Save our downs

Hello, my name is Katherine Atkinson and I live with my husband, two teenage kids and our dog near Guildford. We are really lucky to have the Surrey Hills on our doorstep. It is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which has the same level of protection as a National Park.

But the gorgeous downs that you see in the photo are under threat, despite being a nationally protected landscape. Tormead School (a private girls’ school in Guildford) wants to build an astroturf hockey pitch on a grass sports field called the Urnfield, just behind the treeline you can see in the photo. This development would include 8 tall floodlight towers which will be visible above the treeline when they are switched on. But the site is on a high ridge….from there you can see for 30 miles on a clear day, all the way to the London skyline and Heathrow airport. It is just the wrong place for floodlights.

Merrow Downs is a gorgeous space that is enjoyed by residents, visitors, runners, dog walkers and families. When you walk up to Merrow Downs from the road you take a deep breath of fresh air. It is such a treasured place….close to the town yet a wide, open and unspoilt gentle hillside meadow which is alive with skylarks and butterflies in the summer months.

Along with other residents, the Surrey Hills AONB and a range of environmental / wildlife groups, I want to stop these floodlights from being built as they will ruin the downs for people and wildlife. Bats, badgers and owls all live in the woodland at the top of the photo and use it for foraging.

Tormead School does not need these floodlights. The school currently uses other hockey pitches locally, but they want their “own” facilities instead. Their application was turned down by our local council, but Tormead managed to win an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. We have evidence that there are fundamental flaws in the evidence the school presented on the impact of these floodlights on wildlife and on people using Merrow Downs.

I am coordinating a crowdfunding appeal to save the downs from the impact of floodlighting. We need some specialist legal advice and support from an ecologist to show how damaging the floodlights would be.

If you agree that this is the wrong location for huge floodlights, if you love open spaces and dark skies, and if you believe our nationally protected landscapes should stay special, we would really appreciate any donation you can make towards our campaign. Thank you so much.
Donate

Donations 

  • Anonymous
    • £25 
    • 6 mos
  • Anonymous
    • £20 
    • 8 mos
  • Anonymous
    • £100 
    • 8 mos
  • Anonymous
    • £50 
    • 8 mos
  • Anonymous
    • £500 
    • 8 mos
Donate

Organizer

Katherine Atkinson
Organizer
England

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.