Surrey Unearthed

Although not a FOBH event, members may be interested in this programme of events – one of which will happen at Box Hill.

Surrey Unearthed is a programme of ten linked projects exploring the natural materials beneath our feet through sculpture, installation, film, and writing.  The programme celebrates the importance of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with its rich history of local industry, farming and culture shaped by the use of natural materials over time from historic settlements to Capability Brown landscapes and Arts & Crafts architecture.


Harvest, by Mary Branson
Over the summer of 2018 Mary Branson will work with Lower Box Hill Farm to explore their relationship to the land and the processes and rituals of harvest time highlighting some of the unseen work that goes into shaping the landscape that is often taken for granted.

Follow the link to Surrey Unearthed for more details of this and the other projects.

Ride London 2018

A rather dismal cold, rainy day for Ride London was enlivened during the break between races by the singing Mickleham minstrel and the dancing NT ranger In spite of the weather the spectators at the start of the Zig Zag were enthusiastic in cheering on the riders and keeping themselves warm in the process.  Well done Rob!

Data Protection

A new Regulation comes into force from 25th May 2018 regarding the use and secure storage of Personal Data. This is an update of the previous Data Protection Act and requires even small charities such as the Friends of Box Hill (FOBH) to show that we handle information about you correctly.  The new regulation is called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  We also need your consent to send you data electronically, under the Privacy & Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR).

In order to comply with these regulations we are required to send all members a letter which includes a statement of our policy and also a consent form to be returned in a stamped, addressed envelope.  Please take some time to read this and complete and return the consent form – without this we may not be able to contact you in the future and your continued support is vital to us!

A copy of our policy can also be found here  – FOBH Data Privacy Notice.

Fungus Foray

About 20 people attended a fungus foray led by Dr Brian Spooner, who was, until he retired, Head of Mycology at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Some 50 different fungi were found and identified (not including microfungi!) and everyone was fascinated and entertained by the immense knowledge that Dr Spooner brought to the event.


Lots of photographs were taken (see below) and a dozen of them sent to Dr Spooner who provided the following identification:

1 Ganoderma adspersum (shelf/bracket fungus)

2 Hericium cirrhatum (tiered tooth)

3 Phallus impudicus (common stinkhorn)

4 Hygrocybe coccinea (scarlet waxcap)

5 Amanita muscaria (fly agaric)

6 Lycoperdon perlatum (common puffball)


7 Armillaria mellea (honey fungus)

8 Laccaria amethystina (amethyst deceiver)

9 Kuehneromyces mutabilis (sheathed woodtuft)

10 Pholiota adiposa (no common name)

11 Mycena arcangeliana (angel’s bonnet)

12 Clitocybe geotropa (trooping funnel)




Adonis Blue

Adonis Blue butterflies are out and about on Box Hill (or at least they were until today’s downpour!).  Just in case you’ve missed them here’s a couple of great photos taken by our long term volunteer Francisco while out with his team of volunteers last week.  Good to see our scrub bashing and cattle grazing is providing a good environment for the horseshoe vetch to flourish.

Fly Orchids on Box Hill

All the hard work by the Rangers and volunteers is rewarded by seeing the increase in flora and fauna on Box Hill, especially when somethings as rare and beautiful as the fly orchid puts in an appearance.  This year several have been seen and a good increase on previous occasional sightings.

Fly Orchid


Over 65 people attended the FOBH AGM on Saturday.  The Chairman and Treasurer’s reports were presented and accepted and the current committee was re-elected en bloc.  The Chairman mentioned in her report that whilst in Stratford upon Avon she had visited New Place, Shakespeare’s home for many years, and was amazed at the bronze sculpture of Box Hill’s well known Hawthorn tree which is sadly no more on Box Hill but lives on in spirit at New Place.

Reports were then presented by the NT Lead Ranger, Mark Dawson, the Box Hill Ranger, David Benjamins, and the Box Hill Education Officer, Catherine McCusker.

At the end of the AGM the Friends were asked to approve giving life membership of the Friends to David Kennington, NT General Manager for the Surrey Hills, who is about to retire and has been a strong supporter of FOBH during his long career at NT.  Approval was unanimous.  The Chairman said that a full appreciation of David’s contribution to Box Hill would be made at the FOBH Summer BBQ in June.

Following a short break for the traditional tea and cakes the Head of the Field Studies Council London Region, Simon Ward, gave an excellent presentation of the work of the FSC and how it has grown over their 70 years at Juniper Hall.  He pointed out how the landscape, flora and fauna, and location of Box Hill made it an extremely popular location for FSC visitors from around the world.


Exciting Progress on Lower Boxhill Farm

Wp1000929ork is progressing fast on restoring the riverside walk, now that NT has regained control of Lower Boxhill Farm.  A fence has already been installed about 10 metres in from the riverbank which will allow visitors to walk beside the river whilst protecting the grazing cattle and wildlife that will be in the adjacent fields.  Work is currently progressing on digging a large scrape which will be fed from the river and hopefully become an attractive wetlands area for birds and other wildlife.  Three Little Egrets and several Grey Herons have already been seen showing a keen interest! The scrape should also help alleviate the flooding that occurs in this area every winter during periods of heavy rain.

NT are expecting this work to be completed and the riverside walk to be officially re-opened early in the New Year.

Talk and Dinner

burford-bridge-meal-1Friends and their guests attended a talk and dinner at the Burford Bridge Hotel on Monday, 21st November.  Catherine McCusker, the NT Learning and Events Officer, gave a very entertaining talk on what makes Box Hill so special and this was followed by a three-course meal.  The Burford Bridge Hotel very generously gave us the use of the magnificent Tithe Barn for the talk and then laid on a superb meal in the Garden Room.  The event was extremely popular with over 50 people attending and everyone had a great time and several asking for more events of this type!20161121_205608