Environment Officer. Stephen Rudd environment@merrowresidents.org

Pollinator Reserves Project “We were really heartened to be packed out for the launch, and very much hope every one of you will stay part of the project. We hope you will share your journey into pollinator and wildlife friendly gardening and will help the group to grow until we have fulfilled the vision of a substantial and connected area for pollinators and other wildlife across our gardens in Merrow and the surrounding areas. “

(17 May 2023) Merrow Downs. Removal of Perfoliate Alexanders.

If left unchecked, these invasive plants would eventually smother Merrow Downs completely. For the last 10 years, Gillian and Ken Elsom have organised groups of volunteers to remove these plants by hand before they have set seeds. About a third of the volunteers are members of MRA.

“Dear All,

I just wanted to thank everyone who gave up their morning to help pull up the Perfoliate Alexanders yesterday. Every bit of time and effort you gave made the task easier since it was shared between 16 people. During the pandemic it took 2 contractors 2 days to do this task. We took approximately 3 hours with 16 people and pulled up about 24 black sacks worth of plants. Even though this was the tenth year of pulling up this plant, which left unchecked would eventually smother the native flora, I am encouraged that there was much less in the woodland. Thanks too to John Andrews, Countryside Warden from Guildford Borough Council who supported us throughout the task.

Best wishes


(Feb 2022) MRA Submission on AONB Boundary Review

(July 2021) SWIFTS.

From: Sarah & Gary Davis 
Sent: 18 July 2021 15:02
Subject: Swift boxes installed Merrow 8th July 2021

Thank you to all the Merrow Residents who supported our ‘ Swift to Save
Swifts’ project. We had an overwhelming response with 41 residents requests.
We have split putting up the boxes into two dates. On the 8th of July we put
up 30 boxes, which is a record number for us in one day.  Thanks to Stephen
Rudd who collected names and to residents of Merrow Residents Association
who stepped forward in support.

I am now organising the next list which again thanks to you all is now full
and we will soon be giving out the date for that towards the end of August,
beginning of September. 24 Swift boxes are currently being made up for the
next date by Hampshire Swifts , many bespoke boxes for Tile hung houses or
tricky locations, so I would like to give a big round of applause to
Hampshire Swifts, whom I could not run this project without.

We continue to take names and although we will soon be doing other areas of
Guildford and the surrounding area, we plan to come back to Merrow again
next year and are happy to always take names and put on our waiting list. 
£35 per box including installation
Please text or phone Sarah Davis in first instance. 
Thanks again for your enthusiasm to help protect against the decline of the
amazing bird the Swift. 
Sarah Davis
Guildford Environmental Forum  . Swift To Save Swifts project. 


(June 2021) Successful Saving of Pewley Down Fields

The “Saving Pewley Down Fields team” are absolutely delighted by the fantastic result of the recent auction for the fields. Thanks to the incredible generosity of local people, who were quick to pledge substantial amounts to give us a war chest for the auction, we managed to put in the highest offer and this has been accepted by the vendor.

The Thames Basin Heathlands illustrated talk given by Ruth Shelton & Michael Jones from Natural England.

(19 May 2021) Removal of invasive “Perfoliate Alexanders” from Browning’s Down (to West of Guildford Golf Club)

“Dear Andrew and Stephen,

I would just like to thank you both for letting MRA members know about the task this morning.

I was really heartened by the response and at least half of the volunteers this morning were from MRA or Merrow residents who have helped before. I was  also heartening to see other volunteers  (from Surrey Botanical Society and Butterfly Conservation) some from as far away as Ewell and Betchworth, who have helped over the last 8 years, come yet again this year. Thank you for coming to help this morning, Andrew. I have attached 2 photos which you are welcome to use on the MRA website if you would like.

Best wishes


(Oct 2020) ‘Merrow Downs: flora, butterflies and conservation’, a talk given by Gillian and Ken Elsom for MRA Autumn Meeting on Zoom, 19/10/2020. View a selection of photographs.

 Rewilding your garden for butterflies,
“I have put together some useful information (references & websites) arising from this meeting for interested MRA members. I have a little Kidney Vetch seed (original source ‘wildflower slope’ on Merrow Downs with permission from the Golf Course) for anyone who lives on chalk in Merrow & who may like to grow it in their garden for Small Blues.”
Gillian Elsom 21/10/2020 

Environment Report Spring 2020
YouTube video of presentation at AGM.

Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)
Merrow Residents’ Association Membership No 274526 Valid until 31/01/2024

Guildford Environmental Forum Newsletters
At GEF we are convinced that massive changes are needed in our future priorities. We need to agree on a much healthier and more sustainable way of life.

Clean Air Research
University of Surrey: To realise our collaborative global vision of ‘clean air for all’ by understanding the impact of air pollutants on life quality, developing internationally-validated engineering-driven solutions and underpinning regulatory strategies.

Help prevent air pollution causing Health Issues to our children.

Wildlife in Merrow
Recent images of wildlife in Merrow. Please submit your photographs.