With spring on the horizon why not follow Emma Pritchard’s advice and make 2017 the year you embrace the joys of traditional country living
Make a difference
After a busy week in the office, the weekend offers the perfect opportunity to get outdoors. However, instead of simply heading for the hills why not use the time to help one of the many environmental charities in the area.
The Surrey Wildlife Trust, for example, is always on the lookout for new pairs of hands to assist with its crucial conservation work, and you can donate as much or as little time as you like.
In the past, volunteers have contributed to the restoration of the nightjars’ breeding habitats on Chobham Common and to scrub clearing on the rare lowland Brentmoor Heath near Woking. This year, why not help with the charity’s RiverSearch scheme to monitor the state of Surrey’s waterways; or become a Hedgerow Hero – preserving these vital green highways that enable wildlife to move around and breed safely.
But if outdoor activities are not what you’re looking for, the trust is also seeking support for its education sessions at Nower Wood, Leatherhed and on its Outdoor Learning Team offering you the opportunity to inspire future generations. Visit surreywildlifetrust.org to find out more.
Crazy for craft
Looking for a New Year’s resolution that is creative, relaxing and could save you money? Make-do-and-mend with one of these practical workshops
- Bake Nothing beats the scent of a fresh bread cooking in the oven. Master the art with the help of Jack Sturgess of Bake with Jack. You can choose from a general introduction or specialise with focaccia, baguettes and bread sticks. The best bit? Jack will come to you. Prices from £259; visit bakewithjack.co.uk for more.
- Shabby Chic The Crafty Nest, East Molesey, not only sells vintage homewares but also runs day classes in how to use chalk paint and techniques such as ageing, distressing and stencilling, to transform your own pieces into focal points to be proud of. Prices are from £28.95; visit craftynest.co.uk for more.
- Sew Two hours is all it takes for Lyn French of The Stitch Mouse in Epsom to teach you the basics. Join her ‘Getting to Know Your Sewing Machine’ course on 28 January and discover how to thread a machine, wind a bobbin, change broken needles and... sew! You’ll be an expert before you know it. She charges £35 per session; visit thestitchmouse.co.uk for more.
Check our our Craft & Country Section for more bracing pieces on Surrey & SW London's great outdoors