Epsom RDA Planning for the Future

Despite the difficult times Epsom RDA is planning for the future. In 2019 the Group received planning permission to build a new indoor school. It had been hoped to start the building of the 25 x 45 indoor school this year, but the arrival of COVID 19 has slowed progress.

Epsom RDA Chair, Ray Lee said: “We were looking forward to getting the building work underway this year. We would have then been able to increase the number of rides we can run and improve the quality of the facilities for our riders and volunteers by the end of the year.”

The Group has had a delay in the building programme as the funding they were so close to securing has been halted as a number of grant making bodies who had expressed interest in the project have suspended their activities. These organisations have had a loss of income as a result of the cancellation of events such as the London Marathon.

However, the Group remains committed to the plans to provide its’ volunteers and riders with a first-class environment, increase the choice of activities riders can take part in, and make the service available to more riders.

Ray continued: “Riding and volunteering brings tremendous physical therapeutic benefit to riders, equally important is the benefit of being involved with horses and being active to the well-being for both riders and volunteers alike. This will be especially important as we start to recover from COVID 19. We are working hard at finding other sources of funding and are hopefully that we will be able to get the first stages of the project underway by the Spring next year.”

About Epsom Riding for the Disabled Association

Epsom Riding for the Disabled Association (Epsom RDA) provides disabled people with the opportunity to ride to benefit their health and well-being.

Epsom RDA provides over 3,000 riding lessons for 350 disabled adults and children.

Epsom RDA is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) Charity Number 1180061) and a member group of the national Riding For The Disabled Association.

Epsom RDA is entirely funded by donations and our own fundraising efforts.

For more information,please contact: Email: [email protected] or visit www.epsomrda.org.uk

Four of Epsom and Ewell’s green spaces have once again won the Green Flag Award!

Four green spaces within Epsom and Ewell have been recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as some of the very best in the world.

Epsom Common Local Nature Reserve, Ewell Court Park, Alexandra Recreation Ground and Rosebery Park join other green spaces awarded this recognition throughout the UK. 

A record-breaking 2,000 green spaces across the country have received this international award in a year when millions of people have seen the value of having great quality green spaces on their doorstep.

The four green spaces in Epsom and Ewell that were put forward for judging for the award were selected, as they are broadly representative of the different green spaces within the borough:

  • Epsom Common Local Nature Reserve has won the award for the fourteenth consecutive year. It is the largest local nature reserve in Surrey and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
  • Ewell Court Park has won the award for the ninth year in a row. The park is the former gardens of the historical Ewell Court House.
  • Alexandra Recreation Ground has also won the award for the ninth year in a row. It is a sports ground with facilities for cricket, soccer, bowls, tennis and basketball situated in Alexandra Road, Epsom.
  • Rosebery Park has once again won the award for the eighth year running. It is a formal town centre park in Epsom.

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management across the United Kingdom and around the world.

Councillor Barry Nash, Chair of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council’s Community & Wellbeing Committee said: “We are absolutely delighted that four of our parks and green spaces have once again won the Green Flag Award, a testimony to the hard work of our staff and also to the input and support from community groups and volunteers.

“We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, especially more than ever this year, and this Award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining our parks and green spaces to such high standards. Let’s continue to respect our beautiful green spaces by keeping them clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.

“By lighting up a tree in Rosebery Park to mark our Green Flag Award success, we joined buildings and landmarks across the country, going green for parks to celebrate and to say a massive thank you to the parks staff, volunteers and the Green Flag Awards Judges for all their hard work this year.”

Commenting on Epsom and Ewell’s success, Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive, Alison Ogden-Newton OBE said, “This year, more than ever, our parks and green spaces have been a lifeline and we know that millions of people have used them to relax, meet friends, exercise or simply escape for a short time.

“It is a testament to the incredible dedication and hard work of parks staff and volunteers that, despite the challenges that went along with record numbers of visitors, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council’s award winning parks and green spaces have achieved the highest international standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”

For more information on Epsom and Ewell’s parks and open spaces visit www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk   

The Green Flag Awards Scheme (http://greenflagaward.org/) is run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, in partnership in the UK with Keep Scotland Beautiful, Keep Wales Tidy and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. The scheme also operates in an additional 14 countries including Portugal, New Zealand and USA.

Keep Britain Tidy is a leading environmental charity. We set the standard for the management of parks and beaches, inspire people to be litter-free, to waste less and to live more. We run programmes including Eco-Schools, the Green Flag Award for parks and green spaces and the Blue Flag/ Seaside Awards for beaches. To find out more about Keep Britain Tidy, our programmes and campaigns visit www.keepbritaintidy.org  

Any green space that is free to enter and accessible to the public is eligible to enter for a Green Flag Award. Awards are given on an annual basis and winners must apply each year to renew their Green Flag Award status. A Green Flag Community Award recognises quality sites managed by voluntary and community groups. Green Heritage Site Accreditation is judged on the treatment of the site’s historic features and the standard of conservation. 

Council secures extra funding to help rough sleepers

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has taken steps to ensure that rough sleepers continue to be safely accommodated over the winter.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, councils were instructed to provide emergency accommodation to protect rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping under a programme known as ‘Everyone In’.

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council assisted 33 people through the Everyone In programme.   This was provided in decent accommodation to alleviate the greater risk of the spread of the virus in a typical homeless shelter. 

The council has now successfully bid for and received £157k from the Government’s Next Steps Accommodation Programme. The programme helps with the next stage of the Covid-19 rough sleeping response by making sure those rough sleepers assisted will continue to have accommodation while the council seeks to secure longer term accommodation.

Epsom & Ewell is one of 274 councils that will receive a grant from this fund which can only be used to accommodate those already accommodated under Everyone In.

Councillor Barry Nash, Chair of the Epsom & Ewell Borough Council Community and Wellbeing Committee explained “The reasons for sleeping rough are different for each individual and can be complex and include mental health issues and drug and alcohol problems.

“Providing accommodation over the winter will allow us to provide more dedicated support to these individuals and plan a transition to longer term accommodation either in the private rented sector or in supported accommodation”.

The council originally accommodated 33 individuals under ‘Everyone In’ Of these, 24 are still accommodated. The other nine have either found alternative accommodation themselves, the council has moved them to longer-term supported accommodation or they have opted to leave.

RCEM issues urgent warning as hospitals near capacity

Responding to publication of performance data for Emergency Departments in England in September 2020, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Katherine Henderson said: 

“We need to be clear about the scale of what we face as we go into winter. If we do not come together and take effective precautions, Covid will continue its explosion across the country; a devastating consequence of which could be the implosion of our NHS this winter.

“While performance is not near its worst, we are seeing extremely worrying signs as we head into winter. Our Emergency Departments must be safe places for our most vulnerable patients, and we cannot go back to the status quo of crowded departments and long waits.  

“However, the data shows that we are gradually returning to this, which will put lives at risk. In Quarter 1 of 2020/21 there were 118,451 beds in the NHS in England. On 1 October 96% of these beds were occupied.” 

Data for September 2020 also shows that:  

  • total beds occupied by confirmed Covid-19 patients has quadrupled over past month 
  • five times as many patients are on ventilators than the previous month 
  • four-hour performance at Emergency Departments is down by 6 percentage points since May 2020 
  • 12-hour waits have nearly quadrupled since May. 

“It is extremely concerning to see Covid continue to spread at an increasing rate throughout the population. This will have serious repercussions for both the NHS and many families. Covid doesn’t just effect those who catch it. Its continued existence has very real and tragic outcomes for others. 

“Emergency Departments frequently see patients who should not need to be there but have to because they’ve had their surgery or treatment postponed and are experiencing complications. 

“While EDs will always be open to those seeking emergency care, if Covid cases continue to rise the NHS may be forced to scale back other routine activity to focus on the fight against it. This may mean that someone you love – your elderly asthmatic grandma, your brother with a heart condition, your two-year-old niece with leukaemia – may not be able to receive the regular treatment they desperately need.  

“To prevent this situation, we need to look to each other, and look after each other, to make sure we all take basic precautions: maintain social distancing, wash your hands regularly, wear a mask. Doing these things could save the life – directly or indirectly – of someone you care about. 

“Life for most of us is hard right now and will continue to be for some time. It is made harder when others seemingly ignore the rules, but the behaviours of others is no excuse not to stick to them. Those rules are intended to save lives and those rules will save lives if we all do our bit. We must look to ourselves to lead. 

“At the start of the pandemic the government asked us to protect the NHS to save lives. It needs to make this message clear again to the public and set out a comprehensive and consistent strategy for the winter. Without this, we fear our Emergency Departments and the NHS will be overwhelmed.” 

Witness appeal following series of catalytic converter thefts near Sainsbury’s in Epsom

Surrey Police are appealing for witnesses after catalytic converters were stolen from three different cars in Sainsbury’s car park in Epsom on Monday 14th September.

At around 11am, three men were seen to remove the converters with a jack and electric saw. When a member of the public tried to intervene, the suspects threatened them with a metal pole.

The suspects are described as white, in their mid-thirties and of stocky build. One man was wearing a navy blue top and the other two were wearing white t-shirts. They arrived and left the car park in a dark grey Honda CR-V.

The car park was busy at the time of the incident and we believe that there will be multiple witnesses. If you saw anything suspicious, or recognise the car and suspects described, please contact us quoting PR/45200097499 via:

•             Webchat on their website surrey.police.uk

•             Online https://www.surrey.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/

•             Calling them on 101

If you do not wish to leave your name, please call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Surrey Police have issued crime prevention advice issued following spate of catalytic converter thefts from vehicles in Epsom And Ewell. The most popular vehicles targeted are predominantly the Toyota Prius and Honda Jazz and the majority have happened during the day.

Thieves are attracted by the potential to steal the valuable metals palladium and rhodium. The best way to prevent theft is to make access to your car’s converter as inconvenient and difficult as possible.

Here are some tips to prevent catalytic converter theft:

    • Park in as well-lit areas where possible.
    • Park close to building entrances or the nearest road in public car parks. This leaves your vehicle in a location where many people can see it.
    • If you have a garage use it and keep it locked.
    • Consider CCTV if your vehicle is parked on your driveway or a RING-type device.
    • Adjust the security system on your car or have one installed that will activate upon vibration, such as those produced by a saw.
    • Install a catalytic converter-specific security device, such as ‘ARMACAT’ or ‘CATLOC’ – https://blog.toyota.co.uk/catalytic-converter-theft-how-to-protect-your-car
    • Consider ID Etching – Etching a catalytic converter with a serial number will help police track a stolen converter and overtly advertising that a vehicle is protected by property marking may also deter offenders as it will potentially reduce the opportunities for selling on the converters at reputable scrap metal dealers. More information on ID etching can be found at www.retainagroup.co.uk
    • Consider welded bolts – If a catalytic converter is a ‘bolt on’ it is possible to have the bolts welded shut. This is only a deterrent to the lowest grade of catalytic converter thief working with a wrench but may still be enough of a deterrent to help prevent a theft.
    • Report suspicious activity to the Police. Obtain as much information as possible, including any vehicle registrations.

The Olive Tree reopens with a new manager

After closing in March due to Covid-19 The Olive Tree Restaurant in Ashtead Park Garden Centre has reopened and with a new manager. 

Yvonne Love, who use to own the very popular Deli Delight in Ewell Village, has taken over as the manager of the restaurant. She told us ” I am very excited to take on this role and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead. I have a lot planned for the restaurant including Special Afternoon Teas, relaunching Sunday Roasts and letting local groups hire our separate dining room for events and networking”

The restaurant was officially opened by the Mayor and Mayoress of Epsom & Ewell who after cutting the ribbon, and filling in the Track & Trace form,enjoyed a lovely breakfast and coffee. Mayor Reynolds said “It wonderful to see a business like this reopening in the year we are having” 

Yvonne and her team have been working hard to get the restaurant ready to welcome customers back to a Covid-19 safe environment, they have even extended the garden dining area to allow for more people to social distance, They would like to thank their customers for their support and patience, Yvonne and the team can’t wait to see you. 

The Olive Tree is open Monday – Saturday 9am-5:30pm and 10am-4:30pm on a Sunday. They will be offering everything from delicious coffee and cakes, to healthy breakfasts, hearty lunches, pizzas, ice cream, and indulgent afternoon tea to sustain you through your hard work in the garden!

The Olive Tree is also available to hire for intimate events or large parties.

For More Details CLICK HERE

Epsom Rotary Club Photographic Winners


During the last few months many of us have turned to gardening to help us through. The happy by-product is that many of us now have lovely gardens, patios & hanging baskets to be proud of! In recognition of these wonderful gardens Epsom Rotary Club ran a ‘Lockdown’ Garden photograph Competition, for the local community, during the months of June & July and the judging has now taken place.

Our judge, the MD of Garden Genies, had an extremely difficult task as the standard of entries was extremely high.  She had to be very critical, even down to who had been most careful about dead-heading the plants in some cases! 

Epsom Rotary Club would like to thanks everyone who sent in photographs of their lovely gardens. Unfortunately there can be only one winner and one runner up in the two categories and they are as follows 

Baskets and Window Boxes Category:

1st prize – “My Little Haven of Calm” by Mrs Jan Evens
2nd prize – “My Patio 2020” by Janice Pond

Gardens Category:

1st prize – “Floriferous Front Garden” by Jamie Barnes
2nd prize – “A Thistle in my Garden” by Alexandra Hendy

Is this yours?

Is this yours? Images released of items recovered by Surrey Police.

Surrey Police have  released images of items that they believe may be stolen in an effort to reunite them with their owners.

The items have been recovered as part of ongoing burglary investigations in the Epsom area.

The items include:

  • A Jo Malone box
  • A black box with a gold coloured rim
  • A black box with an image of a peacock
  • A silver coloured chain with a ‘P’ pendant
  • Two pins in the shape of a leaf
  • A ‘Coronation’ pin badge
  • A black and silver coloured watch
  • A black box with a mosaic rim
  • A James Walker goldsmiths and silversmiths Ltd receipt
  • A certificate of guarantee for Accurist
  • A silver coloured engraved tag

If you recognise any of the items and you have any further information which could help them with their investigation please call 101, quoting reference number PR/ 45200058562.

You can also give information, 100% anonymously, to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111; or through their anonymous online form: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/

Surrey Police would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the following crime prevention advice:

  • Register your valuables using an accredited property database.
  • Take photographs and keep documents like receipts related to your property so you can prove ownership.
  • \Mark your property with a forensic marking product such as www.selectadna.co.uk

For more tips on keeping your belongings safe, visit our website: https://www.surrey.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/


Better Rainbow Leisure Centre reopen from 25th July

Better Rainbow Leisure, run on behalf of Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, has announced its plans for a phased reopening from 25 July 2020.

Following COVID Secure guidance, anyone wishing to use the facilities will need to pre-book a one hour time slot via the Better app or website.

In the centre, signage and floor markings will assist with one-way access and social distancing. Equipment within gym areas will be reduced to ensure that 2 metres social distancing between users is maintained, while some fitness classes will be relocated to sports halls.

Swim customers are requested to arrive ‘beach ready’ with their costume on under their clothes to save time and reduce pressure on change areas. Gym and studio customers will be encouraged to bring their own drinking water – and shower and change at home.

The play park, general bookings and spa will be re-launched after the initial phase of re-opening.

Staff will be adopting a new, enhanced cleaning regime, while customers will be asked to wipe down the equipment that they have used. Hand sanitiser will be available throughout leisure centre buildings.

All Better members will be given access to all Better facilities UK wide for the foreseeable future.

They will also be given the option to continue to freeze their memberships as will any members who don’t feel confident returning to the centres initially or who might have health conditions that put them at higher risk of infection from COVID-19.

David Hughes Partnership Manager, Better said:

“After nearly four months of lockdown, we are delighted to finally have the green light for reopening our leisure facilities in a phased fashion.

“Keeping people safe is now a shared responsibility and as a leisure operator we will be working in partnership with customers to ensure they have complete confidence when they return. 

“We’ll be ensuring enhanced sanitisation of equipment and public areas. Customers can help by downloading our Better app, pre-booking their slot and arriving on time and dressed for their activity.

“The changes we are making will ensure we can maintain social distancing in centre and provide the best possible experience for customers.

“We recognise that some people may be worried about returning to their local leisure facilities, so we will continue to offer free access to online fitness and exercises classes via our Better app.”

“We look forward to seeing you soon.”

Councillor Barry Nash, Chair of the council’s Community and Wellbeing Committee said:

“It is thanks to everyone who followed official guidance that we’ve reached this positive milestone in our fight against the coronavirus pandemic and bringing local services back into operation.

“Reopening the Rainbow Centre will be a very positive step, especially for those people who have been missing their regular indoor exercise.

“We have confidence in the GLL team in creating a safe and positive environment for our returning leisure centre customers and that they are putting the necessary arrangements into place in the shortest possible time frame.”

Information about the reopening will be published through the Rainbow Centre’s website:  https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/epsom-and-ewell/rainbow-leisure-centre

Witness appeal following a series of robberies in Ewell

Surrey Police are appealing for witnesses following a robbery and attempted robbery in Ewell this week.

The first of these occurred on Sunday 12th July. Officers were called to Nonsuch Park, Seymour Avenue in Ewell following an attempt robbery which occurred around 11:30am. The victim was approached by a man who threatened him with a weighted sock and demanded his watch. He then assaulted the victim who managed to get away and call the police.

The suspect is described as a mixed race man, around 20 years old of a skinny build and with a British accent. He was wearing a black hoodie which was pulled over his face.

Yesterday 13th July, officers were called to a section of land close to Nonsuch Park, Seymour Avenue in Ewell after a couple were robbed at knifepoint at around 11am. The two victims were walking close to the park when they were approached by two men who threatened them before demanding one of their watches.  

The first suspect is described as a light skinned Caribbean man, in his early teens or late 20s, of a thin build and clean shaven. He was wearing dark trousers and a dark hoodie. He was said to be carrying a large black handled kitchen knife.

The second suspect is described as a man of heavy build and shorter than the other suspect. He was around 5 ft 8”.

Surrey Police are appealing to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious on either day or have any further information to call 101, quoting reference number PR/45200072515.

Inspector Jon Vale, Borough Commander for Epsom and Ewell said “We are looking to speak to anyone who may have seen something suspicious in the park this past week.

“We are also urging anyone who may have been the victim of a similar crime but not reported to get in touch and report to us.

“This crime will not be tolerated and we want to reassure the local community that we are doing everything we can to hold those who are responsible to account.”

A 18 year old man and a 17 year old boy from Ewell have been arrested in connection with the robbery yesterday 13th July.