29th Sep 04
Tongham Village Goes Wild!
September has been a month celebrating the Surrey and Hampshire countryside with the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership ‘Go Wild! in Autumn’ and last Sunday saw the end of ‘Surrey Farm and Village Week’. As part of this there were high spirits aplenty at Tongham village over the weekend of the 18th September with events at the Hogs Back Brewery and Tongham Wood celebrating the Surrey countryside.

The Hogs Back Brewery kicked off the weekend with entertainment marking the start of the ‘Surrey Farm and Village Week’ which climaxed on 26th September with the Country Fair at Loseley Park. The week aimed to bring home the importance of agriculture and this year the emphasis was on local foods as it coincides with the British Food Fortnight. The local brewery held open brewery tours and had the amazing sight of around 100 Morris dancers; throughout the day visitors had entertainment from The Pilgrim Morris Men of Guildford and The Yateley Morris Men and ladies.

On Sunday 19th September the community went Wild! with the Tongham Wood Improvement Group as part of the Go Wild! in September programme of events co-ordinated by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership and ending this week. This month promotes the countryside which is on people’s doorstep and what is involved in looking after it.

Around 20 adults and children joined the regular volunteers for activities which took place throughout the day. Their hard work completing a woodland path worked up a healthy appetite that was satisfied by a Bar-B-Q ready to be worked off again with a woodland walk on the history and wildlife of the area. The most popular activity of the day was the bat walk in the early evening where people got to see another side to the wood. As darkness fell participants had the opportunity to hear the bats usually silent calls and watch their speed whilst skimming the Tongham Pool collecting food.

It was a thoroughly successful weekend which reaffirmed the value of the countryside to the area.


• Tongham Wood Improvement Group (TWIG) was formed in June 2004 and is a local voluntary group set up to promote and manage Tongham Wood for the benefit of the local community.
• The Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership (BVCP) is funded by the County, District and Parish Councils along the River Blackwater (www.blackwater-valley.org.uk ). It works to promote community action in conservation and recreation and to protect the Valley for the enjoyment and well being of the whole community.
• The Blackwater Valley runs for around 25 miles and offers plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation and relaxation. With over 30 wildlife sites and 70 lakes and ponds it is a haven for wildlife.
• Surrey Farm and Village Week is coordinated by Surrey County Agricultural Society with support from Surrey Hills Partnership, Surrey County Council, Waverley Borough Council, Business Link Surrey, the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group, Surrey Wildlife Trust, Surrey Young Farmers, Surrey Produce and Barclays Bank.
Leaflets containing the full programme of events are available from Surrey County Agricultural Society, 8 Birtley Courtyard, Bramley, Guildford, Surrey GU5 0LA, website: www.surreycountyshow.co.uk , or tel: 01483 890810. They are also available from council offices, libraries and tourist information centres.
• The Hogs Back Brewery is an independent real ale brewery based in Surrey, UK. Its excellent real ale 'TEA' (Traditional English Ale) has proved to be a favourite of cask conditioned ale drinkers throughout the UK. Winner of many awards including a gold medal for Best Bitter at the CAMRA Great British Beer festival. Contact: Hogs Back Brewery Ltd, Manor Farm, The Street, Tongham, Surrey. GU10 1DE, Tel 01252 783000, Fax 01252 782328, - E mail info@hogsback.co.uk

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