Surrey Hills are alive and thriving

By Farnham Herald in Community News

SURREY Hills will celebrate its landmark 60th anniversary in style next year, thanks to a £6,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards an exciting new project.

The Surrey Hills was officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1958, – only the second landscape in the country to receive designation. There are now 38 AONBs in England and Wales, including the Cotswolds and Chilterns.

To mark the landmark, ‘The Surrey Hills AONB - 60 Years of Landscape Change’, will be published to raise greater awareness of what has been achieved.

Based on research by the Surrey Hills Society, it will record why the area was considered important enough to receive national protection in 1958 and how the designation has helped to protect and enhance it, including the ways that societal change has impacted on the landscape.

Surrey Hills Society vice-chairman Ken Bare said: “We are delighted to have received this grant, to raise awareness of the Surrey Hills and to provide greater understanding of its history to those who live, work in or visit the area.

“Looking at the scenery today, it is difficult to visualise some of the ways in which the landscape has changed over the last 60 years. I’m looking forward to discovering more about the area I am so passionate about during the research.”

The booklet will be illustrated with images from the early 20th century, the 1950s, and today, to show how it has changed with contributions from farmers and landowners, who will identify how, and why, the land has changed.

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