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Heritage Open Days

Every September across England volunteers organise events to celebrate our fantastic history and culture as part of the Heritage Open Days festival. It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are FREE to explore.

We are supporting the festival for 2020 in the district of Mole Valley with a number of interviews with local event holders to find out a little more about the hidden treasures in our district.

Musical heritage is also important to us and with that we have peppered the show with tracks by bands and artists who played at Leatherhead’s long lost music venue, The Bluesette Club. Hear tracks from John’s Children, Cat Stevens and Cream throughout the show.

From the 11th to the 20th of September, discover hidden treasures in the district through a mix of guided and self-guided walks, and virtual tours delivered by local experts and volunteers. There is also a quiz to get you out and about.

Castles, tombstones and coffee houses all star in this year’s festival line up!

Use the official Heritage Open Days festival website to find the full programme of events


Interviews in this year’s show


Mole Valley Heritage Open Days Committee

An insightful chat about how Heritage Open Days started in Belgium, what to expect from this year’s programme and how you can get involved this year as a member of the public. It was really nice to meet a hard-working committee and hear how well they work together to make this huge event in Mole Valley.

Interview time check: 2 minutes into the show


Wildlife Aid

Locally famous in the Leatherhead area where the charity is based, Simon Cowell MBE shares with us a brief history of Wildlife Life Aid and his desire for a paradigm shift in the way humans relate to the earth. He introduces the idea of IDOT – I Do One Thing – and how they are planning to role out this out to schools.
Also find out what is in store for the future of the Wildlife Aid Foundation…

Interview time check: 31 minutes into the show
Click here for event information

Be aware, hedgehogs about! Wildlife Aid ask you to be aware of all creature great and small


Providence Chapel & Lowfield Heath Windmill, Charlwood

Hear Brendon Sewill describe Charlwood as a hidden village outside a village! A doughnut if you will! Brendon is coordinating the events in the village during this year’s festival and he included some snippets of history knowledge of the Providence Chapel and Lowfield Heath Windmill including both of their amazing restoration projects. How often do people get involved with moving a windmill…? Also check out the date that you will be able to scale the stairs of the windmill and view the surrounding area from the top.

Interview time check: 50 minutes into the show
Click here for event information


Friends of Ashtead Rye Meadows Wetlands

An interview with artist, volunteer and author Cathy Brett. She describes the designated Site of Nature Conservation Interest in Ashtead found by the Rye brook and how she has been reacting to the project as an artist and how you can access the site for Heritage Open Days 2020.

Interview time check: 68 minutes into the show
Click here for event information


Hidden Treasures at Downs Solicitors

This solicitors office resides in a interesting tardis of a building smack bang in the middle of Dorking High Street and has been open for Heritage Open Days since 1994. Sarah tells us a little about the history of the legal profession in Dorking plus their small piece of Hidden Nature found in the form of a pleasant garden and pond that is out of sight from the main road.

Interview time check: 88 minutes into the show
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Buckland’s Hidden Treasures and Hidden Nature

Duncan Ferns will be your guide on the bookable tour of Buckland for Heritage Open Days 2020 and he spent a little time talking to us about the history of the village, and shared interesting news regarding a brand new park in the heart of the village.

Interview time check: 102 minutes into the show

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The Mill at Buckland


Leatherhead & District Local Society – Leatherhead Station: The Stationmaster’s House

Only recently has the Stationmaster’s House at Leatherhead train station been converted internally to house the Railway Correspondence and Travel Society’s Library. A treasure trove of pictures, magazines, information and a fine collection of trainspotter’s notebooks are stored in the very unassuming building with the small brown door and the shiny gold plaque. Andy Davies, curator and archivist for the society spoke with us about the presentation he had put together for the Leatherhead & District Local Society for the Heritage Open Days programme.

Interview time check: 124 minutes into the show
Click here for event information

The Stationmaster’s House – home of the Railway Correspondence and Travel Society’s Library

St Nicholas’ Church

As part of the Heritage Open Days walking trail around the village of Charlwood one of the stop off places is St Nicholas Church which has acted as a real community hub over the years. Hear our interview with Cathy Barclay one of the volunteers at the Church.

Interview time check: 136 minutes into the show
Click here for event information


Listen again here:

Volunteers at the Ashtead Rye Meadow Wetlands