Save money on energy bills with Green Jump Surrey

Residents can save money on their energy bills with a new ‘Green Jump Surrey’ grant.

The Green Homes Grant, provided by central government and Surrey County Council, gives eligible owner-occupied households up to £10,000 to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Work which can be funded by a Green Jump Surrey grant includes loft, solid wall, cavity wall, underfloor and park home insulation, draught proofing, LED lighting, air source heat pumps and solar hot water systems. Boiler replacements, double glazing, external doors or solar panels cannot be funded.

Private and social housing landlords can receive up to £5,000 to cover two-thirds of the cost of installing solid wall insulation.

If you are living in a hard-to-heat home, which has an Energy Performance Certificate rating of E, F or G, and are either in receipt of a means tested benefit or have a total pre-tax annual household income of less than £30,000, you could be eligible for funding to cover the entire cost of the work. You can check your eligibility by calling 0800 783 2503 or visiting www.actionsurrey.org/enquiries.

Lead Councillor for Housing and Development Control, Cllr Caroline Reeves says:

“We are pleased to be working in partnership with Action Surrey and other councils on a project which will help us to reduce carbon emissions in the borough and save residents money in both the installation of these features and with future bills. This grant can bring long-term benefits in tackling climate change, reducing fuel poverty and improving the health and wellbeing of our residents.”

Lead Councillor for Climate Change, Cllr Jan Harwood says:

“We need to do all we can on a local level to become more environmentally sustainable and create a more secure and sustainable power generation and supply infrastructure across the borough. We recognise the importance of reducing carbon emissions from all buildings, and this initiative will allow us to make further energy-saving improvements having already invested approximately £10 million on carbon-reduction projects on our own estate and in our social housing in the last decade.

“All of our housing developments already meet Passivhaus international energy efficiency standards, and our new Climate Change, Sustainable Design, Construction and Energy planning document, published in September, will help all new developments to have lower carbon emissions, be more sustainable and better able to meet the challenge of climate change. This grant can help us to further reduce our carbon footprint having already achieved our 2020 target of a 43% reduction in CO2 emissions, based on 2009 levels, a year early.”

If your home does not yet have an Energy Performance Certificate rating, Action Surrey will carry out an inspection with your permission. 

Grants will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and will be monitored by Action Surrey, which is delivering the project on behalf of local authorities. Action Surrey is an impartial energy advice centre set up by local councils across Surrey, including Surrey County Council, to help residents save money on their energy bills and keep warm in their homes. Action Surrey has a network of trusted installers to deliver the installations. £6.95 million, including a £750,000 contribution from Surrey County Council, has been awarded to help and improve 600 households across Surrey.

Explore Kew’s deep, dark wood with a brand new Gruffalo Adventure

·       From 17 October – 1 November, Kew Gardens celebrates the childhood favourite character, The Gruffalo

·       Families can play the ‘little brown mouse’ and follow a trail to track down the Gruffalo

·       Visitors can spot wildlife and enjoy Kew Gardens’ autumn landscape

  • Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex, will also host its own Gruffalo autumn programme

Gruffalo Adventures plots a specially curated journey through the Kew Gardens Arboretum. Visitors will encounter much-loved characters from author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler’s book, including Fox, Owl and Snake, and of course, The Gruffalo! With helpful guide in hand, children can follow the tracks of each animal, leading them to the characters’ hiding spots. Click here to book your time-slot (both members and non-members).

Visitors are encouraged to come to Kew Gardens donning their own face-painted whiskers, ready to step into the role of the little brown mouse and learn how to be brave. On their way to find the Gruffalo, adventurers will find fox footprints, an owl feather xylophone, and a snakeskin gong inspired by the story, and learn more about the characteristics of each of these animals as they go.

While searching for the elusive Gruffalo, young visitors will get the chance to play and explore in Kew Gardens’ striking Arboretum - home to 14,000 trees - and will become immersed in the world of The Gruffalo

Brave explorers might even get the chance to encounter The Gruffalo himself in the form of a costumed character making timed appearances throughout the half-term period.

Kew Gardens’ stunning autumn landscape boasts canopies blazing with autumnal colours, including particularly vibrant shagbark hickory, maple and sweetgum trees. Visitors can also spot wildlife collecting conkers and acorns from the floor below.In our Kitchen Garden it is the season for abundant beetroots, carrots and pumpkins, making a visit to Kew at this time of year a truly memorable day out.

Sandra Botterell, Director of Marketing and Commercial Enterprise at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said:

“We are thrilled to bring such an iconic tale to Kew Gardens, in what is set to be a great adventure for families over the half-term break. The Gruffalo is a perfect fit for Kew Gardens, and we hope visitors venturing through Kew’s landscape will be transported to Donaldson and Scheffler’s much-loved universe.”

Daryl Shute, Brand Director at Magic Light Pictures, added:

“We are thrilled to be announcing this partnership with Kew Gardens. To bring The Gruffalo to this iconic deep dark wood of West London is really exciting. By combining the beauty of Julia and Axel’s characters with the theme of ‘the marks we leave behind’, Kew has created a really original activation, which guests will love for sure.”

Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex, will also host its very own Gruffalo Adventures. Among other activities, instead of a costumed character, visitors will be able to venture through Wakehurst’s beautiful woodlands in search of ingredients for a Gruffalo crumble, and join a wild workshop to make their own Snake bread and go footprint finding. The Gruffalo Trail is included with entry to the gardens, which must be pre-booked. Some activities are separately ticketed events which must also be booked and purchased in advance along with garden entry.

Watercress Line announces new Steam Illuminations event

Steam Illuminations is a unique, world-first digital LED train which creates an incredible light show both on and in the steam train, consisting of thousands of fully controllable colour mixing LED lights and LED wristbands. The lights are programmed to perform a wonderful light show, consisting of different colours and flashing patterns that are a marvel to see. Everyone is given an LED wristband to wear on the train to be part of the show and can take them home after the event.

The event will start on the 14th November and run through to the 3rd January. Trains will depart from either Alresford or Alton and complete a round trip, back to the starting station.

Tickets will need to be booked in advance. For more details and to book, click here: https://bit.ly/35WWoIR

General manager Simon Baggott said, "We are delighted to be bringing this unique event to the Watercress Line. It's a wonderful experience the whole family can enjoy together and is sure to be an event to remember!"

October half-term adventures with the National Trust in Surrey and West Sussex

Autumn’s beautiful backdrop, its crunchy carpets of leaves and glossy conkers create a natural playground for children. For families who love exploring the great outdoors, there’s no shortage of seasonal delights to discover this October half-term.

At Polesden Lacey, Standen and Petworth House and Park family trails will bring kids closer to nature as they explore acres of gardens parkland and woods.

Make sure you pick up a ‘50 things to do before you’re 113/4’ activity planner when you arrive. Autumn is one of the very best times to have an outdoors adventure – making wild art from fallen leaves or going on a fungi foray at Polesden Lacey - or looking for champion conkers under Hatchland Park’s and Standen’s chestnut trees. There are loads of fun challenges that’ll encourage kids to feel safe in our great outdoors.

Autumn is also a great time to help native wildlife, before winter sets in. Our ‘50 things’ pack shows you how to make simple homes for hedgehogs and bees – something you can do when you visit, or in your own garden. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/50-things-to-do.

We’ve got loads of additional activities to help keep kids busy during October half-term. Download a spotter sheet or two before you visit – they’ll help children identify all sorts of nature, from leaves and woodland creatures, to garden wildlife. And our how-to guides provide lots of inspiration for fun at home, with star-gazing, baking, and bird feeder-making tips. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/family-activities-for-outdoor-adventures.

Don’t forget to share your outdoor adventures with the National Trust on social media using #EveryoneNeedsNature. Every half-term visit you make helps us keep these places open for future generations of families to discover.

Planning your visit

To ensure everyone’s safety, we recommend you book your visit in advance, especially at busy times like school holidays and weekends. Every Friday we release new tickets for the following week. Visit the website of your chosen destination for all the details. Click here for the full National trust list.

Swing into a fun filled half-term this October at GoApe

Autumn days are made for adventure! Take to the treetops this October half term and zip, swing and jump into thrilling activities perfect for all ages. Embrace the autumn sun with our daytime activities or even brave the dark as you take part in our Sundown Sessions. 

With 34 sites nationwide, there is a Go Ape closer than you think and a whole lot of adventure waiting to happen! Prepare to test your skills on tree-to-tree crossings, super-springy nets and get ready to experience that adrenaline pumping feeling as you fly down forest zip lines. At certain sites, experience exhilarating plummets, axe-throwing, zip-trekking and off-road Segways, you’ll have the time of your life! Whatever you are looking for we have something for everyone.

If you are looking for something a bit different then why not try out our Sundown Sessions andexperience Go Ape as you never have before! Bounce to your hearts content in our Sundown Nets session, zoom beneath a sunset on our Sundown Segways or zip through the trees on our Sundown Trees, Sundown Zips and Sundown Adventure sessions. The choice is yours - just remember to bring your camera.

There’s something for all ages this half-term so get ready to make some lifelong memories.

Treetop Adventure 

Whether they already love heights, or you want to build their confidence, let them test their skills and become the cheeky monkey you always knew they were. If they fancy even more of a challenge why not make it a little more interesting – we’re talking walking backwards, no hands, the works! For family-fuelled fun in the great outdoors this half term, release your little monkeys on the Treetop Adventure. 

Suitable for all ages, minimum height 1m tall, from £18* 

(Sundown Adventure available at selected sites)

Treetop Adventure+ 

Treetop Adventure+ is an ambitious treetop trial for young thrill-seekers and is an extension to the Treetop Adventure course for young explorers older than six and above 1.2m. Put your skills to the test on higher platforms, with more daring crossings and an even longer zip wire to bring you back to the ground!

Suitable for families with children aged 6+ and over 1.2m tall, from £21* 

(Sundown Adventure+ available at selected sites)

Treetop Challenge 

For an even more ambitious experience in the great outdoors, try the Treetop Challenge. Test your limits at soaring heights on thrilling high-speed zips, free-fall swings and daring canopy-height crossings up high from the forest floor.  

Suitable for adults and families with children aged 10+ and over 1.4m tall. Save 20% when you book the Tree Top Challenge 14 days or more in advance. From £20, with discount 

(Sundown Challenge available at selected sites)

Forest Segway 

If you’d rather keep your feet on the floor and explore the forest at ground-level, you can glide through the trees on a Segway at 12 of the Go Ape sites. Grab your eco-friendly, all-terrain Segway and enjoy spectacular off-road trails which are bursting with a mix of twists and turns. 

Suitable for anyone over 7 stone and under 19.5 stone, from £35* 

(Sundown Segways available at selected sites)

We know that many of you will have questions about your Go Ape adventure in light of the latest government updates. Currently, Go Ape can take bookings of 6 or more people because we are an approved outdoor physical activity. However, we are constantly adjusting our procedures to adhere to governmental advice. Social distancing is built into our operating procedures and sanitising stations are available to customers and staff at multiple points during your Go Ape experience. We also recommend wearing gloves, for your comfort. For further information please see our website

Booking in advance is always recommended to make sure you get the session you want as well as the best price.  

For further information and to book a Go Ape adventure, please visit www.goape.co.uk  

*Terms and conditions apply