We are very pleased to announce that the Cobham Riverhill Project has been short-listed for the Open Spaces Society's Open Space Award.
Here is an extract from their press release.
Three community-based projects, in Bucks, Newcastle upon Tyne and Surrey, have been short-listed for the Open Spaces Society's prestigious Open Space Award.
The Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust, in partnership with Elmbridge Borough Council and with assistance from Surrey County Council, is transforming the Riverhill site from a scrubby, unattractive and overgrown area into an accessible wild meadow and grassed riverbanks with a riverside viewing-platform.
They have involved local schools, businesses, clubs, community groups and the councils in their work.
Says Tim Crowther, chairman of the Open Spaces Society and a member of the judging panel: 'This is an excellent example of local people working together to achieve something of real and lasting benefit to the community. We congratulate the Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust on their efforts.
'The winner will be announced at the society's AGM in July. There were 13 entries in total from England and Wales, all of them commendable and it was difficult to choose the short list.'Read more: Riverhill Short-Listed for National Open Space Award
The next CCHT Open Meeting will be taking place this week at 8pm on Wed 19th June 2013 at the Cobham Village Hall, Lushington Drive, Cobham, KT11 2LU
As well as providing updates on our latest projects and local planning applications, we shall be hearing from Stephanie Jacometti who is running Transition Cobham. Stephanie will update us on the progress that is being made and where we go in the future. Transition Cobham aims to build Cobham's local resilience, encourage sustainability and connect the community. For more information on Transition Cobham visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/TransitionCobham
The open meeting will conclude with a glass of wine, tea or coffee.
We do hope you will be join us on Wednesday evening.
The Cobham Farmers' Market will be open in Hollyhedge Road this Saturday which is located between the Downside Bridge Road car park and the High Street.
Both new and old traders will be there as well as involvement from local shops. Stalls will be selling a wide selection of items including eggs, cheese, meat, vegetables, cakes, pies, even plants for your garden.
The market is open from 9:30am to 2pm on the fourth Saturday of every month.
Cobham was once described as "a creature of the Mole" and it's the river that originally gave the village its reason for existence. Riverhill is where Cobham and the River Mole meet; where the modern town and the almost unchanged countryside merge and where centuries-old traditions of recreation and tranquillity continue to this day.
Time and modern life took their toll on this beautiful spot within Cobham's central Conservation area and it fell into disrepair. However a community-wide initiative has returned Riverhill back to its former glory. The Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust together with local schools, clubs, volunteers, businesses and with the help from Elmbridge Borough Council, raised £150,000 to complete the regeneration project in two years.
Complicated shuttering work was carried out re-building the river bank, protecting it for many years to come. Crumbling stone steps have been replaced by a state-of-the-art viewing platform (with disabled access) built from sustainable materials. Beautiful views both across the meadows and towards Surrey's oldest example of a working Mill can now be enjoyed from the platform or from one of the four new benches. New pathways have been laid and old pathways re-surfaced making the open space safe and accessible to all, reconnecting the two sides of the village back together again.
Nettles, weeds and scrub land have been replaced with gently rolling grassy banks. Overhanging trees and rampant shrubs have been pared back opening up the views and creating space. Shrubs, grasses, bulbs and wild meadow planting will greatly increase the area's bio-diversity making it a haven for flora and fauna to flourish.
Gerry Acher Chairman of the Trust is delighted with the success of the project: "Riverhill is a wonderful example of how a community can pull together working in partnership with the Elmbridge Leisure Services Department to make changes for the better. We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the local people and the local businesses who have donated their time, expertise and money investing in improving such a beautiful local landmark and we can't thank them enough.
There is still work to do: The area will continue to evolve with new information boards, more planting and other finishing touches. The success of the project so far has ensured the heart of the countryside has been restored back to Cobham for generations to come."
Members of the opening party from left to right:
Ian Gayton - Elmbridge Borough Council Green Spaces Manager, Cllr Jan Fuller - Elmbridge Borough Council Cabinet member Leisure and Cultural Services, Laura Richardson - Elmbridge Borough Council Parks Development Officer, Cllr Janet Turner - Mayor of Elmbridge, Sir Gerry Acher - Cobham Heritage Chairman, David Tipping - Cobham Heritage Vice Chairman and Gordon Bell - Bell Fischer Landscape Architects
Whilst we and many in the community would have preferred a much earlier closing time on Sundays we were advised that unless we could prove that there would be increased disorder on a Sunday between 6 pm and 9 pm as compared to other days during the week (which we could not) we had no grounds for pursuing this to a successful conclusion. Many thanks to Alistair Mann the Chair of the Chamber of Commerce for so successfully conducting the negotiations on behalf of the community with Sainsbury's legal adviser and to Cathy Cott the owner of Phoenix in Church Street and her barrister Sarah Clover QC for their constant advice and encouragement.
Our community is at its strongest when the CDRA, The Chamber and ourselves all work together as we have done in this case; thank you to both. We shall now be withdrawing our objections and supporting the application and whilst it is for each objector to decide his or her course of action it would be nice if we could dispense with the hearing on 13th May. This is a victory for common sense and for the community.
It just remains for us to thank every one of you who sent in valid objections because it was only on the strength of these that we were able to change the course of events thank you again for your support.
We are pleased to announce that part one of the Riverhill project will be opened by the Mayor of Elmbridge at 4:30pm on Wednesday 8th May 2013.
We have some finishing touches to do between now and the 8th May including the installation of benches, litter bins and the repair of the turf lifted by the regular flooding. But rest assured the protective fencing will be taken down on the 8th so we can take full advantage of the river bank in the better weather. We are indebted to all those who have given of their time freely to enable us to be in this position.
Work will continue after the opening in particular the area to the east of the slipway (where the ground is still too soft at present). An information board will be installed and other finishing touches. We have entered the Riverhill project for two national awards, the results will be announced later in the year.
All CCHT members, and especially those who have donated to the project, are most welcome to join us on the 8th May at 4:30pm. Please congregate on the new turf on either side of the platform, the cutting of the ribbon and the official opening will take place on the platform.
The Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust (CCHT) was relaunched in November 2005 from the Cobham Conservation Group. You can find out more about the Trust on the About Us page.
We hope you enjoy exploring our website and find the information interesting and stimulating and if you are not already a member that this will spur you on to join and support us. Click on the Membership menu for more details.