I promise that look on my face is one of concentration rather than consternation or exasperation - although with so much information to take-in in one day perhaps they become one and the same, on occasion

I promise that look on my face is one of concentration rather than consternation or exasperation - although with so much information to take-in during one day perhaps they become one and the same, on occasion.

The man beside me is Nigel Davenport, chief executive of Surrey Wildlife Trust, and if I remember correctly it’s at this point that we were discussing their position as the largest landowning wildlife trust in the country and how they go about funding their projects – a lot of good will and grants as it turns out, so make sure you have a look at their website at www.surreywildlifetrust.org and see if there is anyway you can help their fantastic work (they also have a monthly column in Surrey Life magazine, of course, too).

We were both along for the Surrey Hills Society chairman’s day, which saw society members (and me on kind invitation) journey from Court Farm in Chaldon to Titsey Place in Limpsfield via Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Bay Pond in Godstone and a quick lunch at the nearby pub, The Bell.

Along the way we learnt about the challenges faced by Surrey’s rural community (more of which in the current mag’s Surrey County Show coverage), that four terrapins are living wild in Godstone (not exactly native, but incapable of breeding) and that, while the M25 may have been great for commuter convenience, the run off has been less than welcome for the water quality of the area’s lakes – and that’s before we tackle the noise pollution…

From agriculture and farming then to wildlife and conservation and finally onto historic homes and the Titsey Estate, which was at one time the biggest estate in the south east of England. While the house isn’t the most beautiful you’ll ever come across (clad in a slightly odd form of Roman cement), its history is intriguing and it opens on limited dates a year thanks to a charitable trust. The gardens are glorious and apparently at their best in July. On yesterday’s evidence, it would definitely be worth checking out this summer’s opening times at www.titsey.org

There will be plenty of pics in June’s Surrey Life magazine and I’d like to thank Neil Maltby, Chris Howard and co at the Surrey Hills Society for having me along for the day. The organisation’s continued work in promoting an essential part of Surrey, so often forgotten by the wider world’s vision of the county as purely commutersville, is admirable.

  • To learn more about the Surrey Hills Society and how to become a member, visit www.surreyhills.org or call 01372 220647