The Discovery Zone within the Box Hill café has been updated by FOBH in conjunction with NT. New flooring and new colours on the walls have lightened up the whole area and several new features have been added with a number of the rather tired ones removed. The popular “touchy-feely” bench has been retained as have the colourful murals by artist Helen Shackleton. A new “match the butterfly with its food and caterpillar” with spinning cubes has been added for young children and a “Ranger’s Notebook” and “Count the Species” game for the slightly older visitor.
Several Friends gave up their Easter Sunday to help man the FOBH stand. Lots of visitors enjoyed the NT Easter Egg trail, earned their chocolate eggs, and then spent time on a very sunny and hot day just relaxing on the Donkey Green. Our displays and interactives were enjoyed by many and the Centenary Banners provided a good talking point about the history of Box Hill. The Friends had a good time as well!
The Zig-Zag road will be closed between East car park and the London road junction between 0900hrs to 1800hrs from Friday 19th to Monday 22nd inclusive. NT will close the road when the car parks are full, but assume from 0900 hrs. As spaces become vacant they will allow vehicles into the car park from the Box Hill end only.
NT will have marshals between the East car park and the Smith & Western, and “no stopping” cones to try and prevent any vehicles parking on the road and causing blockages. NT will be operating a free park and ride between Ashcombe school and National Trust centre Box Hill for their visitors (see their website for further information).
The National Trust apologies for disruption caused to Box Hill residents however they are putting significant resources into this to maintain access for emergency vehicles and keep control of the site.
NT are offering self-guided Easter Egg trails through part of the Box Hill Play Trail from 6th April to 22nd April, from 10am – 3pm at £3 per trail. The trails will have a bird theme. FOBH will have our gazebo up with children’s activities on Easter Sunday 21st April.
If you would like to help us on the day, or just come along for a chat about the Friends please contact Lyn using the email link below.
For those of you interested in military history, here is a link to a document describing the WW2 defences around the Mole Gap. These include those that can be found on Box Hill.
NT Box Hill ran a Christmas craft workshop this year which was very well attended. As well as the traditional wreath making there were some wonderful table decorations and lots of other ideas. Attendees were also treated to a lunch which included a superb chocolate yule log made by NT Box Hill’s resident chef and chocolatier, Carlo.
Autumn on Box Hill and the fine, sunny weather is showing off the colours at their best. As well as leaves changing colour, the many berries are also at their brightest – have a look at our quiz showing many of the berries found on a recent walk and see how many you know.
This autumn the Surrey Hills will come alive not only with the seasonal colours but also an exciting new light installation. The temporary installation ‘Harvest’ features sixty six ‘invisible’ bales of hay, all of which will be cleverly illuminated. The artwork is the brainchild of local artist Mary Branson who wants to shine a light on the plight of the local farming community and the processes and rituals of harvest time in the current changing climate.
Mary comments: “It’s a rare privilege to be able to create an art work for such a beautiful location as Lower Box Hill Farm. Observing the fields harvest cycle has been a real eye opener, seeing the delicate balance faced each season with the increasingly extreme weather conditions. This is the story that has shaped my installation”.
Former Artist in Residence for the Houses of Parliament, Mary wanted to highlight how our changing climate has had a particularly damaging result on farming this year in the Surrey Hills with the drought causing a much reduced crop of hay at Box Hill Farm. She continues “Harvest is an illuminated artwork highlighting some of the unseen work that goes into shaping the landscape that is often taken for granted”.
The project forms part of ‘Surrey Unearthed’ a programme of ten linked projects exploring the natural materials beneath our feet through sculpture, installation, film, and writing. Surrey Unearthed celebrates the importance of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with its rich history of local industry, farming and culture and connecting people with their local landscapes.
The hay bales will light up from 15th-29th September from dusk until 10pm every Saturday and Sunday and will be visible from Salomon’s Memorial on Box Hill, enabling viewers to see the work from a distance.
For those wanting a close up look at the installation and a guided tour of the work by the artist herself, Mary is offering FREE guided walks on 15, 16, 22 and 23 September at dusk. Visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/harvest-artist-guided-walks-tickets-49647586267 to book a space.
The final opportunity to see the unusual piece in on the evening of Saturday 29 September at Salomon’s Memorial on Box Hill when a celebration event will take place. The event will include hand-held lanterns and traditional singing from community choirs and the opportunity to see the artwork lit up for the last time.
The Harvest light installation is funded by Arts Council England, Surrey County Council, The Surrey Hills Society and Arts Partnership Surrey.
Visit www.surreyunearthed.org for more information.
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.
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!