Category Archives: Environment

A Gallery of Hope and Joy – the 2021 Farnham Flower Festival


Alison Ridgeon
Annette Wallace
Aspen Salisbury

Aspen Salisbury is a young artist who specialises in wildlife-inspired art and can be found on Instagram @byaspencrafts

Dawn Harcourt
Karina Fraser

Karina Fraser is a synesthetic artist who uses the neurological experience of synaesthesia, the cross wiring of senses, to explore and create abstract art. She can be found in her studio at St George’s Church and at


Knitchings is a head of creative arts, a knitter, artist, ‘interior freewheeler’, owner of the world’s most patient and obliging cat – Gladys – and has a large (43k) following on Instagram where she can be found @knitchings

Linda Daruvala

Linda Daruvala is an author and artist.

Penny Fleet

Penny Fleet is a mixed media artist, based near Odiham, who creates paintings, cards and collages on canvas, wood and paper using a combination of acrylic paints, inks, hand-decorated collage papers, thread, fabric and text. She can be found at

Sorrell Price
Susie Lidstone

Susie Lidstone is a watercolour artist well known for her paintings of flowers and buildings especially around Farnham. She can be found at


Castle Vets

Castle Vets is a veterinary practice based in Hale and Farnborough.

Farnham Mill

Farnham Mill is a nursing and dementia specialist care home based in north Farnham.


Florescence is an award-winning florist based in St Mark’s Church, and the sponsors of the Farnham Flower Festival.

Heavens Kitchen

Heavens Kitchen is an independent Mediterranean steak house In Hale Road, Farnham, open for both sit-down and take-away meals.

Mind Your Bonce

Mind your Bonce is a milliner based in Hale, making retro and modern hats and headwear.

Nibbs Gin

Nibbs is a small family business based in Surrey, producing small batch artisan gin in two flavours – elderflower gin, using freshly picked elderflower from the Surrey and Sussex countryside, and a ‘Surrey Hops’ gin using Farnham hops as a botanical.

The Rural Life Centre

The Rural Life Centre in Tilford is a living museum which collects, conserves and displays the history and culture of village life in the countryside.


Squires is a garden centre in Badshot Lea, part of a family-owned horticultural business across Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex, West London and Berkshire.

Usborne Books

Usborne sells books for children, often via local agents. To order any Usborne books, contact

Faith organisations

Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Assocation, Farnham

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association, Farnham, is a socially active branch of Lajna, an auxiliary organisation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Badshot Lea and Hale
The Bahá’í Faith

Bahá’ís believe the crucial need facing humanity is to find a unifying vision of the future of society and of the nature and purpose of life.

The Spire Church, Farnham

The Spire Church is a newly formed church created through a partnership between Farnham United Reformed Church and Farnham Methodist Church.


Angela Hall
The Buckle Family
Carolyn and Gerry Weston
The Church Cat
Flowers? What is the point if I can’t eat them?
Diana Thomas
Gillian Geraghty
Gillian Hyman
Judy Dudley
Margie Powell
Maxine Everitt
Melissa Salisbury
Melvin Little
Pamela Marsham
Wendy Edwards
Sobriety – an arrangement celebrating a year of sobriety achieved during lockdown of by a recovering alcoholic, remembering both the hope of recovery from addiction through seeking help and trusting the God of our understanding and the joys of sobriety.

Local Groups

Alder Valley Brass

Alder Valley Brass is a brass band based in Farnham, and a small group of its members played at the recent St George’s Day Service at St John’s.  It is a traditional brass band of 25 brass players plus percussion and also perform in smaller ensembles from time to time, and it is celebrating its 60th birthday.

Farnham Assist

Farnham ASSIST is a local charity supporting older people.

Hale Carnival Committee

Hale Carnival Committee is a group of people who organise the Hale Carnival and fundraise during the year. Sadly the carnival had to be cancelled this year because of Covid but it will be back!

Hale WI

Hale WI is a lively group which, out of lockdown, meets at the Hale Institute on the second Wednesday of the month at 1.45pm.

Little Bees

Little Bees Toddler Group is back at St George’s. For further information contact Maxine Everitt

Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Therapies Through Nature

Among the therapies offered by Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham therapy through nature, where the sessions are designed to support participants to live well through access to nature, horticulture and the garden, offering the benefits of ‘the great outdoors’ indoors.

Places of Education

Badshot Lea Village Infant School

Badshot Lea Village Infant School is a small school in the heart of Badshot Lea.

Farnham Heath End School

Farnham Heath End School is one of two secondary schools in north Farnham and is on the Weybourne/Heath End/Hale border.

Hale Academy

Hale Academy is a nursery and primary school in Upper Hale.


Post19 is a leading Life Skills and Support centre for young adults with learning difficulties.

William Cobbett Primary School
Year 4
Year 6
Individual entries

William Cobbett Primary School is based in Weybourne, north Farnham.

Flowers, Hope and Joy in Verse

Poems from the Farnham Flower Festival


My eyes gaze on such an ornate
Magnificent pattern
Glass gems held in a symmetrical mosaic
Glowing with brilliant light
Shapes and colours like a vivid prism rainbow
In a perfectly aligned stained glass window
Contained within this mini tube.
2019 felt like this…

But then I twisted the kaleidoscope
And everything changed
Fell apart
Jewelled shards became dishevelled, scattered
Collided, separated,
Broken fragments scrunching as a rainstick,
In disarray.
2020 felt like that…

But then a new pattern slowly emerged
Even more beautiful than the last
Everything again in harmony
A new design composed of the same elements
Beautifully, aesthetically glorious
Bright emeralds, rubies, amber and topaz
To savour, to once again bring joy and pleasure.
2021 feels like this…

Linda Daruvala

The Joys of Spring

As the seasons revolve spring gives me much the most joy.
The end of cold winter comes at last into sight
When those perky white snowdrops first cry out ahoy
To remind us dark days will soon bring us more light

Bright yellow daffodils really light up the scene
With crocuses busy and tulips resplendent
Flowers are a joy of spring each year to be seen
Add in the hyacinth with its powerful scent

Another highlight of spring is hearing again
The outburst of birdsong, soon to be in full spate
Take the blackbird with his melodic refrain
Sounds like ‘Can you hear me’ as if calling his mate

Spring finally ends with a crescendo of blossom
Flowering cherries galore, plums apples and pears
Buildings draped with wisteria look truly awesome
Wonderful spring brings a break from life’s daily cares.

John Littlewood

With the dawn of each brand-new day
Dusty cobwebs are swept away
Jewels adorn nature’s attire
Ravishing beauty to admire

Allay your worries, fears and regrets
Refresh, renew, is this a test?
Strength lies deep within
Pick up, dust off and begin

Step into a world of colour
Where rainbows merge into one another
Together we stride into the future
A never-ending united adventure.

Rashida Nasir

A Bright, New Dawn

As I look up toward the sky, clouds are racing.
They twist and turn, as they gather speed.
Their colours are mingled like a giant collage,
looking down upon the earth.
New life is emerging from the depths of winter,
where frost and ice has captured its prey.
Lakes and ponds that once were frozen,
are released from their unchanging prison,
as the waters race towards the sea.
Trees are bearing new life,
with buds forming and releasing their sweet aroma.
Grassy meadows are full of new life,
as insects march towards a new day.
Birds are gathering for their dawn chorus,
“Awake and see the rising sun, bid farewell to troubled times.”

Deborah Nobbs

You are Mighty Rich

Pray close that laptop, no more Twitter or Blog.
Where are your hopes, your dreams and wonder?
You have been blinded by the media my friend
and it’s black cloud you now sit under.

Mate, look at the birds, the trees, the flowers,
Know their song, their strength, their colour.
Breathe in the beauty of these simple things,
Refresh your mind and weary pallor.

Not much in the bank, yet you are mighty rich,
With love, family, hope and laughter.
Grab them! Drink them! Enjoy them again!
For they are yours, forever after.          

Sue Ratcliffe

As time passes,
We forget.
Forget the flower blooming on your window ledge,
Forget the tree growing solemnly behind your garden shed.
Forget the birds that sing every morning in the light of dawn,
Forget the intricate vines that crawl up, outside, on your walls.
Forget what life was like before all this,
Forget how to adapt to the world in light of this pandemic.
But now is not the time to forget.
But for a time for hope to begin blooming in our hearts.
It’s a time for understanding, peace, and joy,
So that we don’t let our loneliness destroy,
The one thing that the world cannot change:
For us to soon be all together again.

Eisha Sohail

Hope is like the birds chirping away
Like the smell of the sea by the bay
Joy is like flowers blooming
Like the glittering fireworks booming
Beauty is like the glimmer of crystals
Who knew life could be so blissful

Kashfa Sohail

Joy and peace
Words of content
Hard to gain but easy to lose
Simple steps to obtain this
Be nice and kind its all worthwhile
If someone’s sad make them smile
Be nice and kind its all worthwhile
Once you are nice and kind
You will feel joy and pride.

Wadood, age 13

Poem of Hope and Joy

Ring out from church and steeple,
Announce to all the people
That ingenious minds work day and night
To put the Covid threat to flight
And find a jab for every variant
Of this disease, ’till from the Orient
To Brazil it will be truly beaten back,
And Life again will come on track.

All countries must come within the fold
Of immunised communities,
And then all families, precious as gold,
Will be bound in Unity.

The Environment we aim to heal
And make our restoration real.
We’ll listen to Greta, and make the world better,
Clean up the seas and ban pollution,
Respect all nations, that’s the solution.
Let’s harness this altruistic trend
And dedicate ourselves to mend 
Our broken and divided world.

As we emerge from our hibernations
And begin to receive Invitations
To the Unmasked Ball,
And are no longer in thrall
To meeting on Zoom –
Come into the room,
Let’s Celebrate – no need to wait –
When those distant greetings are over and done
You can throw your arms around everyone!

Live Music is the hope for all.
Let’s raise the roof in every hall
And sing the Hallelujah Chorus
And other music, just as joyous
To raise our spirits, share the load,
Inspire us on the road ahead.

We will not waste the life we have,
But ‘seize the day’, dispense with strife. 
A new age now is slowly dawning,
‘And joy cometh in the morning’.

Frances Whewell

Belief in life below

Faith is the bare branch of a tree,
Chapped, grey, naked, and brittle
Bending, creaking, threatening to snap
In the cruel wind of winter;
Rising sap just a memory,
Unsure it will happen again.

It requires patience, endurance,
Readiness to flex in the storm
Courage to drive down your roots
Further, deeper into cold soil;
Faith is seeing the hard, dark earth
And believing in life below.

Faith is the precursor to hope,
Revealed in the smallest bud,
The slight suppleness of the branch,
The faintest breath of warmer air;
Sunlight growing longer, stronger
And bird call beyond the storms.

Hope is the bud’s stealthy swelling,
Turning its head to seek the sun
Supping sunlight through infant leaves,
Fragile, timid yet resolute,
Thin shoots, crushable, obstinate,
Life struggling from the hard, dark earth.

Hope is the hint we can unfurl,
Leave our tight buds of fear behind,
Unreasonably reasoning
That there will be again a time
Of sudden, brazen bursts of life
Profusely and recklessly here.

Hope is eternally stubborn
As it seeks and seeps through the cracks,
Forces itself into corners,
Slips under firmly bolted doors
And explodes impertinently
In blossoms of sudden laughter.

Hope leads you into the meadows,
Opens your eyes to see colours,
Teaches you to tune your senses,
To the swoop and the music of
Birds, breezes, insects, pollen, seeds
And to feel the sun kiss your face.

Hope is the precursor to joy,
Joy that can be uncovered,
Small, hushed, hidden, nestled
In spaces between roots of trees,
In blossoms, in cocoons and webs,
In the beating heart of the world.

Joy is a dance and a stillness,
An echoing whoop, a silence,
A laugh, a smile, a contentment,
A quiet coming alongside,
A turning of the hard, dark earth
To reveal the life promised within.

Stella Wiseman

Farnham Flower Festival 2021

Enjoy the online Farnham Flower Festival in this YouTube video:

Thank you to everyone who sent in this amazing selection of pictures for our annual flower festival, and to our poets too.

Gallery of pictures

You can see the gallery of flowers and art here.

Poems of hope and joy

To read the poems, click here.

How to arrange flowers

This year our festival has been sponsored by Florescence, an award-winning florist based at St Mark’s Church in Upper Hale. If you look at wonderful floral arrangements and think ‘I wish I could do that’, Elise from Florescence has made a video here to give you some tips. The finished arrangement can be seen in St Mark’s during our 11am Sunday service.

Thank you

Thank you to all who took part and to all of you for viewing this flower festival online. Our church flower arrangers have also placed beautiful displays in church which you can see at our Sunday services – 9.30am at St John’s, Hale; 10am at St George’s, Badshot Lea; and 11am at St Mark’s, Upper Hale.

The Covid pandemic has had an effect on our finances and the parish is more dependent than ever on donations. Please do give to support our work in the community. You can donate by clicking on the button below. Thank you.

Latest on plans for Farnham

North Farnham Voice – Farnham Infrastructure Plan Update

The draft Optimised Infrastructure Plan was issued for public consultation on the February 15 and the consultation finishes on March 14 so there isn’t much time.  So the consultation is really short.

Copies of the document can be found via the links below and comments can be made via the virtual consultation website:

There are some set questions against each of the summary pages for the different areas of the town but there is also a comments section that can be used for each area.  

There are also three virtual meetings being planned by the team running the programme which residents can participate in. 

Thursday, March 4, 6.30pm: Local Liaison Forum  
Monday, March 8, 6.30pm: Local Liaison Forum
Wednesday, March 10, 6.30pm: Businesses in Farnham.

You can register to attend via the link below:

There have been a couple of Zoom meetings of members of the North Farnham Voice Group and some useful exchanges on the North Farnham Voice Facebook page which have identified that the key concern from a North Farnham perspective is that there is no defined link between options to pedestrianise the town centre, which would close off the A325 and A287 through the town centre, and how the displaced traffic would be mitigated. 

The areas of highest impact will be in North Farnham. There are also concerns about the combined impact of displaced traffic and the significant additional housing development planned in the towns around Farnham.  The map below summarises the concern.

There are also issues raised at the North Farnham Local Liaison Forum meeting on January 6, such as rejecting the idea of no right turn from the Upper Hale Road on to Alma Lane, which are still in the proposals and need to be commented on again. There are also some proposals that have been well received by those involved in the North Farnham Voice group and others that lack clarity or have had a mixed response. 

The second issue of the North Farnham Voice leaflet has been prepared and is being distributed, and you can download a copy here.

Please spread the word about this consultation. There is still an opportunity to influence what is studied in the next phase that is what this consultation is for. If people say nothing, then those running the Farnham Infrastructure Programme will assume all is well and that the proposals are supported. Please do engage in this consultation as the outcome of this Infrastructure Programme will have an impact on Farnham for decades to come. 

There is lots of discussion on the North Farnham Voice Facebook page if you wish to share thoughts and ideas with the local community you are welcome to join –

Catherine Powell – Founder of North Farnham Voice

Your February Magazine is here

The February issue of the parish magazine is out. It’s full of information for this month, particularly about pancakes and Lent, along with articles on food waste, giving north Farnham a voice, eco living, Climate Change, a word from the local MP, prayer, the Church Cat and lots more.

You can find the magazine below. But if you would like a paper copy, please let us know by emailing Anne Young:

The cover price of the magazine is £10 for the year which pays for the editorial costs. We would be grateful if those accessing it online would make a donation of £1 an issue. You can donate by clicking here.

The magazine is available here:

Have your voice heard over the future of Farnham

Join the online public meeting on January 6 at 6.30pm to discuss the Farnham Infrastructure Programme which aims to improve traffic and transport across the town and make Farnham a better and safer place to live.

It is very important that north Farnham residents have their say so that all parts of the town are improved. For instance, if the centre of Farnham is pedestrianised, what impact would that have on north Farnham?

There are details of some of the issues in a leaflet here:

If you are on Facebook please join the North Farnham Voice group (click here) and please sign up for the Zoom meeting on Wednesday – click here to do so.

There will also be Zoom hubs available. Contact Hale Community Centre or St Mark’s Church/St George’s Church.

Anyone who doesn’t want to or cannot participate via Zoom can email Catherine Powell, founder of North Farnham Voice, with ideas and/or solutions or can contact their local councillor – details of councillors can be found here.

Please join us and have your voice heard.

Have your north Farnham Voice Heard

Have you heard of the Farnham Infrastructure Programme? It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to have an input into what is important to the people of Farnham and here in Badshot Lea and Hale to have our say on what we would like to see improved and how.

A local resident has set up a new Facebook page,

There is also a Powerpoint presentation of the ideas so far.

Please log on and have your say.

The group is also looking for volunteers to drop a leaflet into every household in North Farnham about the programme and other local initiatives. If you are happy to get involved please do get in touch via the North Farnham Voice page.

Picture © David Martin, Creative Commons.