Surrey Heath’s Fly the Flag ceremony honours Armed Forces Day

When the military attend a ceremony in formal dress, the least I can do, when in their company, is to wear a suit and tie, no matter how hot the weather. [PS, now returned home, wearing T shirt and shorts, drinking tea in the shade. Even so, it’s always worth showing respect to our armed forces personnel and veterans, to whom I enjoy a chat].

The Fly the Flag for Armed Forces Day is a ceremony carried out at simultaneously with local authorities across the country. Armed Service personnel and veterans joined the Mayor of Surrey Heath, Councillor Valerie White, at the raising of the flag to honour Armed Forces Day on Saturday 24th June 2017.

At 10.30 am this morning on the lawn in front of Surrey Heath Borough Council offices I joined the the guests at the ceremony. The flag party consisted of – from left to right: WO1 David Lightfoot, Mayor of Surrey Heath – Cllr Valerie White, WO1 Mark Eastley, Lt Col Jonathan Scott MBE, Lt Col Tim Cave-Gibbs, Karen Whelan – Chief Executive of Surrey Heath Borough Council, Cllr Colin Dougan, Rev Andreas Sistig – Mayor’s Chaplain. When I say I joined the party, really I took photos, and this video.

NOTE: Apologies, have transposed the names WO1’s David Lightfoot and Mark Eastley in the video. It’s correct above. Will edit asap.

Watch the Surrey Heath Armed Forces Day flag raising on Monday 19th June

At 10.30 am on Monday 19th June, simultaneously with local authorities across the country, Armed Service personnel and veterans will join the Mayor of Surrey Heath, Councillor Valerie White, at Surrey Heath House at the raising of the flag to acknowledge Armed Forces Day on Saturday 24th June 2017.

The flag raising takes place on the lawn in front of the Council Offices. While being a short ceremony, it is none the less a quietly moving ceremony.

The Mayor opens Chobham Water Meadows

Surrey Heath Borough Council announce the formal opening of Chobham Water Meadows,

The new Mayor of Surrey Heath Cllr Valerie White completed one of her first official engagements when she formally opened the new site at Chobham Water Meadows.

Chobham Water Meadows is a scenic and peaceful 23.5 hectare SANG site, which offers many natural paths for walking, and includes a 2.5k circular route along the banks of the River Bourne. Visitors are welcome to exercise their dogs, cycle, run, or just amble through this special place taking in the meadow vistas, woodland boundaries and the gentle River Mill Bourne.

SANG stands for Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace. These areas are created as enhanced and attractive greenspaces that provide an enjoyable natural environment for recreational use, and are provided as an alternative to the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA).

The Thames Basin Heaths SPAs are internationally important heathland sites that support rare birds such as the Dartford warbler and Nightjar who are highly sensitive to visitors. SANGs are therefore provided to encourage recreational use there to reduce pressure on the SPA.

At the opening on May 25, following a speech and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the entrance to the SANG, Cllr White and the Surrey Heath Borough Council Chief Executive Karen Whelan planted a commemorative oak tree on the site. A plaque to identify this tree will be added in due course.

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Civic renewal on display as Surrey Heath installs its 45th Mayor

Yesterday evening we attended the annual council meeting of Surrey Heath Borough Council. The main item of the agenda is the installation of the Mayor for the ensuing year, and the selection of an accompanying Deputy Mayor.

The mayor making ceremony is an event of civic renewal, inasmuch that the incoming Mayor – Cllr Valerie White – and Deputy Mayor  – Cllr Dan Adams – commit themselves to serve the council and the community of Surrey Heath. The outgoing Mayor – Cllr John Winterton – gave the Council a brief report on his year of office, reflecting on the strong community spirit and volunteering of the people of Surrey Heath.

You can read the Council press release on the new Mayor and Deputy HERE. [Click on image to enlarge]

I’ve made a brief video of the event to provide a flavour of the Annual Meeting.

Network of free dog waste bag dispensers to be installed across Surrey Heath

Surrey Heath Borough Council announce,

Free dog waste bag units are to be installed across the borough following a successful trial by Surrey Heath Borough Council.

Six of the innovative TiksPac stations offering free biodegradable dog waste bags were installed at parks, footpaths and recreation grounds across Surrey Heath at the end of last year.

Following positive feedback from the public, reduced complaints about dog waste in these areas, and significant usage of the free bags by dog walkers, dispensers will soon be set up at more than 30 locations throughout the borough.

The original six stations were installed at Frimley Lodge Park; Lightwater Country Park; School Lane, Bagshot; The Briars Centre, Lightwater; Southcote Park and Watchetts Park, Camberley; and Frimley Recreation Ground. It is part of a concerted effort by the Council to reduce dog fouling across the borough, building on the glow in the dark ‘We’re Watching You’ posters launched last winter.

Sponsorship opportunities for the new dispensers are available to local businesses, with the chance to support this community and environmentally-friendly initiative whilst also displaying their logo on every TiksPac unit across the borough. Any interested companies should contact Pam at TiksPac UK on 01925 593982, or email

Day Fishing available at Lightwater Country Park

Surrey Heath Borough Council is pleased to announce that day fishing will be available at Lightwater Country Park from June 2017.

In a new initiative, day fishing will be possible on Hammonds Pond, which offers mixed course fishing so is an ideal place for pleasure angling. There are 10 ‘swims’ (fishing spots) available on the pond. A valid Environment Agency rod licence is required.

Day fishing will be offered from dawn to dusk, starting at the beginning of the fishing season on 16 June. Permits must be purchased from the Lightwater Country Park (LCP) café during opening hours (10am – 4pm).

For those that have arrived at dawn and are already set-up, permits can be bought over the phone by credit card if anglers do not wish to leave their tackle.

The cost to fish at LCP (Mon – Fri only) is:

  •                                        One rod        Two rods
  • Adult                                    £6                   £8
  • Child                                    £3                    £5
  • OAP concessionary rate:  £3                   £5
  • The entire pond is also available to hire for events and competitions at a day rate of £70. Hammonds Pond will be open for fishing from 16 June 2017 until mid-March 2018 when the angling closed season starts.

    More info: