Conservation Areas don’t remain static and are forever changing. Indeed as part of the work of CCHT we are working on a number of potential changes to the existing areas as well as thinking of areas that are not yet designated as Conservation Areas – the most important of these being Street Cobham, which remains historically very important but whose appearance has unfortunately been somewhat ruined by developments in that area. Such changes, however, need to be put in place by Elmbridge and have to be balanced against the breadth of other activities which local authorities need to be involved in today and which demand further budgets to support.
Elmbridge have, during 2005 and the early part of 2006, undertaken an initiative called CHIPs (Community Heritage Initiative Programme) . This has laid the framework for enhanced management of Conservation Areas across the borough. East Molesey and Weybridge were the focus of this initial work but we will continue to work with Elmbridge to ensure that further work include the Conservation Areas of Cobham. This will be one of the areas where we will need your help in future.
Through the work of the CCHT we will also be working to ensure that we continue to improve the Conservation Areas in Cobham and to seek to expand the benefit we derive from our Conservation Areas. To this end we will be seeking volunteers to help with future work groups to pick up litter, clear verges and so on, as well as to think through how we can better use these important amenities.
The ancient Pond at Downside is being reinstated. In January 2007 an ancient pond on Downside Common began to re-emerge from the dense thicket that had surrounded it for decades. Members of the Downside and Cobham communities, - fathers, mothers and children, - all turned up to fell, cut up and burn, overgrown thicket, to bring this historic site to life again. Under the enthusiastic guidance of Dave Page, the Elmbridge Countryside Estates Officer, volunteers did a magnificent job of clearing the site, many using the saws, cutters and even working gloves that Dave provided, and two large bonfires consumed all the cuttings.
It is hoped that work on the pond will be completed in early summer 2007.