Can you help with local rivers and streams?

Can you help with local rivers and streams?

Can you help with Cranleigh’s local rivers and streams?  

The next training meeting is at Snoxhall, 10am Monday 20 November.  Please join in and find out how you can get involved.  Best to take wellies and be prepared to get into the water.  Also make sure you can see small creatures.


Surrey Wildlife Trust staff member Joshua Bowes and colleagues have been working for some years to have the time and money to re-wild a section of waterway in Cranleigh.  It is near the canal off the Elmbridge Road.  In Cranleigh recently they have completed this river restoration project located here

They have reprofiled some of the bank, allowed more light in, introduced over 30 tonnes of gravel, narrowed the channel and re-wiggled.  These actions will enable many beneficial things to happen, such as slowing the water when it is deep and creating habitats for creatures that have been lost.

There will be some balsam removal sessions there next year for which help will be needed.

There has been some interest from local land owners too so watch this space for further restorations! Hopefully we can get volunteers involved too.

We have received a grant from local councillor to buy some new water test equipment for everyone.   You can view the kit here.

As well as some refill packs. These kits will allow you to test a wider ranger of parameters and feed into a wider group.

Our local Surrey Wildlife Trust Wetland Officer Joshua Bowes will be organising training day as well to test out these kits. The next date is 10 am Monday 20th November at Snoxhall fields.  please reply if you hope to join in – it will great to see you.


Riverfly monitoring – Come & Learn! 16 July 10-2:30

Riverfly monitoring – Come & Learn! 16 July 10-2:30

Surrey Wildlife Trust and Cranleigh Society are putting together some free live training

Dipping in our local river “Cranleigh Waters”

Mayfly Monitoring Training course  Cranleigh Band room

Friday 16th 10 till 2:30

Join us for this Free training session to help us protect Cranleigh’s waterways. 

Learn how to sample and identify the different species living in the local streams. 

Training involves:

Presentation on Mayfly life history, collecting a sample from the local stream and identifying species from the samples. 

All Covid compliant and health & safety risks assessed. 

The Project

In partnership with Thames Water, Surrey Wildlife Trust are working to restore the Cranleigh Waters back to a thriving river. To do this we need your help. We are recruiting volunteers in the area to join our team of regular riverfly monitors who sample the aquatic life that lives on the river bed. 

Get involved and find out more! 


or call Cranleigh Society rep Sue

07946 590347

Cranleigh’s rivers and waterways news

Cranleigh’s rivers and waterways news

Cranleigh’s rivers and waterways news

Riverfly populations respond to pollution which is why they need constant monitoring. Having good Riverfly levels back in 2017 only tells us that things were ok back then however the situation can change in an instant, which is why we do it. It is also a very useful tool to get people engaged with their local river and encourage them to get involved in other River activities.

Riverfly Training

As part of the Cranleigh Community Rivers Project, we are looking to train a group of citizen scientists to monitor the Riverfly life of Cranleigh’s waterways. The presence or absence of RiverFly nymphs, such as mayfly, can tell us how clean the water is and act as an early warning system to pollution incidents, of which Cranleigh suffers intermittently. The training starts with an introductory classroom session before heading out to the river to collect a sample which will be brought back to the classroom and the target species identified. Following the session volunteers will be equipped with a monitoring kit which they can use to take samples and improve their identification skills. Eventually, when volunteers are confident, we will focus on a handful of monitoring locations in Cranleigh to carry out regular monitoring. Please click the following link to fill out your availability to attend the training session.

Mass Water Sample

We are looking for volunteers to help us gather water samples over a single day from 20 set locations across Cranleigh’s waterways. The samples will then be sent off for laboratory testing to provide us with a snap shot of the current state of Cranleigh’s water quality and where issues are likely to be located. As well as collecting water samples we will also be taking Riverfly samples (where possible) at the sites so we can compare the instream biodiversity with the water quality results. Trained Riverfly volunteers will be brought in and teamed up with less experienced volunteers to help identify the river flies. If you would like to take part, please click the link below and fill out your availability.

We welcome more people to this outdoor rivers task group 

Next meetings in the next 3 weeks.

Cranleigh Society is working with Surrey Wildlife Trust to create friendship task groups to help take care of our rivers and waterways.  A small group of us have enjoyed 2 sessions in the evenings so far.

We discovered that there is a very natural and vibrant bluebell wood – Ashen Copse – with plenty of streams meandering through it, between the show ground and Cranleigh Golf club.  Glen from Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) demonstrated how to examine samples of the water for tiny riverfly nymphs which was great fun.  He also showed us how to identify the Himalayan Balsam – an annual, very tall and pretty, invasive species. This can be pulled out by the roots and left on the bank to rot, without flowering and then seeding.  If the plants are very successful they stop perennial plants thriving which in turn leads to bank erosion.  So whilst they are pretty they are a nuisance.

Our second trip was to Knowle Park where a group learned more about how to carry out the riverfly sampling.  They got pretty wet but had fun too.  In both cases the rivers seem to be pretty healthy at the moment which is great news.

Sorting out Polluters

The information is logged onto a database for SWT to examine.  If they see falling numbers they will visit, carry out further sampling then find out why there is a dip, and get any polluters involved to sort the problem out.

At a meeting some of us learned about taking water samples which are then taken to a lab the same day and tested for pollutants.  This helps with the sewage plant outflow information in particular.

In due course SWT will need the task force to help with Cranleigh wide water sampling and with restoring a stretch of the waterways near new housing.

Surrey Wildlife Trust are holding more events in Cranleigh – in July!





Flood Forum News, request for waterways task force

Flood Forum News, request for waterways task force


We are pleased to tell you that our MP for Guildford, which includes Cranleigh, Ewhurst, Alfold and Dunsfold,  Angela Richardson,  held a meeting held via ZOOM 18th June 2021.  Councillors and Officers from Cranleigh Parish Council, Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council were joined by Thames Water, Environment Agency and Surrey Wildlife Trust, plus Cranleigh Civic Society.


Cranleigh Society called for immediate replacement programme 5 years ago – what has happened? Thames Water say that when there are bursts the section is replaced, any type of pipes, and 14km are being replaced in and around Cranleigh soon.  No further tests have been done for safety of drinking water.  New map of asbestos cement pipes requested.

WATERCOURSES CLEARANCE – keeping rivers flowing

Cranleigh Waters joinsthe  River Wey at Bramley & Shalford. A section runs down the Ewhurst Road.  The river carries huge amounts of rubbish, both natural and man made, and the grilles get blocked up. Local residents watch and report this often.  The Environment Agency engage Biffa to clear the mess and take the rubbish away, sometimes during a storm. They use CCTV to monitor.  Incident phone line 0800 80 70 60, Floodline 0345 988 1188

Riparian duties – owners of housing must ensure the ditches and waterways are kept clear on their land. see here 


Holdhurst Brook,  Avenue road, Longpoles Pole, Orchard Gardens, Bax Close, Horsham Road, Nightingales, Waverleigh Road, Brookside, Fortune Drive;      

Littlemead Brook, Littlemead Industrial Estate;

Nuthurst Stream, Wyphurst Road, Peregrine Close, East view Cottages, St James Place;

Alderbrook Stream, Guildford Road, Rowly


Surrey Wildlife Trust urge local land owners and farmers to work together towards obtaining government grants to “go wild” – Environmental Land Management Scheme -ELMS, for well designed Natural Flood Management Schemes -NFMS.  Councillors to contact locals and encourage them to build wetlands up stream to reduce flood risk and drying up of  waterways in summer.

New housing estates have been and are being built – Surrey CC do not consider the accumulative effects of this on flood risks from surface water runoff during planning applications. Nuthurst Culvert and Glebelands playing fields get inundated these days probably due to the housing estate along Amletts Lane. . 

Nothing has changed in terms of planning permissions. 

Actions – All public to tell all councils every time there are flooded areas. 


In the last 5 years nothing has changed to improve Cranleigh’s water quality and flow! Environment Agency provides permit to Thames Water for the outflow, to ensure treated water is safe to pump into Cranleigh Waters and beyond.  It was permitted to treat the sewage from 15,000 people since 1964, this has been renewed.  TW has recently built further treatment capacity because of extra housing. Nothing else has changed.  The river sometimes dries up and other times floods.  The outflow has high levels of phosphates. Phosphates come from human urine, waste and from farm run off and washing powders. Too much harms life in rivers and streams. The river plants and creatures are not in a healthy condition.

What is being done? Thames Water will upgrade the facilities as the need arises, never before housing is built and occupied. Treatment of outflow for excess phosphates is now scientifically possible and will soon come to Cranleigh – 2024.

Surrey Wildlife Trust and Cranleigh Civic Society working together to create a Waterways task force to monitor the health of the waterways, and report any particular problems and get them resolved. We need a team of volunteers…… this project was paused last time it started but this time we are definitely going ahead in June and July.

Society News

Society News

Spring has sprung! Lots to report – please read on…..

Cranleigh Society Social meetings – Monday 11th March From 6.30 at Three Horseshoes pub – remember you can order food if you would like to – some of us do.  And please remember we need your support and ideas.

COMMUNITY!  If  you belong to another group in Cranleigh please contribute to our cause – are you a member of a Resident Association, or similar – then we would like to hear from you!

This Week – Cranleigh Parish Council needs you! 

Village Hall on Wednesday evening 7pm to discuss the hospital project CVHT  hostel for health workers & HC-One private care home plus 20 NHS & SCC beds

Village Hall on Thursday all day and early evening to discuss Cranleigh’s Plan – Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan.  It has been written, we have to respond then it goes to an inspector, then we have to vote!  And only after that all succeeds can Cranleigh be better off regarding planning permissions because it has an Adopted Plan!

Meetings with Waverley Councillors & Officers continue

Cranleigh Civic Society and Waverley Borough Council Officers and Borough & Parish Councillors met up to discuss concerns and prompt ACTIONS.

They urge the community to communicate strongly either to Cranleigh Parish Council or Waverley Borough Council or any group such as Cranleigh Civic Society so that your voices can be heard. In turn they weigh up all the responses and in the context of the law and their own strategies.

The topics and questions covered are the key questions you all ask us.  The responses are in some cases detailed and satisfactory and in others we must continue to try to get improvements and changes.

Waverley is working hard – to reduce costs and confusion, and reduce the problems they have to deal with – by communicating better and responding where possible in helpful ways.

Community Recycling Centres – Waverley agree that if  these services close to save Surrey County Council money, WBC will have to pay for the removal of fly tipped matter – so please everyone write to Cllr Andrew Povey and explain your ideas about what to do. He is leading a task force and has asked for everyone’s suggestions/evidence to keep the CRC open  e.g. levy our Parish precept as we do to ensure the toilets stay open? email:

Most of you will most likely have seen and signed this petition to keep our recycling centre open (it’s had a brief stay of execution but it’s days are numbered) but if not please do! Unless of course you don’t mind having to schlep over to Witley or the other side of Guildford at the weekend to dispose of any waste… Click on link, share with friends. It takes 5 secs.

Drinking Water pipes – please report problems and bursts to Cranleigh Parish Council so that they can continue to press Thames Water to sort them out, They need replacing whether or not there is a health risk associated with bursts (blue asbestos fibres).  We are hoping that someone in authority can help the World Health Authority to set up a new world wide investigation into the use of asbestos cement fresh water pipes.  Come to the flood forum 22nd March for more – we will have microphones and a PA system – details below.

A comment about our water pipes has been found reminding us of the complicated nature of it all – “The National Water Council spent 4 years and a lot of money trying to develop a method of resin lining asbestos cement pipes to slow down exfoliation, but in the end they gave up as no one could come up with a reliable, lasting installation method.  Some of the pipe manufacturers sprayed the insides of their pipes with bitumen, but the NWC tested that and found it didn’t last long so they never endorsed it”.

Flooding – it’s essential that you report flooding to Cranleigh Parish Council so that they can press Waverley BC and all other bodies that keep the house buildings going on. Photos with dates and times are essential please.

Cranleigh Leisure Centre – Waverley have paid for outside expert advice and consulted with Cranleigh Parish councillors who in turn say they have their “ears to the ground” and know what people want. Waverley must now decide what to do next but it’s delicate because the Leisure centre is run by an outside business and they have the right to be dealt with in private.

Planning permissions  – if you can’t find out how to tell Waverley how you feel about planning permissions please contact the Clerk at Cranleigh Parish Council for the reference number and details.  All PPs go to our Parish councils as soon as they are made. Glebelands school sports pitch has long since been assumed to be given up for a new Cranleigh Primary school – but there are problems….. Cranleigh School – private – has withdrawn its application to build 40 houses opposite Notcutts. The housing along Elmbridge Road is being built – watch and report!  HC-One Care home with 20 hospital beds for the community, and CVHT’s hostel are both being looked at by Waverley at the moment – see above item about the meeting this week.

The future of sport in Cranleigh – Waverley have a department that works on providing sports facilities. They state that Cranleigh school – PRIVATE – was never involved in the building planning permission levy – Section106 money for a new all weather pitch in Cranleigh.  Something is being considered if and when there is planning permission for Surrey County Council to build on Glebelands sports field (it has been reported that this field is unused because is floods).

Lost income from levying builders – S106 & CIL – it’s complicated!  Let’s just say it’s all a matter of delicate decision making to make sure houses are built and money comes in for small projects – not major roads etc. The CIL – COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY  – can be used after March 1st 2019.  but at the discretion of the council. When S106 or CIL money becomes available is a complicated matter…… we have been explained to and we have a spreadsheet if you are interested.

Trees and Hedgerows – Waverley says that trees impact is part of the planning balance required by national policy.  We say Waverley’s strategy must be strengthened.  Do you have photos and details of destruction or better of protection needed?

Planning conditions – must be undertaken – if you believe some builder is breaching conditions or don’t know what conditions have been put in place then contact –  Victoria Choularton is the Enforcement Team Leader on 01483 523008.

Communications – The Waverley Borough Council officers say their team always welcomes feedback on what can be improved and what works well – any suggestions can be sent to: In the mean time people are welcome to sign up to the existing newsletters on the council’s website:

Some of Waverley’s  processes and methods are being upgraded thanks to pressure from the public including Cranleigh Civic Society. Meeting up with Waverley regularly is clearly very important.

If you would like more details –  join us when you can – 2nd Monday in each Month – at the Three Horseshoes Pub any time from 6.30pm, 11th March.

MP ANNE MILTON’s FLOOD FORUM FRIDAY 22nd MARCH 10.30 BAND ROOM – we will have MICROPHONES and a PA System. This meeting will include preparation leaflets to help participants understand who is on the panel, the language and the issues.  We have borrowed the Lions PA system – thank you Lions – so let’s get a good crowd going – bring evidence of what is wrong.

CRANLEIGH’S RIVERS & STREAMS – message from Glen at Surrey Wildlife Trust

A history of poor management and pollution has left the Cranleigh Waters a shadow of its former self so Surrey Wildlife Trust are working with the Cranleigh community on a 3 year project, funded by Thames Water, to improve the health of the river. Understanding the issues is key to restoration so in 2018 volunteers were trained to monitor  river health by sampling invertebrates on the river bed whose presence can tell us how clean the water is as well as pin point pollution and habitat issues. Monitoring is done in pairs and involves taking a 3 minute kick sample with a net to collect invertebrates such as mayflies. The invertebrates are then counted and the score can tell us what sort of state the river is in. By taking a snap shot of the catchment using this method we can focus our efforts to maximise our impact. Later in the Summer there will be a number of volunteer restoration days installing habitat in to the stream to create opportunities for wildlife and kick start natural processes. A rivers workshop will also be held in the summer to present the findings of all the investigations to the community and look at next steps.