Reigate's Priory Park to host array of free events

1:17pm Tuesday 18th May 2010

An array of free events has been lined up to take place in Priory Park, Reigate, this summer.

Reigate and Banstead Borough Council has put together the list of events and activities including history talks, Nordic Walking and bat walks.

The first event will see the council's countryside rangers leading an evening bat walk around Priory Park lake on Thursday, May 27.

The park is home to at least six different types of bat, including the comparatively rare Serotine Bat.

The rangers will be equipped with bat detectors to hear the bats as they hunt for insects. The walk will start from the park pavilion at 8.45pm, walkers should wear sound footwear, accompanied children are welcome, but dogs are not allowed.

The focus will switch to local history on Friday, May 28, when the author of a new book about Lady Henry Somerset, whose family owned Reigate Priory house and grounds from 1807 to 1921, will host a talk about her life in the Holbein Hall in Reigate Priory School, behind the museum, at 7.30pm. To book a place email lhs.ros@googlemail.com There will be an introductory Nordic Walking workshop in the park on Friday, June 4, from 10.30am to noon, with poles provided.

Nordic Walking was originally developed as a summer walking activity for cross-country skiers.

And Reigate Croquet Club will be offering a series of free croquet taster sessions starting on Saturday, June 19.

Further sessions will take place on July 10 and August 14, with all three running from 10am to 1pm and no advance booking necessary.

To coincide with the launch of a new leaflet about the archaeology of Priory Park, Surrey County Archaeological Unit will give an evening talk about the site’s archaeology and the archaeological investigations made during the restoration of the park on Thursday, June 24, at 7pm.

The talk will be free but places are limited so advance booking is necessary by email to PrioryPark@reigate-banstead.gov.uk On Saturday, June 26, the Priory Park Community Festival will return with a day of family fun from 11am, including community, craft and information stalls, activities for children, traditional fairground rides, a youth zone, live music and food and drink stalls. The festival will run until 5pm, is free but but certain activities will be charged for.

And on Sunday, July 4, St Mary’s Church will hold a church service in the park at 10.30am with all welcome.

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species will run a free 30-minute Mammal Detective Workshop on Thursday, July 29, giving children the chance to learn about woodland creatures and examine real clues to solve an animal mystery. The workshops for youngsters aged from six to 12 will run at 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm, and although free, places must be booked in advance by email to PrioryPark@reigate-banstead.gov.uk.

Adam De Save, borough council executive member for leisure and wellbeing, said: “This fantastic series of events means you won't be stuck for something to do this summer.

"Since the restoration of Priory Park was completed in 2008, park staff have been working hard to build an interesting and varied year-round programme of events, and this summer's is the best yet.”

He said: “More events are being added all the time, so keep a look out for new events on our website, in the park pavilion or park notice boards.”

All events will meet at Priory Park Pavilion, except where stated otherwise.

For more details call Helen West, Priory Park Interpretation Officer, on 01737 242179, or visit the council’s website: www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk

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