise money for its specialist services for blind and sight impaired adults and children across West Sussex. The charity has just announced additional ways to lend your support through recycling, while doing …

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Autumn Carnival half-term fun at RHS Garden Wisley

This October half-term, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is inviting families to discover how the autumn season is celebrated around the world, with a wonderful range of hands-on activities to inspire people of all ages, including an educational autumn trail. Fun half-term activities will take place at RHS Garden Wisley …

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Wear it pink this 22nd October for Breast Cancer Now

What is wear it pink? Wear it pink is one of the UK’s biggest fundraising events. Each year thousands of people across the UK wear pink and fundraise for Breast Cancer Now. 2021 is its 20th year, with over £36 million raised since 2002. However you wear it pink this …

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Wheels and Walkies at Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking

The East Surrey Branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association are looking for local wheelchair users and/or dog walkers, together with their families and friends, to join them on a very special walk around Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, from 10.00am on Saturday 16th October, to help raise awareness of …

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Conservation work at Clandon Park marks major milestone

  A two-and-a-half-year programme of conservation repairs has begun at Clandon Park. Using craft techniques rarely seen today, the repairs will help to preserve the fire-damaged structure for generations to come. This major conservation work follows debris clearance, research and investigation, and essential maintenance by the conservation charity. A small …

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Giving hard working NHS staff a place where they can recharge

A brand new wellbeing space to care for the mental and physical wellbeing of Royal Surrey staff has opened its doors thanks to more than £100,000 generously donated by the public. The new permanent building was made possible thanks to a grant from the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 appeal and …

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Awaken your senses with Taste of Autumn at RHS Garden Wisley

Taste of Autumn is back for 2021 with spectacular autumn displays, an abundance of seasonal produce to enjoy, and for the first time, live cookery demonstrations inside the recently opened RHS Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Science. Taste of Autumn will take place at RHS Garden Wisley from 13th …

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National Backcare Awareness Week runs from the 4th to 8th October

National Backcare Awareness Week this year will focuses on spending more time at home, whether working, studying or at leisure. ‘This is an important theme for our 2021 National Awareness Week, which looks set to be our most successful campaign, to date,’ says Denice Logan Rose, Executive Director of BackCare, …

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RHS Garden Wisley hails over 100 Champion Trees

The Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity, is celebrating the news that its flagship RHS Garden Wisley is now home to more than 100 British Champion Trees. RHS Wisley is now one of the country’s top ten destinations to see the nation’s tallest and widest trees as officially …

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Godalming cemetries win gold!

Godalming Town Council is delighted to announce that Godalming’s Nightingale Cemetery has achieved a Gold award in the 2021 South & South East in Bloom competition and was also judged the overall winner in the Small Cemetery Category.  Equally pleasing is the Gold award for Eashing Cemetery in the Large …

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Arts Alive 2021 Cabaret Launch

Award-winning Mole Valley arts festival Arts Alive launches on Saturday 25th September with musical cabaret from 10.30am-12.30pm outside Dorking Sports Centre. Supported by Mole Valley District Council and on throughout October, Arts Alive is the biggest festival of its kind in the South East. The free launch event features traditional …

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Introducing Buddy Nights for solo theatre-lovers

The award-winning Guildford Shakespeare Company are introducing a new scheme for solo theatregoers, to attend with like-minded audience members. Matt Pinches, Producer: “Following feedback from audiences to our Front of House Team, it became apparent that there are many people out there who love theatre but for whatever reason, don’t …

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Music brings people together

From October 2021, the Haslemere Methodist Church will become an exciting “music hub” for the community. Not just evening concerts open to the public, but engaging with young musicians in local schools and the wider community. This ambitious programme is spearheaded by local musician Susan Milan, former Principal Flute of …

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Guildford Branch WEA Classes For this Autumn:

We are pleased to welcome all those who are missing the social side of learning to our face-to-face classes. All our face-to-face classes will be held at Guildford United Reformed Church, GU2 4BS, following the most up-to-date Government Covid rules and guidelines. (For on-line classes please see our web site, …

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Maggie’s and Box Hill School host the Surrey Cycle Challenge!

A charity cycle ride through the Surrey Hills on Sunday 19th September 2021 to raise money for cancer support charity Maggie’s. Starting and finishing at Box Hill School in Dorking participants will weave through the beautiful lanes and scenery that Surrey has to offer, choosing between two routes, 50 or …

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Phyllis Tuckwell Appeals for Autumn/Winter Stock Donations

Local Hospice Care charity Phyllis Tuckwell is launching an appeal for donations of good quality autumn/winter clothing and accessories, for it to sell in its 18 charity shops, which are located throughout West Surrey and North-East Hampshire. Since reopening its shops in April, when Covid restrictions began to ease, Phyllis …

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Guildford in Bloom 2021 Competition Winners Announced

Guildford in Bloom, in their 40th year, were delighted to be able to hold their annual gardening competition this year after taking the competition online during the pandemic. In line with the increased interest in gardening during lockdown, the entries in all categories were of an extremely high standard, making …

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A phenomenal month for local art at Haslemere Museum

In September and October this year, the Museum team are pleased to be hosting four exhibitions, all showcasing a wealth of local artistic talent.  They are delighted to welcome three local organisations all with substantial credentials and provenance.  Haslemere Art Society (3rd-14th September), Surrey Guild of Craftsmen (10th-25th September) and …

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Lines of Beauty: Master Drawings from Chatsworth comes to Surrey

Lines of Beauty: Master Drawings from Chatsworth Until 5 December 2021 A major exhibition of Old Master Drawings on loan from one of the UK’s most significant collections will go on display at The Lightbox gallery and museum this autumn. Developed in partnership with Chatsworth House and Sheffield Museums – …

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New season for the Godalming Film Society

The Godalming Film Society are extremely happy to announce the start of their 15th season and plan to return to the Borough Hall in Godalming to screen films in-venue from Tuesday 7 September 2021. They are a members only society which celebrates cinema by screening films that are rarely seen …

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Upper Pond circular walk at Petworth (1.5 miles)

This walk around the Upper Pond at the National Trust’s Petworth Park is a great length for those sunny weekends when you want to take a more relaxing stroll. Covering a distance of approximately 1.5 miles, this route can be completed in under an hour, and you’ll see an iconic …

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How to Host the Perfect Family Picnic

How to Host the Perfect Family Picnic Summer, newfound freedom, and socialising – three things we’ve been eagerly and patiently waiting for this year. With pandemic restrictions lifted, there’re plenty of outdoor activities we can dive right into. Picnics are a great way to connect with nature while spending some …

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Dementia Support’s Meet and Eat Campaign

Grab some good food, good drink, and good company because we need you to Meet and Eat in aid of Dementia Support! After over a year of restrictions, social distancing, and virtual hang outs, we are once again able to get together and reconnect with those we have missed. Through …

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Weekend Walks: By the sea

With many readers opting for a staycation this year for obvious reasons, we thought we’d feature a family walk in a popular seaside spot and highlight a few less well known waterside walks. All will make for a pleasant day out with the family. West Wittering Beach & East Head …

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Tapas recipes from Masterchef 2021 chef

With Celebrity Masterchef hitting our screens next week, we have three lovely tapas recipes from Masterchef 2021 quarter finalist Michele Rodriquez-Wise. Michele is a creative and innovative designer by trade whose passion for food, family and design all stem from her warm Spanish heritage. Having grown up with creative parents, …

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Why You Should Do a Social Media Detox This Summer

The past year has redefined the meaning of ‘busy doing nothing’. Between lockdowns, cancelled holidays, and exercise limitations, people have flocked to social media to divert their attention away from the adversity that 2020 brought. As the good weather comes into fruition, and the UK slowly eases out of coronavirus …

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Celebrating Surrey’s heathlands in the pink

  Join Surrey Wildlife Trust and Thames Basin Heaths Partnership (TBHP) in celebrating our wonderful heathlands from 24th-30th July.  Surrey’s heathlands are some of the finest remaining examples of lowland heath in the world, and this rarity becomes a blaze of pink and purple over the summer months as the …

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New cinema to come to Liphook in 2022!

Two years after work first began on the eagerly awaited transformation of Liphook’s former Anchor Garage into The Living Room Cinema, building work has resumed for an anticipated early 2022 launch. A lot has changed in the last 2 years and with the company having now purchased the property outright, …

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Maldon Salt recipes

Maldon Salt has had a little rebrand, and they have sent us four new recipes to go alongside this news, and we are happy to share them with our readers below. Bon appetit!

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Gardening for Good Health

Gardens and greenspaces have been hugely important to many people during the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, with many people finding their refuge through gardening. Here we explore some of the health and mental wellbeing benefits of gardening. Stress relief Gardening is a fantastic stress reliever and can cultivate feelings …

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Latest article from Citizens Advice Waverley

“But just what is the Breathing Space scheme?” Council tax, rent and other forms of debt arrears will be awarded relief as part of the Government’s new “breathing space” scheme. If you’re eligible, you could get 60 days of breathing space where your creditors can’t: contact you take action to make you …

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Gunner Cocktails

Gunner Cocktails.  I do not drink alcohol. I gave up drinking over 2 years ago. When I was first embarking on my sobriety journey, I was always on the hunt for exciting new non-alcoholic drinks that I could sample. A couple of years ago I found that there really wasn’t …

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Weekend Walk: Windsor Great Park (5.1 and 3.5 miles)

Walking in Windsor Great Park is always great joy, as there are so many lovely views and vistas. Here we feature a couple of walks which take place from The Savill Garden car park (charges apply). Entry to Windor Great Park is free but you will need to pay to …

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Don’t forget the umami veggies this BBQ season

BBQ season is upon us and as swathes of sausages and burgers make their way to the grill, the humble vegetable is often forgotten.  Whether it’s for the veggie/vegan of the group or simply just a delicious side dish, overlooking the greens is a mistake. Yondu (www.yondu.co.uk) is making the …

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Turn your garden into a pollinator paradise

Our gardens are an increasingly important habitat for wildlife. They are a significant source of food, water and shelter. There are so many amazing creatures just outside our back doors, and every garden, no matter what size, can be a haven for wildlife. You can attract more birds, butterflies, bees …

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5 Parma Ham recipes for any summer dining occasion…

Melon & Parma Ham Panzanella Serves 4 Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 15 minutes INGREDIENTS 600g cherry tomatoes, a variety of colours, halved 250g sourdough, cut into 2-3cm chunks 100ml extra virgin olive oil 1 Cantaloupe melon, cut into 12 wedges, deseeded and rind removed 8 slices Prosciutto di Parma bunch of basil, roughly torn For the …

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No fault divorce – an end date

In June 2019 the Secretary of State introduced a ground-breaking new Bill into the House of Commons. The “Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill”.   A full year later in June 2020 the No Fault Divorce Bill gained Royal Assent.  Initially it was anticipated that this would come into effect in Autumn …

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Weekend Walk: Two family walks (2 miles and 2.5 miles)

Abinger Roughs This gentle stroll is a walk to be savoured, enjoying the delights as the woods come to life in spring. Abinger Roughs is known for its rhododendron ramble and the bluebells, and is also a wonderful place to listen out for songbirds in the spring and early summer. …

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A Poem from Eastwick Road Church

A Poem from Eastwick Road Church I have just eighty words- and as always loquacious Th’ available count doesn’t seem awf’ly spacious, However, I want to deliver a greeting: Hello and God bless you, I hope we’ll be meeting. At Eastwick Road Church I am newly in situ Arranging new …

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Weekend Walk: Puttenham to Compton (4 miles)

This walk takes you on an adventurous excursion from Puttenham, a delightful village with a church, cottages and a good pub. The other big attraction is the Watts Gallery and Artists’ Village in Compton where you can also visit the Studio via a woodland walk and enjoy good food in …

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Local community save rare chalk grassland habitat for wildlife

An extraordinary community bid, assembled in just three weeks and spearheaded by local residents has secured the future of 37.5 acres of rare chalk grassland on the North Downs in Guildford, Surrey. Home to nesting skylarks, chalk hill blue butterflies, bumblebees, wild thyme and orchids, the fields support a rich …

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Skillway is venturing into the outdoors

Skillway is a registered charity based in Godalming teaching practical craft skills to disadvantaged and disengaged young people who are experiencing academic difficulties in school, or are home-tutored. The students are referred by schools, colleges and home tutored groups from across the Waverley, Guildford and Woking areas. When working with …

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Encouraging wildlife in the garden

If you are looking for a cost-effective and low maintenance option to support and encourage all types of wildlife such as frogs, newts, dragonflies and bathing garden birds, it is possible to create a pond using a buried bucket or trough, with stone steps or a wooden ramp for in …

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The rise of DIY home remodelling projects

When the severity of COVID-19 became evident and it was clear that we were in this for the long-haul, we all expected a variety of possible outcomes. For most of us, a DIY boom wasn’t one of them. But, lo-and-behold, that’s exactly what happened. The coronavirus pandemic has led to …

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Vann – a Surrey gem

Vann is a family home between Chiddingfold and Godalming, owned by the Caröe family, whose gardens are open during the year. The late Mary Caröe told us its history back in April 2017. Vann was leased by my late husband’s grandfather WD Caröe, the Arts & Crafts architect from the …

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Our Love Affair for Lawns

We’ve always had a love affair for lawns, in fact some would say that the British are obsessed with their lawn. Large or small, neat or natural, most people want some green space in their back garden. But how best to use your lawn? And how can you keep it …

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Top tips to remain productive while working from home

Richard Crawford Small (www.richardcrawfordsmall.com) is a Surrey-based Amazon #1 Bestselling Author and award-winning business consultant featured in Guardian through to TalkRADIO who helps ethical businesses to develop and uses proven techniques to help them maximise the efficiency of their existing business and then grow using sound ethical principles. Richard has …

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Watch your step and help rare breeding birds

  Over half of England’s most threatened breeding birds nest on or near the ground. The pandemic is making the public more aware of nature in their local area. Four out of every 10 people asked, said they’ve spotted wildlife they have never noticed before near their homes over the …

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Guildford Walking for Health

Guildford Walking for Health If the last year has taught us anything, getting out of the house for a stroll can do wonders for one’s mental health and general mood. Guildford Walking for Health have been such an important source of support for many over the years helping them make …

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Brooklands Museum is the star of its own television series

A brand new UKTV Original Series dedicated to Brooklands Museum in Weybridge, Surrey, is due to hit screens on Tuesday 30th March on Yesterday channel.  Narrated by Sanjeev Bhaskar, Secrets of the Transport Museum is a 10-part series set at the world-renowned Brooklands Museum.  It is the first time in the Museum’s 30-year …

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Calling all young environmentalists who want to stand up for nature!

Surrey Wildlife Trust is welcoming young people inspired by Greta Thunberg and the Youth Strike for Climate Action to a free webinar on 24th March at 6pm-8.30pm. The Youth Action for Nature webinar will highlight the intrinsic links between climate change and natural ecosystems, giving secondary school and university students …

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Supporting people through struggles to conceive, loss and beyond

Kirsty Walden, a local Godalming resident, to celebrate International Women’s Day earlier this week, wanted to share her personal story to help others to talk about subjects which are often treated as taboo, but seriously impact their lives. This is Kirsty’s story, and like her, we hope that it will …

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Nature on the Doorstep

One morning this week I drew open the bedroom curtains, looked up at the skies to ascertain the weather, and found myself eye to eye with a buzzard. The bird was circling low over the shrubs and bushes, his focus perhaps on capturing a late breakfast in the undergrowth. I …

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To move or not to move?

During the pandemic many of us have been affected financially, particularly when it comes to keeping a roof over our head. The consequences of not maintaining a mortgage or rental payments could mean that we have nowhere to live. One person who found herself facing this situation was Nicky*. She …

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Put paid to scientist stereotypes with 10 women trailblazers

Asked to depict a scientist, too many children draw a white man with ‘mad professor’ hair. Former primary school teacher Abby Harper of education resource experts PlanBee says, why not show them that science and technology has always been the domain of brilliant, creative women. 10 women trailblazers in science …

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Capable of More – a short film from The Meath

Locally, The Meath is well known for supporting adults who live with complex epilepsy and disabilities to live a fulfilled life, as independently as possible. Locals who have visited their quirky café and upcycling workshop, Changing Perceptions on Godalming High Street, or volunteered with The Meath will have experienced a …

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Grow your own from seed

The popularity of ‘Grow Your Own’ continues to rise, with 38% of British adults saying that they use their garden or outdoor space such as a balcony or window box to grow their own herbs, fruit and vegetables (according to a YouGov survey for the HTA in 2020). Growing your …

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Move more when staying at home

Getting motivated to exercise outdoors during the cold, dark winter months can be challenging. Keeping physically active this winter, while the gyms and sports facilities are closed due to COVID-19, presents us with a unique challenge. Regular physical activity is strongly associated with a reduced risk of chronic conditions, such …

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Gap Year for Grown Ups

One side effect of Covid is that many over 50s have found themselves in an unscheduled gap year. Some had already retired, others have been furloughed or made redundant, but with many ‘confined to barracks’ with time on their hands, they’ve invented their own gap year. It has been aided …

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The Therapy Gardens, Normandy

The Therapy Garden is a horticulture and education charity that uses gardening to generate positive change. We work with adults and teenagers with learning difficulties, physical disabilities and mental health challenges and offer school-age teenagers interventional education opportunities.  Based in the village of Normandy, the charity was established in 1998 …

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Volunteers keep up the good work

Wey & Arun Canal Trust volunteers clocked up an impressive 21,807 hours of work in 2020, despite the limitations of lockdown. The figure was just 5,614 down on the previous year, showing the dedication from working party members, boat crew and back office volunteers to the Trust and its aims. …

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Cleanfluencers share their favourite housework hacks

The British public has a newfound appreciation for their homes. In the past year, we’ve spent more time in our homes than we may have desired. However, the need to make our homes cleaner, more hygienic, and more comfortable has been rightly recognised. If you’ve ever looked for some expert …

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Kani House- The Very Best Garden Buildings.

Kani House- the very best garden buildings.  Kani.House is an independent family-run business, passionate about designing and building the very best garden buildings right here in Surrey. Kani.House has spent four years developing and testing a unique super-insulated building system that provides far more comfort and longevity than standard timber construction, and …

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How to Nurture Independent Learners

If recent interruptions to schooling have taught us anything, it is the benefit of nurturing students to be independent learners, particularly for parents struggling to home-school perhaps whilst themselves working from home. But the benefits of independent learning go far beyond the once-in-a-lifetime circumstances of the 2020 pandemic. There are …

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Gut Educated

Are you sure my body is housing an ‘ecosystem?’ I hear you ask sceptically. Yes, you got that right, an ecosystem of tens of trillions of bacterial cells (beneficial or detrimental; your choice). They have far reaching effects from the health of your skin and your mood, to heart health …

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How walking in nature can help wellbeing

Going on a walk can revive us. Whether we explore quiet forests, look out over a rugged headland towards the sea or stroll around our favourite park, spending time in nature can give us a sense of peace. For many of us, walking has become even more important for our …

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Hold that diet….

Here we have three reasonably easy courses for you to enjoy in January. They are not especially decadent and yet neither are we counting the calories. January can be such a dispiriting month that there is little point in making it worse by not eating enjoyable food. The Thai broth …

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Maintaining Healthy Habits

New Year’s resolutions can be a good starting point for making longer term health and lifestyle improvements, but most people who set New Year’s resolutions do not stick to them. Reasons for quitting include a lack of time, a lack of support from other people and feeling daunted by unrealistic …

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‘How can I deal with my growing debt problems?’

For many the uncertainty brought about by the spread of the pandemic has led to depression and anxiety about how they will survive financially in the months to come. While coronavirus and redundancy scored the most hits on our National Website in the early days of the pandemic, debt is …

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Home schooling again? Here’s how

  Many parents enjoyed teaching their children at home during the first lockdown, but for others, the prospect of having to dust off their teaching skills again fills them with dread.   What programme of work should they follow? Should the children guide the learning or should it be imposed, with the …

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Weekend Walk: Thursley (Boundless) to Haslemere (6 miles)

This hilly, circular walk has some interesting views.  The walk was submitted by Guildford Rambling Club and appears in the January issue of VantagePoint. However, due to COVID, there is now a small diversion, so please use this version!  (www.guildfordramblingclub.org.uk) From the car park, continue along the road as it …

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Dry January

This month is Dry January, when lots of people around the UK stop drinking alcohol for the month and try to address the effects of overindulgence during the festive season. If you have not yet joined in, it is not too late! Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk …

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The Post Baker- A Sweet Treat for all Occasions.

The Post Baker. There are numerous benefits to being a dog owner, and the good by far out way the bad, however a dog is for life and not just for Christmas and dogs need a walk every day. Come rain or shine. I do sometimes wonder if dog owners …

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Design your diet and enjoy the fruits of your labour

Mulled wine, fluffy snowflakes, hot chocolates & Christmas movies (plus rising utility bills as we try and stay warm). Yes, the next few months have plenty  going  for  them  but  as  the  colder  temperatures  descend  on  us  and  the longer nights become the norm, looking after our immunity should be …

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Feed the Birds this winter

We are a nation of bird watchers. From the red breasted Robin to the resident Great Tit, Blue Tit, colourful Goldfinch and Chaffinch, Blackbird, Starlings, Sparrows and more, we can’t get enough of these wonderful creatures. Small garden birds need to eat regularly, particularly during cold weather when they use …

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The Surrey Cook Book – recipes from local friends!

The Surrey Cook Book is the latest addition to Meze Publishing’s ‘Get Stuck In’ series of regional cook books, this time taking us South East through the enticing culinary landscape of Surrey. The journey unfolds through the beautiful Surrey Hills, an area renowned for its farming community and array of …

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Learn how to help robins this year with the RSPB

Robins are with us throughout the year but many people only begin to really notice them around Christmas time. The robin’s association with the festive season is believed to have begun when scarlet-jacketed postmen were delivering Christmas cards, and the similarly-coloured robin redbreast soon became linked to this tradition. Their …

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Autumn Squash recipes

Shallot, Pumpkin and Red Pepper Soup with Candied Shallot and Pumpkin Seeds Ingredients: For the soup: 4 red peppers, deseeded and cut into quarters, 30g butter, 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, 6 shallots, diced and peeled, 750g pumpkin, peeled and diced into 2cm pieces, 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped, …

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New audio guide sheds light on the secrets of Witley Camp

In 2019, Godalming Museum was awarded £63,900 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to carry out an exciting community archaeology project at Witley Camp, with help from Surrey County Archaeological Unit and The National Trust. Once a bustling military camp home to 20,000 British and Canadian soldiers and a veterinary …

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Chocolate temptations

Karen Doidge Hill has always been very creative, with her first love being fashion design. She grew up in Cornwall before moving to London to study at London College of Fashion. After graduating, she opened a boutique which also had concessions in Top Shop. With the advent of children, she …

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Five tips from HR for successful remote inductions

Sometimes change can lead to good things. If your business is in the position to be hiring at the moment, chances are you and your team are fairly busy, and business is going well. After finalising your recruitment process, which may have been arduous with applications at an all-time high, …

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Weekend Walk: Box Hill (5 plus 4.5 miles)

Walk east, past Ryka’s café, through the car park of the Burford Bridge Hotel and then a few yards along the A24 towards Dorking. Just past the roundabout take a path left, down into a field by the side of the River Mole. Walk around the edge of the field, …

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Weekend Walk: Farnham to Crondall (9 miles)

This is an easy, relatively flat walk which offers some interesting views and pleasant countryside. The walk was provided by Guildford Rambling Club (guildfordramblingclub.org.uk). Duck back into the park at the back of the car park and go right. Then take the path right, between the cricket pitch and the …

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Best Practices and Cyber Security Tips for Working Remotely

Shaped by COVID-19 policies and concerns, the UK workforce is becoming gradually more remote. The number of businesses committing to a remote workforce is growing in number just as alternatives to the traditional office setting become a key talking point. But, for many, careers have been developed and nurtured in …

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Restaurant review – The Giggling Squid, Guildford

An invitation to review a restaurant at this time was unexpected but very agreeable, as you imagine. Giggling Squid in Guildford was a new venue for me and business partner Marcus, although we have previously had a very good ‘tapas style’ lunch in their Farnham branch when it opened a …

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Weekend Walk: Dunsfold to Cranleigh or vice versa (9.75 miles)

This is a flat walk through attractive countryside which offers some splendid views. The walk was submitted by Guildford Rambling Club (see guildfordramblingclub.org.uk). From Dunsfold – from the parking, go along the far side of the road, right, until reaching a lane going left, along the side of a tiny …

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Weekend Walk: Holmbury Hill from Peaslake (3 miles)

The majority of the route for this walk is along woodland paths and tracks. The walk can be strenuous in places, with a steep descent at one point to reach Holmbury St Mary and a steady climb after the pubs. The scenery is stunning with the finale being Holmbury Hill …

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Weekend Walk: Ripley and the Wey Navigation (5 plus 5 miles)

This is an easy, flat, figure of 8 walk, running past a lake and alongside the historic Wey Navigation. The walk description is provided by Guildford Rambling Club (guildfordramblingclub.org.uk). Facing the back of the shops, head right, passing behind the houses until emerging on Newark Lane (the B367). Turn right …

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Prologue Youth Theatre Company

Prologue Youth Theatre Company  Prologue Youth Theatre Company aims to provide high-quality workshops to help young people develop their creative, social and personal skills.  With weekly workshops for young people aged 9 to 25, Prologue Youth Theatre Company supports young people in order to develop performance skills and nurture creativity. Prologue …

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Watch your stress levels

We all experience stress from time to time. There are many things that can lead to us feeling stressed. It can come from the news, our jobs, financial insecurity, health issues and personal problems. Feeling constantly stressed and overwhelmed can lead to a rise in blood pressure and resting heart …

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Chilworth Gunpowder Mills restoration work completed – and a walk!

Access to one of Guildford’s most important heritage sites has been improved following completion of the latest restoration works at the Chilworth Gunpowder Mills. Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of its closure, in 1920, repairs to the 1880s steam-powered mill buildings on the site include improvements to three bridges, strengthening …

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Three recipes from Four Gables

Spiced Flatbreads These are a staple in my house, not just at work. I make them with lots of things, just on their own with some dipping sauce or maybe stuffed with sundried tomato and mozzarella. Love curry? Love making it at home – these are a great substitute for …

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Thoughts of Autumn – a poem

Late summer sun, slow change in hues of leaves whose days are nearly done, dues paid for the year, so they may either linger on, through autumn’s shifts, or drop tomorrow, an early gift to the earth below, and all the things about to grow in gardens, fields and water …

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Two more video testimonials!

Don’t take our word for it – this is what 2 of our regular advertisers have to say about VantagePoint!: Andy Jones, A2B Pest Control Francesco Bartolomei, The Talbot Hotel, Ripley

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Sweet treats from the Cowdray Farm Shop & Café

These recipes are by Ben Jupp, Head Chef of Cowdray Farm Shop & Café  – www.cowdray.co.uk/cowdray-farm-shop/ Cowdray Bara Brith (Tea Loaf) Ingredients: 225g mixed fruit, 175g black strong tea, 125g dark brown sugar, 225g raising flour, 1 egg , 4g baking powder Serves 4 Method: 1. First boil the kettle …

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The Eatwell Guide – tips for planning a healthy, well-balanced diet

A healthy, well-balanced diet is important for managing your weight and preventing serious health problems, including heart disease. The Eatwell guide is a visual tool that represents government guidelines on healthy eating. In this Healthy Tip, we give you some tips for planning a healthy, well-balanced diet using the Eatwell …

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Weekend Walk: Dorking, Box Hill & Reigate (10 miles)

The morning walk starts with a stiff climb up onto Mickleham Downs and there is a corresponding climb down later but your efforts will be rewarded by some splendid views and you can always soothe your aches in the Running Horse at lunchtime. The afternoon is less strenuous but no …

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Ten tips for nurturing emotional wellbeing in the home

The new school year will soon be with us: make sure youngsters feel calm about what lies ahead. Former teacher Catherine Lynch of education resources and lesson-planning experts PlanBee has ten tips  As families struggle to deal with the fall-out from exams chaos, don’t forget that younger children also need …

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Moving later in life

When elderly parents need to downsize, it can be an ordeal for the whole family. Penny Kitchen talks to a woman who knows how to help from first-hand experience. Amanda Fyfe was a successful businesswoman with a young family when she realised that her parents, aged 75 and 85, needed …

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Vegetable Lasagne

Although this can take a while to prepare, it is well worth the effort. Using lots of flavoursome organic vegetables, served with homemade Soda bread and a light green salad, it’s a sure fire hit with the whole family. Ingredients: 2 aubergines cut into chunks; 2-3 courgettes cut into thick …

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Weekend Walk: Midhurst, Bepton and Cocking (9.5 miles)

This walk has very little in the way of ups and downs as it passes through woods and fields south of Midhurst, then, at one point, briefly climbs up to skirt the South Downs. The walk was submitted by Guildford Rambling Club (see guildfordramblingclub.org.uk). From the bottom of the car …

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P-p-p-pick up a puppy!

Emma Marchington MRCVS, of Brelades Vets in Dorking, offers advice to anyone thinking of getting a dog There is a lot to consider when getting a new dog. Whether you have had dogs for years, not had a dog since your childhood or a first time dog owner, it is …

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Strong spines

Back pain is a normal occurrence which on average happens once or twice a year. The back, as with any other part of the body, is made up of bones, ligaments and muscles and these structures can from time to time become injured, sore, strained and sprained and take a …

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Tinwood Estate – a wonderful wine experience!

The Tinwood Estate is a wine estate that I knew about but had never visited. It is situated close to Goodwood, near Chichester, which is one of my favourite places on earth. As a member there, I have driven past the signs for the past ten years or more while …

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Bring some sunshine to your lunch time

Whether the sun is shining or not, bring a little of the Tropics to your dinner table with these delicious, and healthy, summer dishes from award winning nutritionist Christine Bailey… Mango Salad with Thai Dressing This is an incredibly simple salad but is jazzed up with a delicious Thai style …

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Weekend Walk: Alice Holt Forest (7 miles)

Alice Holt is such an ancient forest that no one is completely certain how it got its name. Most likely, it came from Ælfsige, anglo-saxon bishop of Winchester and “holt” meaning simply “a wood”. The Forestry Commission took it over in 1924 and established a research centre which advises on …

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Abinger Cookery School recipes

Chargrilled leeks with a Romesco sauce Ingredients: 8 small leeks 3 tbsp olive oil Juice and zest of 1 lemon 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely sliced Small handful of basil and parsley, roughly chopped Salt and pepper For the Romesco sauce: 1 dried red chilli, soaked in warm water …

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Antiques and Collecting

Local antique dealer Debbie Serpell offers some advice on collecting… Many of the good antique dealers began their trade as collectors first. Their love of their specialist field of antiques has invariably sprung from their passion for collecting. My own personal love of collecting antiques and subsequent career in dealing …

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Weekend Walk: Leith Hill and Friday Street (6.5 miles)

At 965 feet (294m) Leith Hill is not only the highest point in Surrey but also the highest in south east England. It is a magnificent viewpoint, one of a series that crowns the well-wooded greensand ridge a few miles south of the North Downs. This walk is mostly through …

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Heirloom Fruit and Vegetables

Food writer Shirlee Posner looks into traditional varieties of fruit and vegetables Some chefs are proud of the provenance of their ingredients and its not unusual to see heritage or heirloom mentioned on menus particularly in reference to tomatoes. In the south east of England we are lucky to have …

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Fabulous new testimonial for VantagePoint!

We we very grateful to receive a lovely message from Jen Clay at Oakleaf Enterprises. As a VantagePoint team, we all joined into one of their wonderful quizzes in lockdown and had a great time – and raised money for this amazing charity. Support them if you can! www.oakleaf-enterprise.org

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Shallot tarte tatin with goat’s cheese

David Gillott is the owner of Four Gables Group, which is based on a smallholding in Ashtead. In David’s Tarte Tatin, the gentle flavour of the shallots is a perfect partner to goat’s cheese – whether you choose a young, mellow cheese or a full-flavoured showstopper, these are going to …

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Creating a Garden for Retirement by Beth Otway

In the garden I am always thinking ahead, whether I’m ordering seed for future sowings, designing a new feature, planning a long-term trial or just thinking about which new plants to grow next year. It is always wise to plan for the future so that you can fulfil all your …

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The importance of music in schools

Nearly everyone enjoys music, whether by listening to it, singing, or playing an instrument. Read on to learn why music education is so important, and how it offers benefits even beyond itself. 1. Musical training helps develop language and reasoning: Students who have early musical training will develop the areas …

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Top tips for summer pet safety

With summer on its way, it is vital to ensure that our dogs and cats are properly cared for in the hot weather. We asked a couple of local vets for some hints and tips: 1. Provide plenty of clean fresh water for all pets in warmer weather. 2. Paddling …

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5 ‘Post Lockdown’ Tips for improving your fitness and health

Well, these last few months have been a tricky one for health and fitness! Where have you stood, or possibly sat, during the lockdown months? Many started with great intentions; out walking more, taking up running, home workouts and cycling, but alongside this, there seemed to be more ‘evening comfort’ …

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Weekend Walk: Shottermill to Marley Common (3.5 miles)

This is a great walk to do with the children, and dad will be happy as it starts and ends at a pub! It takes in ancient beech woodland, perfect hide-and-seek territory, and a chestnut coppice that’s an ideal den-building spot. You may also catch a glimpse of fish in …

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Brunching out

Given people’s increasingly hectic lives, brunch is becoming a very popular meal, especially at weekends. After that stolen lie-in, a heavy duty shopping expedition or a morning ferrying children left, right and centre, what could be better than a mouth-watering mid-morning treat? The word ‘brunch’ first appeared in print in …

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Kiddiwalks: Gunpowder at Chilworth (3 miles)

A lovely walk that starts in peaceful woodland where only the bird song and the sound of running water breaks the silence. Amongst the trees will be found the stark remains of Chilworth’s old gunpowder mills, at one time the most important in England. Just imagine the scene as horses …

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Cooked Meals for Vulnerable Families

Stoke Community Support, Guildford and surrounding areas.  The Project Team of Stoke Community Support (SCS)  is providing cooked meals to vulnerable families/individuals across Guildford in response to Covid-19.   Led by St John’s Church Stoke and St Peter’s Church Stoke Hill, SCS is working in collaboration with St Saviour’s Church, …

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Dealing with Debt – Citizens Advice Waverley can help…

During the coronavirus pandemic many people have been made redundant, others have been furloughed to protect their jobs and many have had to claim benefits. The government, regulators and firms have acted to protect people from the financial impact of coronavirus by pausing large parts of the economy. Across the …

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Take three local chefs…

These recipes have been supplied by our good friend Tracy Carroll from www.localfoodbritain.co.uk which showcases the very best local food, drinks, and places to eat locally. Wilted Watercress & Local Squid Sauté The Elsted Inn, Lisa and Malcolm King’s jewel of a country pub, is a favourite with walkers and …

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Weekend Walk: Runnymede and its memorials

This walk this month takes you through Virginia Water and on to the River Thames and the three memorials at Runnymede – to the Magna Carta, President Kennedy and the Air Forces, all of which are free to visit. If you want to make a day of it, you could …

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Personal Training that Suits YOU and YOUR Lifestyle.

Fiona Digby-Jones gives some advice on how we can get back on track and in shape following the past few months of lockdown. I know how overwhelming it can feel keeping on top of all that your business or busy job demands of you,  Let alone keeping on top of …

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Montezuma’s Chocolate recipes!

Montezuma’s Chocolate has partnered with Rosie Birkett, a cook, food writer and influencer to create a Chocolate, Cardamon and Hazelnut Tart and Mango & White Chocolate Mousse recipe. Chocolate, Cardamom and Hazelnut Tart This tart is a wonderful example of how great quality chocolate can be elevated into a really special dessert. I …

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Our Local Wildlife Trusts

Phil Kemp meets with the Surrey Wildlife Trust to learn about the outstanding work they and other Wildlife Trusts do to safeguard and enhance the natural environment for the benefit of nature. The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts was founded in 1912 with the charity’s primary role being to ensure …

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Barbecue and a bread

Jerk pork & shallot skewers with pineapple salsa Ingredients: 650g pork steaks, cut into 2.5cm cubes (leg or shoulder), 12 shallots, peeled and cut in half, 3 tbsp jerk rub, 3 tbsp olive oil. For the Salsa: ½ fresh pineapple, chopped into 1cm cubes, 3 shallots, finely chopped, a handful …

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Weekend Walk: Chawton – figure of eight (4.5 + 5 miles)

This walk takes you through pretty woods and fields around Chawton in Hampshire. You may, of course, choose to tackle only one of the loops and spend time visiting Jane Austen’s house. The walk was submitted by Guildford Rambling Club (see guildfordramblingclub.org.uk). Option 1 – 4.5 miles – Chawton to …

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Stay Loyal to Local!

As Local Food Britain launches a new campaign encouraging people to ‘Stay Loyal to Local’ beyond the lockdown, here we explain more about how it all came about – and the ways that independent businesses are set to benefit While the lockdown has undoubtedly brought many challenges, one of the …

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The Meaning of Birdsong – a poem

This poem was sent in to us by one of our readers, Peter Taylor           Warm May morning, pink azaleas alight, never been so bright before, so fiery so soon after winter’s wake (quite late this year). I toast my feet beneath a dodging sun, soaking …

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A light summer lunch

Chicken Caesar Salad Cups These cute Little Gem lettuce cups make perfect bite sized scoops for a delicious cheat’s version of the classic Caesar salad. Ingredients: 3 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 clove garlic, crushed, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 20g parmesan, finely grated plus a little extra for decoration, 4 radishes, cut …

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Weekend Walk: Reigate Heath (4.5 + 3.25 miles)

This more or less level walk takes you through woods and fields close to Reigate. Reigate Heath is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), one of the most important wildlife designations nationally and a Local Nature Reserve (LNR). It is an important example of the lowland heath habitat, …

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Summer berry recipes

Mixed Berry Cheesecake This beautiful cheesecake is the perfect centrepiece to impress guests. With its pale pink colour and a bounty of berries on top it’s delicious too. Add edible flowers for an extra touch. Ingredients: 125g digestive biscuits, 75g ginger biscuits, 100g melted butter, 300g strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, …

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Wildflowers on our roadside verges

The A24 between Dorking and Capel is notable for its bikers, but also for its central strip of grass, dotted with trees, between the two sides of the carriageway. Over the past few months, the verge has grown up and there have been wildflowers and long grasses waving in the …

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Birds of a feather get hot in this weather

Temperature predicated to climb above 30 degrees this week across parts of the UK. While we enjoy the sun, our favourite garden birds, like robins, blue tits and blackbirds could be left struggling as the heat dries up natural water sources. The RSPB is asking people to leave out a …

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Weekend Walk: Chiddingfold to Ram’s Nest (8.75 miles)

This walk takes you through woods and fields between Chiddingfold and Ram’s Nest. Chiddingfold became famous for its glass-making – during the reign of Elizabeth I, there were no fewer than 11 glass works on the green. Chiddingfold glass was used in some of the finest buildings in the land, …

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Some summer salads…

It’s almost summer which means it is time for salads. There are masses of fabulous ingredients out there which will help you to create some terrific combinations. Use them as lighter starters or side dishes or go large and make them your main meal. The first three salads come courtesy …

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Weekend Walk: Shamley Green and Winkworth (9.5 miles)

This is a walk which offers some splendid views and a brush with religious history and, in parts, a fairly strenuous leg stretch. Some of the bridleways can get pretty muddy, so stout waterproof boots are recommended outside of the summer. I did the walk starting at Winkworth Arboretum, which …

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A Foraged Meal for Early Summer

June is a time when many wild foods are at their best; combine these with some of the cultivated foods in season now and you can create some wonderful dishes. Here are a few seasonal suggestions from our friend Peter Sibley… Sea Trout with Samphire Sea Trout is in season …

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Ingredients for Academic Success

What makes the difference between an academically successful child and one who struggles with schoolwork? Anna Dalglish, Instructor at the Kumon Maths and English Study Centre in Guildford North, believes a child’s potential to learn is unlimited, particularly if these key components for successful learning are in place: Individualised progress …

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Local Craft Gin Distilleries

Phil Kemp visits three of our local artisan distilleries to get a taste of the craft gin explosion The gin industry throughout the country is reportedly experiencing a booming demand for one of the nation’s favourite tipples. And with total sales of almost £2 billion across the sector last year …

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Weekend Walk: Thorney Island (8.5 miles)

This is the ideal walk for those who love sea views. Doing the walk clockwise from Emsworth gets the inland sections over at the beginning. Once onto the shoreline, the route is very easy to follow so you can concentrate on enjoying the route rather than reading instructions. A visit …

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Weekend Walk: Abinger, Holmbury and Wotton (8.75 miles)

This is a walk of extraordinary variety showing you many different aspects of the Surrey countryside between Dorking and Guildford. There are just a few nettles around the stiles but little mud and the route is fine for a dog. The stile count is moderate. It is a bit text …

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Some picnic food ideas

Easy Coronation chicken pies Ingredients 1 tbsp olive oil; 1 onion; 2 tbsp medium curry powder; 3 tbsp mango chutney; 1 large cooked chicken breast; diced into chunks; 140g double cream; knob of butter; 500g pack shortcrust pastry; flour for dusting; 1 beaten egg; 2 tbsp flaked almonds (optional). Makes …

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Gin cocktails

We have three cocktail ideas from our friends at Silent Pool Distillery. BEE’S KNEES Bees harvest nectar from nearby flowers, so honey is a direct reflection of the area in which it is made. That’s why local honey is not only a key ingredient in Silent Pool gin but also …

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Sunfower Seed Plait from Bake with Jack

Here is a recipe from our good friend Jack Sturgess, who runs Bake with Jack. Visit www.bakewithjack.co.uk for more information       Ingredients: 200g wholemeal flour 175g strong white bread flour 7g salt 7g sachet of dry yeast, or 12g fresh yeast 250g room temperature water 20g soft butter …

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Bank Holiday Recipes

British Asparagus Spring Pasta A super quick and easy dish for those mid-week meals that requires little preparation time. Ingredients: 400g British asparagus; 170g frozen peas; 350g pappardelle pasta; 2 knobs of butter; 1tbsp olive oil; 4 shallots, finely chopped; 2 garlic cloves, crushed; 200ml crème fraiche; handful of chopped …

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This weekend, wake up to the symphony of the Dawn Chorus!

Sunday 3rd May is International Dawn Chorus Day – a day to celebrate the early morning swell of birdsong! In this unprecedented time when many of us have limited access to the outdoors, you only need to open your window to enjoy this natural phenomenon. 40 million birds have disappeared …

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Think about your Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney

We are experiencing exceptionally difficult times. We will get back to having fun with our families and our favourite pastimes before too long. At the time of writing we have wonderful weather which many of us are able to enjoy however those who are working in essential services and in …

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Spring is here! Top ten signs of it in your garden

Spring is now here, and there are signs of it all around us – birds singing, flowers blooming, and being able to go outside without five layers on! The RSPB has collected top ten signs of spring that you may see from your garden: Birds building nests – birds only …

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Dog training tips whilst in isolation

Life in lockdown is very different for your dogs as well as yourselves.  Their old routine has gone out of the window and they are adjusting to the new ‘norm’.  You may be busy working at home, or entertaining your children, but do give some attention to your wonderful pets …

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Beth Otway’s Exciting Vegetables to Grow Now!

I enjoy the excitement felt at this time of year!  By the middle of March, the window of possibility stretches out before us; we have the opportunity to sow seeds of a wide range of great tasting vegetables.  Here are some of the seeds you can sow this month: I …

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Weekend Walk: Bignor Hill and Houghton Forest (5.5 miles)

This walk is an absolute classic, and you can see the reason: it has the ingredients of great views without climbing and wonderful woodland on the return. It is short and easy and hugely rewarding, especially recommended for those who want a pleasant half-day in the South Downs or maybe …

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Beth Otway’s Gardening Advice

Spring is a magical time.  Cheerful spring flowers brighten our gardens, as we bask in the joy of nature’s promise that there’s so much more to come.  This is such an invigorating and inspiring time, with much to see and do in the garden. It’s easier to pull up weeds …

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Weekend Walk: Polesden Lacey Circular (8 miles)

At Hikes of Surrey, we begin most of our walks from St Martins Church because of the easy parking and the spire acts as an excellent focal point and marker when we’re out in the hills. Parking is easiest in St Martins car park just north of the church. Make …

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Zero Hours Contracts

According to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS, https://www.acas.org.uk/), a zero-hours contract is a type of contract between an employer and a worker where: your employer does not have to give you any minimum working hours; and you do not have to take any work offered. Workers on zero …

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Tips for working from home

          Helpline Number – 01483 600085 Tips for working from home These tips are for anyone working from home. Recent Coronavirus developments have led to many organisations asking staff to work from home. Usually this should be done with plenty of change planning, but in this …

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