In early June, following the hardest winter for many years, this
stunning display of poppies appeared in the fields below
our house. Beyond the fields is Binscombe and the hills of
the North Downs above Guildford are in the distance.
The Godalming fields were not unique and there were press
reports of similar occurrences in different parts of the U.K.
Such a splendid sight has not been seen here for at least a
The scene has not been repeated in the last few years. The summer
of 2014 saw a only a narrow strip of poppies beside the
ancient Saxon footpath in one of the fields.
The final photograph shows the 2014 poppies, set against the
backdrop of the protected (coppiced) ancient woodland on the
escarpment of The Ridge.
The two fields have recently been under threat as they were
included in a Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment
(SHLAA) being undertaken by the Local Council. Not only are
the fields within the Green Belt, but they are also in an area
considered to be of Great Landscape Value (AGLV). This is an
area of land in England which is considered to have a particular
scenic value. It is also covered by the Wealden Heaths Special
Protection Area (SPA). Should any building scheme go ahead
in these fields we believe it will have dire consequences for
the local environment, including the protected woodland. As
at October 2014 it is understood that the land has been withdrawn