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Inside and Out – A Really Wild Day in Worplesdon!

Published on: 30 Sep, 2012
Updated on: 20 Apr, 2017

The wild side of Worplesdon was on show on Saturday (September 29) – at a day of events hosted by its United Reformed Church (URC) and Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT).

Alison Nesta of the Surrey Bat Group and Stuart Davies from Worplesdon United Reformed Church.

Wild Worplesdon was staged to give visitors a taste of the wildlife that can be found on the commons and woodland in the area, with some important scrub clearance work taking place at the same time on Rickford Common opposite the church itself.

Inside the church, at the foot of Perry Hill, were nature displays by Surrey Wildlife Trust, the Surrey Bat Group, Worplesdon Primary School, birdwatcher Malcolm Fincham, and the Fox Corner Community Wildlife Area.

The bat group’s Alison Nesta had brought along two live bats, rescued by the group and currently being looked after by them.

Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Mark Haver and Worplesdon resident Geoff Burch look at some of the vintage pictures from David Rose’s collection.

To complement the wildlife found today were vintage photos of Worplesdon – some showing just how much the landscape has changed over the past 100 years. Pictures were courtesy of Worplesdon URC stalwart Stella Harris and David Rose, from the Guildford Dragon NEWS.

Worplesdon resident Geoff Burch also came along with his laptop computer and showed a slide show of old photos of Worplesdon from his collection.

Brooke and Ellie May enjoying the craft activities.

Other members of the church provided refreshments, and there was a children’s corner where the youngsters could try their hand at art and crafty things with a wildlife theme.

Corrie Mayer and Sarah Davies with atrwork made by the children.

There was plenty of action going on outside opposite the church on the part of the common that borders the A322 and Goose Rye Road. SWT’s ranger for the Worplesdon Group of Commons, Mark Havler, led a party of volunteers clearing scrub and young trees.

Some of those who helped with the scrub clearance.

Work started on Friday and continued throughout Saturday to open up this overgrown area that features several small silted-up ponds.

Work in progress – there’s still more to be done!

Mark’s vision is to rid this area of the unwanted vegetation and, once properly cleared, to dig out the ponds to create one larger water feature. In time the ecology of this particular area will be much improved.

This view from the common to the church hasn’t been possible for years.

The ever-busy Mark Havler also led a guided walk around Rickford Common during the afternoon. and as darkness fell there was a further walk out into countryside around in search of bats.

Stuart Davies from the church was the main organiser of the day’s events that saw a steady stream of people drop in to see a wilder side of their own community.

Anne Philps and Stella Harris from Worplesdon United Reformed Church.

Worplesdon Reformed Church and its local nature event – Wild Worplesdon.

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Responses to Inside and Out – A Really Wild Day in Worplesdon!

  1. Eric Tickner, Australia

    October 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Your photos of the old ponds and overgrown bush opposite the chapel brought back lots of memories of when we used to play on the common in the late 1930s and during the war. We had names for a lot of places. There was “Lone Pine Lookout” up on the hill (it was really a Silver Birch), and I remember “Three Tree Valley” further down. One of the ponds that we used to sail our boats on we named “Indian Dell”, not sure if it was that one in the photo.
    They used to play cricket there before the cricket ground at the memorial hall was built.
    Keep up the good work! You never know, you may uncover the old cricket square!
    Good luck with the project.

    • Martin Giles

      October 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      Thank you for sharing your memories Eric. It is always good to hear them and I hope others have some to share with you.
      It is especially good to hear from past residents, perhaps thousands of miles away in the Commonwealth or other parts of the world, who still have happy memories of Guildford and the surrounding villages.
      I hope your comment will provoke some more.