Surrey Hills Challenge to raise money for local Communities

13th May 2016

The Surrey Hills Challenge is set to be one of the biggest sporting challenges in Surrey next year with a series of running and walking events in the beautiful landscape of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) on Sunday 25th September 2016.

People of all ages and fitness can participate in four different running and walking challenges and raise money for local communities.

The Greensand Way will form the backdrop to the event where the super fit can face the ultimate challenge with ‘The Ultra’, a 60km run, ‘The Half’, no ordinary walk (or run) in the park of 21km, ‘The Ten’, a fast and furious 10km or ‘The Five’, a family challenge 5km event.

The challenges start in Haslemere, passes the Devil’s Punchbowl at Hindhead, traverses the main Surrey hills of Hascombe, Pitch, Holmbury and Leith Hill, before descending north to Dorking. Much of the route is rolling hills, woodland trails, fields and footpaths providing participants with glorious views.

Wendy Varcoe, Executive Director of the Community Foundation for Surrey explains;

“This is a fantastic event for people of all ages and fitness levels to walk or run the Surrey Hills and support local communities and people in Surrey. By taking part in the Challenge you will be helping others in our local communities and supporting this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

Chairman of the Surrey Hills Trust Fund, Neil Maltby comments;

“The Surrey Hills Trust Fund is delighted to have been chosen as one of the beneficiaries for the Surrey Hills Challenge event. Money raised will go into local projects with a focus on conserving the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), from clearing viewpoints and restoring landscape features to enhancing the ecology and biodiversity of the area to educating younger audiences and local communities on the special qualities and importance of the Surrey Hills. Your support of this event will help to safeguard this beautiful area for future generations”.

The event will raise funds for the Community Foundation for Surrey, and the Surrey Hills Trust Fund, established to help local projects and community groups within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Those raising funds by participating in the Surrey Hills Challenge will enable the Trust Fund to help local projects conserving the AONB and support the people who live, work and enjoy the area.

Jim McAllister, Chief Executive, Rutland Management Ltd comments;

“We are delighted to be working with the Community Foundation for Surrey and the Surrey Hills to deliver an event that will not only raise funds for local communities, but highlight and help preserve the beautiful countryside we are so lucky to have on our doorstep. Everyone participating in the Surrey Hills Challenge will not only take away memories of a challenge they’ll never forget but leave a lasting legacy through their fundraising.”

The Surrey Hills Challenge will take place on Sunday 25th September 2016. Registration fees per person for ‘The Ultra’ (60km) is £80, ‘The Half’(21km) £35, ‘The Ten’ (10km) £25 and ‘The Five’ (5km) £15. A booking fee of £2 per registration is applicable. The event is open to everyone. Participants under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult or guardian.

Surrey Hills Trust Fund

27th April 2016

The Community Foundation for Surrey is working in partnership with the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to manage the Surrey Hills Trust Fund.

Our beautiful Surrey Hills are in danger of irreversible damage from development and careless over use. To protect our children’s rural heritage, please support the Surrey Hills Trust Fund.

The Fund has been established to help conserve and enhance this specially protected landscape. By supporting projects, programmes and activities that benefit the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, we can ensure our countryside is preserved.

We will work with local communities, landowners and partner organisations for the benefit of residents, workers and visitors to the Surrey Hills.

Give locally to protect the Surrey Hills now and in the future:

With your help, we can create a lasting legacy for the Surrey Hills ensuring it is enjoyed by generations to come. The Surrey Hills Trust Fund provides the chance to support projects that will benefit local communities and the environment.

How your donation can make a real difference:

The Surrey Hills Trust Fund will support a wide-range of local projects from landscape conservation grants to community enterprise schemes. Below are examples of areas of work that your donations could support:

  • Landscape Conservation projects to open up viewpoints, restore landscape features etc.
  • Working with volunteers to undertake landscape access and conservation work.
  • Educating younger generations on the importance and value of countryside.
  • Enhancing the ecology & biodiversity of the local area through practical projects.


The Surrey Hills Trust Fund helped students experience the Surrey Hills – Bear Grylls style!

The first grant awarded from the Surrey Hills Trust Fund enabled ten students from Therfield School in Leatherhead to undertake Forest School Survival Skills training, which involved building shelters, camp fires and learning how to forage for food, as well as outdoor team building.

They also undertook a mountain bike course on Leith Hill, learning how to navigate the trails, understand the environment and work together.

The aim was to offer a unique outdoor learning experience to young people who may not always get the opportunity, helping them engage with the Surrey Hills countryside and boosting confidence and learning.

Gail Rennie from Therfield School comments:

This has been a fantastic opportunity for our students. They have enjoyed the whole experience and learnt so much from practical skills to pulling together to work as a solid team. They have all worked really hard and these new skills will help to benefit their learning back in the classroom environment.

The programme was co-ordinated and led by the Leatherhead Youth Project (LYP), a charity launched in 2005 to help local young people to make safe, happy, resilient, and positive changes in their lives and in their community.

Oli Bell, LYP comments:

We were delighted to receive this grant from the Surrey Hills Trust Fund and work with the group of students from Therfield School. The programme we provided has not only been great fun but provided the students with new skills vital for learning and helped to boost confidence.

Gordon Jackson, Chairman of the Surrey Hills Trust Fund comments:

We were delighted to award this grant from the Surrey Hills Trust Fund. It is so very important to engage young people with their local countryside. The benefit of outdoor education is immense from developing confidence to understanding the natural environment. I hope this programme has inspired these young people and that they carry this experience into their futures.