Surrey Hills National Landscape launches Summer Travel Campaign
13th July 2022
The Surrey Hills National Landscape is delighted to launch their Summer Travel Campaign, welcoming visitors into the Surrey Hills by bus, rail, and active travel.
The Surrey Hills is one of the most popular of the 44 National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England with approximately 30 million visitors every year seeking to explore its countryside mainly by car. This puts great pressure on the roads, car parks and on our local communities. By working alongside rail and bus operators, local authorities and our business community, the campaign has been developed to provide a wonderful experience for those coming to the Surrey Hills via public transport.
On the 12 July, the refresh of the Mole Gap Trail was launched, the first of a series of promoted routes within the landscape. A railway poster created by Louise Dunkley was unveiled by Helyn Clack, Chair of Surrey County Council and Paul Potter, Chair of Mole Valley District Council at the inspiring location of Denbies Wine Estate, who kindly sponsored the event. These posters will be on display at over 10 stations, including Clapham Junction and London Victoria over the summer.
The Mole Gap trail links Leatherhead and Dorking town centres through beautiful Surrey countryside. The Mole Valley Welcome Back Fund enabled new signage which is sympathetic to the landscape to engage and educate the public enjoying the trail, recognising the importance of the relationship between town and country within and adjacent to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
I am so pleased to see impressive collaboration between organisations to encourage sustainable travel to the beautiful Surrey Hills. The campaign gives visitors the opportunity to make the switch from car to public transport, and experience the countryside in a new, exciting way.Helyn Clack, Chair of Surrey County Council
The trail offers QR codes linking to heritage points of interest, encouraging spend with local businesses including members of Surrey Hills Enterprises, within the town centres, and information on native Surrey Hills species depicted in detailed illustrations commissioned by Surrey Hills Society and funded by Surrey Hills Trust Fund. The design integrates with the existing silver arrows along the route by working with Surrey County Council, creating a cohesive and educative trail.
Funding received from the Welcome Back Fund this year has allowed us to support the visitor economy in Mole Valley. We are delighted to have been able to assist the Surrey Hills Board with these enhancements to the Mole Gap Trail and look forward to welcoming visitors into our beautiful area.Councillor David Draper, Mole Valley District Council Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism
This highly significant walking route not only showcases the beautiful countryside of Mole Valley but now also strengthens the relationship between town and countryside, encouraging visitors to extend their day to enjoy all that Dorking and Leatherhead have to offer in terms of hospitality, culture, history, and retailCouncillor Clayton Wellman, Mole Valley District Council Cabinet Member for Sustainable Economy and Security
The Mole Gap trail will also be able to be enjoyed online on the new Surrey Hills website through interactive maps, planned to go live in late summer. This allows people to discover and learn about the landscape digitally, inspiring a greater sense of confidence and knowledge towards the countryside. These maps will become available for most of our trails, which will have a key focus on sustainable transport throughout, working with local service providers such as Stagecoach, Southern and South Western Railway, as well as the Community Rail Partnerships.
Travelling by public transport is a fantastic way to help preserve and protect the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley, so we’re delighted to support the summer campaign. What’s more, jumping on the train is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the beautiful scenery as part of your journey.Chris Fowler, Customer Services Director, Southern Railway
The Surrey Hills is working with Surrey County Council and its collaboration with BetterPoints, to reward car-free journeys when visiting the Surrey Hills. The BetterPoints app awards points to residents who travel by foot, bike or on public transport throughout Surrey, including the Surrey Hills. The points can be redeemed at participating traders or donated to a selection of charities.
A further collaboration with Surrey County Council later in the summer will see the reinforcement of good behaviours in the countryside via a Countryside Code campaign of onsite posters and short videos across social media platforms. The friendly, accessible videos will highlight key messages from farmers, cyclists, ramblers, horse riders, volunteers and more to encourage good behaviours and a sense of confidence in the countryside so that everyone feels welcome to enjoy the outdoors.
Thank you to all our partners who have enabled such fantastic collaboration to help promote travelling to the Surrey Hills by bus, rail, and active travel. This is an integral message to welcome visitors into the landscape yet ensure they do so in the right way. We look forward to developing this campaign through our new website and mapping software in the coming months and creating a portfolio of trails to be enjoyed via greener transport.Heather Kerswell, Independent Chair of the Surrey Hills AONB Board