Connect, create, grow

Round & About


Discover the diversity and creativity of Surrey artists as they open their doors for you to explore, meet and enjoy at Surrey Artists Open Studios, June 1st to 23rd

This year’s Surrey Artists Open Studios features more than 250 artists taking part in 165 studios across Surrey with a fantastic array of artworks and disciplines on show to browse and buy.

As well as a chance to meet and talk to artists in their place of work, the summer open studios event offers visitors the opportunity to view demonstrations, buy artwork, enter a free prize and even get involved in creative workshops.

The SAOS launch weekend takes place on Saturday 1st and Sunday, 2nd June with artists offering an array of activities exclusively for first weekend visitors to this popular county-wide event, complete with taster workshops featuring different materials across the arts and crafts.

SAOS has been running for 24 years representing the best in the county’s creativity and shining a light on makers, artists and creatives producing everything from ceramics and jewellery to paintings and sculpture.

SAOS Manager Caitlin Heffernan says: “SAOS is a wonderful opportunity to discover the county’s creativity on your doorstep. Not only will you uncover a vast range of artworks made by a truly impressive array of hundreds of individual artists, you will also find some unique pieces to take home with you.

“This year there is an impressive range of workshops to learn new techniques delivered by highly experienced artists. Whatever your taste or budget, SAOS artists offer unique artworks across virtually every discipline from ceramics and sculpture to paintings and jewellery.”

Among artists taking part are Joanna Lloyd Glass in Woking whose work includes sculptures cast from everyday objects such as her mum’s sewing utensils and her dad’s DIY tools. Elaine Winter is opening her studio in Woking for the first time in five years, where you’ll find the walls covered in paintings. Art on A Pot is on show in Woking, with an array of ceramics, jewellery and wall pieces while Louise Rowe whose work can also be seen in Woking, often uses gold leaf as a background to pen and ink drawings of wildlife.

In Englefield Green, printmaker and painter Stefanie Smith employs a variety of methods of produce art work inspired by local woodlands, wildlife and seasonal treasures.

Maria Billington takes much of the inspiration for her metal work from her garden to create her work in steel, copper and aluminium at her studio in Frimley Green. There’s a unique behind the scenes opportunity to ask and learn about the clay to bronze portrait commission process of Marian Rowling in Farnborough where you can ‘get the sculptor’s insight’.

Visit and marvel at the work of landscape painter Stephen Kinder in Godalming. Georgie Gardiner makes vessels and bowls on her potters wheel in Godalming using the technique of paper resist. In Cranleigh you’ll find Monique Birley’s contemporary landscapes, figurative work and still lives, while in Petworth, Sue Ransley takes a lighter look at life through her portraits. Retirements led Michael Colbourne to take a fine art degree and has resulted in the creation of more than 250 pieces of art at his home studio in Fernhurst. Impressionist oil paintings of iconic London, coastal scenes, landscapes, portraits, animals and still life are conjured up by Wendy Richards in Liphook. Jessica Stroud specialises in stained glass in Haslemere where you can see her current commission and small panels for sale.

There are a whole array of creative folk in the Farnham and Alton areas. In Sue Cook’s garden in Dippenhall, visitors will see many paintings on a variety of subjects: landscapes, seascapes, boats, architecture, house portraits, still life and patina. If photography is your thing then you need to visit Kiln Photo in Badshot Lea where you’ll find members’ work in various forms.

The Mill at Elstead is home to Becca Clegg, Beth Kirby, David Dragon and Robyn Horsburgh who collectively will be showing artwork and sculpture alongside smaller more affordable pieces in a rustic setting with food and refreshments on the premises.

In Farnham you can enjoy the work of painter Jackie Rennie, Ruta Brown makes jewellery from precious metals and stones rich in contrast and texture and for something different, take a look at the exquisite hand woven silk scarves made by Carolyn Wallis.

Emma Dunbar is inspired by her daily dog walks and even by supermarket trips to create her colourful paintings in Bordon. Take a trip to Upper Farringdon to view the local landscapes created by artist Fiona Pearce, Andrea Merron has a unique take on the sky in her work and at Atherton Green Art Gallery you’ll find work by more than 25 artists and sculptures in the former Victorian rectory. Seascapes and ceramics can be viewed courtesy of Susannah Acland and Clare Mattey in the Hay Barn Studio.

View the work of a cluster of artists in Guildford including self-taught figurative painter Sinclair Webster, landscapes and still lifes are created by Julie Verity in her Shed aka studio, photography and ceramics are displayed in the peaceful setting of Cathy Pyle’s garden studio and greenhouse alongside Bonnie Rasmusseun’s ceramics. Rosalinda Kightley is inspired by the natural world in her vibrant and colourful floral paintings and for something different how about the comic art / colouring projects of John Charles @ Art & Grind. See abstract landscapes as well as musical figurative work in a variety of media from Andrew Curtis while the love of colour comes through in Sarah Cox’s joyful paintings of the Surrey Hills and Cornish coastline. Pop in to see Gina making lampwork beads in her garden studio. You will also be able to peruse a range of jewellery, ornaments and pictures created using individually made beads.

Artventure Trust is a charity providing visual art sessions for adults with learning disabilities and additional needs through drawing and painting to printmaking, textile, photography, pottery and much more in their purpose-built studio in the grounds of St Peter’s School in Merrow.

Brochures are available from libraries, key galleries and at artists’ studios. Full details, studio addresses and booking for workshops can be found at Open Studios (

Mad about the blooms

Karen Neville


Summer is on the horizon bringing with it warmer days, hopefully plenty of sun and the glorious sight and scent of roses blossoming and spreading their joy

Our most popular flower is rich in symbolism and history featuring in literature, music, heritage, as our national flower, in skin care products and as the emblem for many sports teams.

Classic and instantly recognisable, they are ideal for almost every style of garden, flowering abundantly from early summer in pastel shades of pink, peach, cream or snowy-white; vibrant yellow and gold; orange, crimson and red.

And as any gardener will tell you, there are a few essential rose rules to ensure ‘everything comes up roses’.

Round & About gardening expert Cathie Welch will tell you “It’s all in the pruning!” and advises “before you prune, know your rose type and sharpen your secateurs to avoid damage.”

She adds: “Make sure you cut correctly in the right place. Dead heading throughout the summer and winter pruning should all be cut to ideally pencil thickness growth to encourage more flowers. Cut out dead and weak growths as well as congested growth and don’t forget the suckers which come from the wild rootstock.”

Ramblers are in full bloom at this time of year and to ensure an attractive abundance in future, she says: “After flowering has finished prune out some of the flowered shoots and tie in the annoying long ones that you have wanted to cut off because these will produce next year’s flowers.”

And remember to dead head throughout the summer.

If you prefer to admire the beauty of roses and take in the rich fragrance from someone else’s handiwork there are plenty of gorgeous English gardens full of stately blooms.

There are more than a thousand Old English rose bushes to take in at Loseley Park, Guildford which can be seen at their best at this of year. Nearby at RHS Wisley, the Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden boasts a contemporary design combining roses with evergreen shrubs, herbaceous plants, bulbs and clipped yews. Look out for some spectacular blooms into autumn.

Visit The Six Quarters at Gilbert White’s House in Selborne and be greeted by summer beds containing different species of old rose planted in among lavender, geraniums, dianthus, foxglove and columbine.

You’d expect the National Trust to offer up some of the best gardens to wander through and these don’t disappoint. There’s A Celebration of Roses at Polesden Lacey, June 8th to July 14th, where the walled gardens hold more than 35 varieties and over 100 rambling roses form tunnels of petals over the pergola leading to the central wishing well. Bright yellow blooms mix with more subtle pale pinks. The celebration offers the opportunity to learn more about the blooms, the garden’s history and the work that goes into maintaining it. View metal rose installations made by charity the Camelia Botnar Foundation which provides residential training and work experience to young people. The roses in the installation are for sale and can be collected after the celebration has finished.

The Rose Garden at Nymans in Sussex boasts more than 600 bushes – their heady scent carries a long way, notably on a warm summer’s day, mingling with the lavendar.

The more than 100 varieties blooming at Hinton Ampner near Alresford are sure to feature in the Festival of Flowers from June 8th to 30th which celebrates the art of flower arranging as part of Hinton in Bloom: Summer where you can wind your way through the walled garden to the parterre, look for the rose motifs and breathe in their scent throughout the month.

The walled gardens at Mottisfont near Romsey are home to a collection of pre-1900 shrub roses. This year, Mottisfont is marking 50 years since the collection was brought to the grounds to be enjoyed by all and how they are preparing for climate challenges of the future. The gardens are open until 8pm through to June 29th affording longer for you to appreciate them and on 7th, 14th and 21st you can enjoy live jazz, wine tastings and wine for sale from award-winning Hampshire vineyard Black Chalk.

Take in the scent of the contemporary Rose Garden with its viewing platform overlooking the roses as well as the garden beyond at Savill Garden and immerse yourself in the old fashioned scented French musk roses inter-planted with a wide range of shrubs and perennials.

The start of July brings the glorious Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, 2nd to 7th, where you can’t fail to be inspired by the beautiful show gardens and ‘get started’ gardens created by new designers with innovative ideas, beautiful plants and detailed landscaping.

Guildford Fringe is a cut above

Round & About


Guildford Fringe Festival 2024 announces this year’s line-up running from 29th June to 20th July including the return of its popular free music performances

Guildford Fringe Festival (, which is now in its 11th year, will return for a three-week run of theatre, comedy, spoken word, music, cabaret and family-friendly shows! All at accessible prices and with some top free entertainment on the bill. 

The beautiful historic Guildhall balcony on Guildford High Street becomes the stage for a free evening of Opera on the Balcony on 30 June with arias and duets from well-loved composers such as Puccini, Verdi, Mozart, Lehár and more. This is followed by Bluebirds on the Balcony on 6 July showcasing the talents of the vintage close harmony trio. There is no need to book, just bring a blanket or chair, and settle in to be entertained. 

Charlotte Wyschna, Managing Director of Guildford Fringe Festival, said: “Since our Founder Nick Wyschna set up Guildford Fringe Festival back in 2013, we have been proud to offer open access to performers and shows, and have kept ticket prices as low as possible, with an average ticket costing £10. We have remained committed to this value particularly at a time when costs are making it harder for many people to access festivals and venues around the UK. As Guildford’s largest independent multi-arts festival, we champion up and coming talent as well as providing a welcoming environment for established names to share their Work in Progress, giving our Festival audiences the chance to ‘hear it first’. As always, we are grateful to our audiences, funders, performers and venues with a heartfelt thank you to Experience Guildford and Chapters Financial for their ongoing support.”  

The 2024 Guildford Fringe Festival programme is as time of writing as follows (‘Free Fringe’ events marked*; family-friendly events marked +; WIP – Work in Progress):

Comedy: Bright Club Does Guildford Fringe, Darren Walsh: New Puns, Ingenious Fools presents Disabled Cants, Blue Badge Brunch+, Richard Pulsford: Get Rich Quick, Plastic Jeezus – Leave Them Wanting Less, Jake Baker: Union Sundown (WIP), Bexual Healing, Marjolein Robertson (WIP), Nathan Cassidy: International Man of Mestory, Madame Chandelier Saves Opera, Why I Chase Comedians and Other Bipolar Tales, Laughs and Tricks (Stephen Owen and Phil Turner), CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation, The Foraging Fan Club, Susie McCabe (WIP), Sam Love: Thirties (WIP), Mark Nicholas: This Is Not The Autistic You Are Looking For, Joe Wells (WIP), Phil Green: Guilt, Samantha Day: The Generations Game, Benny Shakes: Respect (WIP), Abi Clarke: Try Hard (WIP), Jack Skipper (WIP), Danny Buckler: Danny Does Vegas!, Katie Pritchard: I Kiss The Music, Juliette Burton: Hopepunk (WIP), Juliette Burton: Going Rogue (WIP), GROTTO, Charis King: Wummy (WIP), Fatiha El-Ghorri: Cockney Stacking Doll (WIP), Dylan Dodds: GroundDodds Day, Adrian Poynton: Ashes, Brits Abroad: Banned, Improv Wolves, Taxi Driver. 

Theatre: Stabbed From Behind – The Adult Murder Mystery, A Double Bill of New Writing from Performance Preparation Academy (PPA), The Regina Monologues by Rebecca Russell & Jenny Wafer, It’s a beautiful day! +, The Lucky and Ducky Show+, Zombie Chicken+, Bethnal Green, Living The Dream, The Bear and The Stronger, Through the Looking Glass+, Destination: ‘Old Hag’, Buried Denmark.

Live Music: Opera on the Balcony*+, Sinatra at Sunset+, Indigo Rocks, Madame Chandelier Saves Opera, Bluebirds on the Balcony*+, Café de Swing+, Opera in the Meadows, Liz Simcock in Concert+ (all proceeds to North Guildford Food Bank), What You Will+, Brian Houston Live at Clandon Wood+, Rock Choir Day*, Becoming Tosca, Open Mic Night at Sequoia Yoya*.

Spoken Word: Drag Story Time with That Girl*+, Robert Garnham: Juicy, Chris The Postman Poet: Existentially Yours.

Cabaret: The Harvey Juggling Show, Matt Daniel-Baker – The Mind Reader, The Goose and The Crow – Sinister Songbook, Drag Bottomless Brunch Bash, Dry Bottomless Brunch with That Girl+, Cabaret Drag Night with That Girl, Cabaret Drag Night with Mama Tasty, Cabaret Drag Night with Saffron Slayter, Drag Bingo With That Girl, 80s Daytime Disco Bottomless Brunch, Cabaret Drag Nigh with Big Liz

Other events: Write soon! A Writing Workshop with Paul Kerensa, Movie and a Meal (Churchill, Romance and Cigarettes and Life of Brian).

This year’s festival venues are Clandon Wood Nature Reserve, Guildford High Street, Guildford Library, Holy Trinity Church, St Mary’s Church, The Fallen Angel, The Guildhall, The Keep Pub, The Star Inn and The Stoke Pub. 

Tickets are now on sale via or call the Box Office on 01483 361101. During the Festival, there will be also a daily Box Office at The Star Inn, Quarry Street, from 6-7pm. A great place to catch the Festival team for their top tips on what’s taking place. 

The Garden Show at Stansted Park

Round & About


Discover plants, garden and home accessories, art, design, sculpture, fashion, gifts and tempting foods and wine and more

The Garden Show is back to celebrate the 30th and the last at Stansted Park from June 7th to 9th.

Thirty years ago the first garden show at Stansted Park in Hampshire was created as a forum for the smaller family fun businesses and to showcase the work of talented artisans particularly those who couldn’t afford the larger, more commercial shows.

It’s a great opportunity to explore what’s on the doorstep; source new talent, designers and artisans. Browse affordable and handpicked companies showcasing the latest specialist plants, garden and home accessories, art, design, sculpture, fashion, gifts and then treat your taste buds to tempting foods and wines.

Pick up top tips from horticultural experts to solve those frustrating problems – as ever the specialist plantspeople will bring their knowledge and brilliant advice plus we have daily expert advice from The Gardening Doctor, Paul Slater, who will also be giving a Talk on Friday on ‘Plant Selection’. Also on Friday the show is joined by Dr Ian Bedford, entomologist, with The Pest Clinic to help solve any bug issues in as friendly a way as possible. On Saturday there is a Q&A Session on ‘Empowering Communities into Horticulture’ with Tayshan Hayden-Smith. Ben Cross from Crosslands Flower Nursery will also be back on the Sunday to extol, in his usual energetic way, on the ‘British Cut Flower Industry’… ‘British Flowers Rock’!

The Show’s chosen charity is CancerWise – – aspiring to be an enabling, compassionate community for people with cancer and those who care for them. Based in Chichester, offering support and information to anyone who is concerned about cancer. Through counselling, complementary therapies or emotional care, providing support to the mind, body, spirit and emotional health of people through and beyond cancer. They will be holding ‘A Giant Tombola’, prizes donated by the Garden Show Exhibitors, along with some fete fun games.

In memory of one of the original founders of the show, Lizzie Dymock, Tawny Nursery will be selling beautiful poppies in aid on CancerWise.

It’s not all about gardening with ongoing demonstrations including willow weaving, forging along with traditional chairs, broom, trug and fence making plus The Studio Shop artisans demonstrating and sharing their expertise on jewellery design, painting, photography, embroidery, felt making, woodwork along with so much more. Plus the opportunity to join in one of the Blacksmith Workshops and create a leaf to hang on The Tree of Life in aid of CancerWise.

There is plenty to engage your children & indeed the whole family: watch children play in the beautiful parklands, ride on the toddler fun fair with Carousel Amusements, watch Huxley Birds of Prey soar through the skies, learn circus skills with Crazee Hazee and enjoy the daily Punch & Judy shows as well as ‘have-a-go-archery’ with The Queens Archers.

Next year the show moves to Broadlands from June 6th to 8th.

Ticket prices on the gate: Adult £14. Senior £12. Child £5 (Age 5-16yrs. Under 5yrs free). Family £35 (inc 2A & 4C). Prebook and save 15%.

More details and booking at The Garden Shows

How’s your hearing?

Round & About


Don’t suffer in silence, EarLab can help get you enjoying life again

It can be difficult to tell someone you think they need to get their hearing checked. Even for older people, the stigma of hearing loss and hearing aids leads many to ignore the problem for years.

Hearing loss can be frustrating but also socially isolating, meaning people withdraw from busy environments or background noise.

Even from the age of 40, without ear disease, we start to lose our ability to hear high pitched sounds. Some, with a family history of hearing loss or with ear disease, will lose hearing more appreciably at a faster rate. Hearing loss in this respect is due to inner ear loss (sensorineural) and not usually reversible.

Some hearing loss, however, is conductive. This means sound cannot get to the inner ear due to obstruction in the canal (wax, infection, abnormalities) or problems with the ear drum and bones of hearing.

I would encourage patients with hearing loss to get checked out by a professional. A good start is to have the ears checked and cleared of wax at which point a proper assessment of the ear health can be made. After this hearing tests and occasionally referral to an ENT clinic may be advised.

l Mr David Walker
Consultant ENT Surgeon, EarLab, Haslemere

Ear wax removal and specialist advice
£85 for both ears

Puppy Love Art Exhibition

Round & About


Self-taught artist & pet-lover Alison Molan’s first exhibition ‘Puppy Love’ runs at the Farnham Maltings café until Thursday 23rd May

Last year, self-taught artist & pet-lover Alison Molan received a letter from Queen Camilla for her Charlie tea towel and card she sent them for the Coronation. She says: “It was amazing to be recognised by the Queen and I was thrilled to have a reply.  Needless to say, I have framed it!”  

Her first exhibition Puppy Love runs at the Farnham Maltings café until Thursday 23rd May.  “I’m excited to be able to present prints of the first 19 pup portraits I’ve painted. I want to bring joy to people’s lives and I know that these prints will make people smile.

“I paint artworks that are original, playful, quirky and fun. They are from my collection of pup art which was inspired by our family pup, a rescued Lurcher, called Parker. He was an adorable mad hound and is much missed. I painted him in a style that is an homage to Frida Kahlo, who’s powerful and colourful art is truly inspiring. My designs are based on pups of family and friends. 

“I have always been creative but, until 2022, I only created work for myself or for family and friends.  I am totally self-taught and have developed my own style through trial and error! A few years after painting Parker, my daughter now owns her own pup and commissioned me to paint another portrait. From this, Pup Goes The Easel was born. Pup Goes The Easel is an homage to the pups we love.” 

Alison has dabbled with a variety of creative endeavours, using various mediums, over her life. However, it wasn’t until her later years that she found the confidence to paint for friends and family. Encouraged by them, she founded her pup art business in the summer of 2022 and began trading in October 2022. 

She adds: “I had my paintings professionally made into gallery quality, fine-art prints, luxury cards and a variety of other gifts including personalised pup ID tags. I sell my products on my website, at markets, through independent retailers, via Etsy and at exhibitions.

“All my pups have names and have a story to tell. They are painted with love in my sunny kitchen in the beautiful Surrey hills. I hope you can sense the unique characters of each pup and that they bring a smile to your face. They have been created to bring happiness and each pup is looking forward to being welcomed into your home.

“I use acrylic paints which have a vivid and bold quality which works well with my signature style of painting. The colours I choose are deliberately striking. The accessories and adornments I include on each pup are intended to be playful and humorous. I paint on high-quality canvas and art board.

“I think the title for this exhibition is self-explanatory.  However, it is also a poignant reference to my youthful adoration of Donny Osmond! I also paint commissions for people who want to capture the distinct essence of their own pups in a painting.” 

Alison can be contacted through her website

Hogs Back celebrates the hops

Round & About


Hogs Back Brewery blesses hop garden and continues ‘beating the bounds’ tradition

Hogs Back Brewery has held its annual Hop Blessing at its brewery and hop garden in Tongham to encourage a bountiful harvest.

Around 100 people gathered in the evening sunshine to enjoy the ceremony and the ‘beating the bounds’ walk, back as part of the event for a second year.

The Hop Blessing took place on Ascension Day (9th May), the day on which crop blessings were traditionally held for centuries. Rev Claire Holt, of St Paul’s Church in Tongham, blessed the crops and, with Hogs Back Brewery managing director Rupert Thompson, led guests on the walk around the 8.5-acre hop garden.

Image: Guests raise a glass at the Hogs Back Brewery Hop Blessing with managing director Rupert Thompson and Rev. Claire Holt 

Image: Rev. Claire Holt with Hogs Back Brewery managing director Rupert Thompson and brewery dog Basil

Blessings of crops was observed in rural communities and Hogs Back revived the tradition in 2014 when they planted their original hop garden over the road from the brewery and continued it when they relocated to the current, larger site. Currently, the 6,000 hop plants in the Hogs Back garden are climbing up strings, spurred by the recent rainfall, and the brewery is hoping for an ample crop to harvest in late August.

Rev Holt said: “Blessing the Hogs Back hop garden continues a tradition that would certainly have been part of the cycle of hop growing in Farnham for centuries. It gave me great joy to lead the prayers for the Hogs Back hop garden, the brewery, and all who work in them, for this year and long into the future.”

Thompson said: “The Hop Blessing is always a wonderful event, bringing together the local community to remember how important hop farming was to this region. We’re grateful, as ever, to Claire for blessing our hops and delighted to see so many people enjoying the ‘beating the bounds’ walk and a pint or two back at the brewery.”

The Hop Blessing has always been a free event but this year guests were asked to make a donation of £5 to British Heart Foundation, the brewery’s chosen charity for 2024. Hogs Back will be fundraising all year for BHF, especially at the Hop Harvest celebrations in September.

With the hops blessed, the Hogs Back team will now be tending the bines carefully until harvest. Three varieties are being grown: Fuggles – used in the brewer’s flagship Tongham TEA ale; English Cascade – used in its Hogstar lager; and Farnham White Bine – a local variety that Hogs Back revived from near-extinction.

Hogs Back’s Hop Harvest celebrations take place from 13th to 15th September, starting with a ‘Roots’ session featuring original music on the Friday, followed by a musical festival style event on the Saturday and a more family-friendly TEA Party on the Sunday. Tickets are available on the Hogs Back website.

From blow dry to AI

Round & About


Local college transforms hair studio into virtual reality immersive space for students

Nescot college in Elwell is investing £650,000 to transform a hair studio on campus into a virtual reality (VR), immersive space for its students.
The state-of-the-art technology, currently being installed, will be used across a wide range of courses on offer at Nescot and includes driving simulators and immersive learning spaces which work with a variety of artificial intelligence (AI) tools. This will allow students to gain specialist skills and experiences, like driving a forklift truck, or navigating a busy A&E ward, without even leaving the classroom.

Nescot will have a range of cutting-edge technology, including an Igloo, immersive room, and vehicle simulators. The Igloo is cylindrical, six metres in diameter and features a 360-degree projection system that can ‘transport’ groups of students around the world. It offers things like virtual field trips, design opportunities and gaming development. It can also recreate complex activities or hazardous environments so students can safely learn.

A suite of four advanced simulators will provide vehicle handling training for a wide range of machinery, from cranes to fire engines. These simulators, alongside virtual reality headsets, will mean students can work together to refine their driving or operation skills in a realistic scenario where multiple machines or vehicles are in use.

The immersive room has a projection system which equips all the walls with screens. Two of the screens are interactive and respond to touch, creating a hands-on learning experience. Two ultra-high-definition screens are also incorporated, and cameras enable instructors and students to magnify objects of interest and project them onto any of the four screens, facilitating discussion. The technology also brings remote learners into the classroom via a dedicated video call screen.

The facility further cements Nescot’s reputation as a hub of innovation, having recently opened robotics, AI and cyber security facilities as part of its Institute of Technology. The staff/student hair studio, which was a commercial salon and not a learning space for students, has already moved out of the space and has been relocated nearby. There is no impact at all on the Nescot hairdressing course, which is still a valued part of the curriculum.

Julie Kapsalis, CEO and Principal at Nescot said “We pride ourselves on innovation, and giving our students the best experience at Nescot, so we’re adopting this cutting-edge technology which will be a game changer. It can virtually transport students around the world to learn, allows them to safely practice dangerous scenarios, and is a fun and exciting way to boost motivation, creativity, and engagement. We can’t wait to get it installed.”

The funding to create the immersive space has been provided from the Government’s Local Skills Improvement Fund, a project which aims to support local people into work. Nescot is working with other local colleges and universities to better support the skills needs of the labour market in key areas identified by local businesses – CreaTech, Advance Manufacturing, Engineering and Construction, Digital, and Employability and Professional skills. As well as being beneficial for Nescot students, the college will be encouraging local businesses to get involved, by using the technology to train staff. Partnerships with business and enterprise are invaluable for both parties as organisations get to access cutting edge training and learning resources, plus a pool of talented, experienced students who can enter the workforce via apprenticeships, work placements and post-college recruitment.

Nescot offers college courses for school leavers and adults, with a wide range of career-focused vocational courses including Animal Care, Business, Computing and IT, Construction, Performing Arts, Childcare, Health & Social Care and Beauty Therapy. The college has two events coming up, where prospective students can see what’s on offer, and learn more about the immersive classroom as it’s being built.

Find out more at the open evening on Wednesday 22nd May, 4.30-7.30pm and the summer fair, Saturday 15th June 2024, 10.00am-2.00pm – call 020 8394 3038, visit or email [email protected]

Local businesses interested in using the immersive classroom for training, or working with the college on apprenticeships, work placements or recruitment should contact [email protected] or call 020 8394 8593.

Top 5 Solar Installers in Ascot

Round & About


Every second, the sun generates 173,000 terawatts ((trillions of watts) of solar energy – more than 10,000 times the Earth’s total energy consumption*. Without solar panels on your roof, all of this free energy from the sun goes to waste.

With solar costs at an all-time low, now is a great time to take advantage of this free energy supply at home. Are you keen to save on your monthly energy bills and become energy independent? Book one of the top MCS-certified solar installers in Ascot / Egham, UK:

1. Soly

Soly is a leading solar installer, rated Excellent on Trustpilot. With over 10 years of experience, Soly offers free virtual consultations and cost-effective solar solutions that can help you save up to £1,300 per year on your energy bills. 

Take advantage of industry-leading warranties including 30-year solar panel, 25-year performance and 10-year workmanship warranties, with fantastic aftercare service beyond installation. Soly is MCS and HIES accredited, Enphase certified, and a Which? Trusted Trader.

If you buy before 30th April, Soly is offering £1,000 off. Book a free consultation today at Soly Energy and quote ‘Ascot’ to claim this discount.

2. Your Energy Your Way

Your Energy Your Way is a female-led solar installer based in Surrey. Established in 2018, the company designs and installs whole-house renewable energy solutions across Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey, West London and surrounding counties. They provide everything from solar panels and battery storage systems to heat pumps.

Your Energy Your Way offers a 25-year warranty on solar panels, a 10-year warranty on batteries and a five-year warranty on inverters. The installation comes with a workmanship guarantee for two years. The company is MCS-certified. 

3. SogoSolar

Established in 2010, SogoSolar designs, supplies and installs solar panels, battery storage systems and EV chargers. Their focus is on smaller installations for homes and businesses across South East England. 

SogoSolar provides up to a 40-year product and performance warranty on solar panels, a 10-year warranty on batteries and a two-year workmanship guarantee on installation. As a member of the Real Assurance Consumer Protection Scheme (RECC) customers are also protected by an insurance-backed warranty scheme. The company is MCS-certified. 

4. Sphere Energy Solutions

Sphere Energy Solutions is a family-run solar business based in Bagshot, Surrey. Established in 2010, the company supplies and installs solar panels, home battery storage and EV chargers in Ascot, Egham and other areas in Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire and Greater London.

Sphere Energy Solutions offers a 25-year product and 30-year linear power warranty on solar panels and a 10-year warranty on batteries. The installation comes with a five-year workmanship guarantee. The company is MCS-certified. 

5. Solar Dynamics 

Solar Dynamics designs, installs and maintains solar energy systems in Surrey, including Ascot and Egham. Established in 2001, the company covers the South East of England, including Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and Kent. 

Solar Dynamics offers a 25-year warranty on solar panels, a 10-year warranty on batteries and a standard two-year workmanship guarantee on installation. The company is MCS-certified and offers solar financing solutions. 

Finding the Best Solar Installers in Ascot / Egham

Finding local solar installers you can trust in Ascot / Egham doesn’t need to be stressful. Plenty of certified contractors are available to provide valuable advice on what’s best for your home, along with a fast, free quote. While the initial investment can be significant, the long-term benefits outweigh the cost, with many homeowners making their money within eight years. 

The top solar installers are MCS-certified and offer high-quality products and long warranties for peace of mind. As your solar panels are a long-term investment (lasting up to 30 years), always look for companies that offer great after-care service beyond the installation period. 


Top 5 Solar Installers in Guildford

Round & About


The sun is a vast resource of endless renewable energy. Every second, it generates 173,000 terawatts (trillions of watts) of solar energy – over 10,000 times Earth’s total energy consumption*. Without solar panels installed on your roof, all of this free, clean energy goes to waste.

With solar costs at an all-time low, now is a great time to take advantage of this free energy supply at home. Are you keen to save on your monthly energy bills and become energy independent? Contact one of the top MCS-certified solar installers in Guildford, UK:

1. Soly

Soly is a leading solar installer, rated Excellent on Trustpilot. With over 10 years of experience, Soly offers free virtual consultations and cost-effective solar solutions that can help you save up to £1,300 per year on your energy bills. 

Take advantage of industry-leading warranties including 30-year solar panel, 25-year performance and 10-year workmanship warranties, with fantastic aftercare service beyond installation. Soly is MCS and HIES accredited, Enphase certified, and a Which? Trusted Trader.

If you buy before 30th April, Soly is offering £1,000 off. Book a free consultation today at Soly Energy and quote ‘Guildford’ to claim this discount.

2. Over to Solar

Over to Solar is an independent solar energy provider based in Guildford. The company designs, supplies and installs solar systems with a 90-day install guarantee. 

Over to Solar offers a manufacturer warranty on solar panels, batteries and inverters. They offer a 10-year production guarantee to ensure that your system performs as promised. If your solar system doesn’t supply the expected energy each year, you’ll receive a refund for the difference. The company is a NAPIT-approved and MCS-certified contractor. 

3. Sheerwater Solar

Sheerwater Solar is a local solar company based in Jacobs Well that designs and installs solar panels, batteries and EV car chargers. They operate across Surrey, including Guildford, Esher and Cobham. 

The company offers a 20-year warranty on solar panels, a manufacturer-dependent warranty on batteries and inverters and standard two-year workmanship guarantee on the installation. The company is a NAPIT-approved and MCS-certified contractor. 

4. Tech for Energy

Tech for Energy is a local renewable energy company based in Guildford. The company designs and installs solar panels and solar thermal systems in the local area. 

Tech for Energy offers a 25-40-year warranty on solar panels, depending on the type of panel you choose, a 10-15-year warranty on batteries and a 25-year warranty on micro-inverters. All installations are protected by a five-year insurance-backed workmanship guarantee. Tech for Energy is a NAPIT-approved and MCS-certified contractor. 

5. Guildford Energy

Guildford Energy is a local solar specialist based in the heart of Guildford. They install solar panels and heat pumps in Surrey and the surrounding areas. 

The company offers a manufacturer warranty on solar panels, batteries and inverters and a standard two-year workmanship guarantee on the installation. The company is a NAPIT-approved and MCS-certified contractor. 

Finding the Best Solar Installers in Guildford

Finding local solar installers you can trust in Guildford doesn’t need to be stressful. There are plenty of certified contractors to provide expert advice on what’s best for your home, along with a fast, no-obligation quote. While the initial investment can be significant, the long-term benefits outweigh the cost, with the typical payback period being eight years or fewer. 

The top solar installers in Guildford are MCS-certified and offer high-quality products and long warranties for peace of mind. As your solar panels are a long-term investment (lasting up to 30 years), always look for companies that offer great after-care service beyond the installation period.