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The Rye Brook flows through Ashtead Common, Ashtead Rye Meadows & Leatherhead where it joins the River Mole. Over the years, urban & agricultural development has had a detrimental effect on the Rye Brook, with the result that it supported little wildlife and periodically flooded local houses. By restoring the natural processes such as erosion, the depositing of minerals and the occasional flooding of wetland habitats, we are securing a healthy long term future for both wildlife & people.

Ashtead Village Day 9th June 2018
Ashtead Rye Meadows had a successful Village Day and thanks go to the volunteers who helped with the stand on the day. Pictures of the stand and some of the motley crew can be seen at Photo Gallery (scroll to the bottom to see Vallage Day 2018). This year we focused upon the artwork of Cathy Brett (see below) who produced cards and IMG 1011 from her artwork. The cards are still available from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and are priced at £6 including postage and packing.

We will also be represented at the Heritage Weeks events with visits to Rye Meadows set for Saturday 15th September between 11am and 3pm. The full details of Heritage Weeks will be available soon. It is proposed to start tours of Rye Meadows fro the Centenary Field - reached from Footpath 596 from Bushey Shaw/Fairholme Crescent (off Links Road, Ashtead). It is hoped, weather permitting, to have an area for picnics, and our stand will be there for information - and of course to sell Cathy's cards.

We will also be present at the River Mole Discovery Day on Sunday 30th September. We will be one of several environmental stands on the bank of the River Mole behind the Leatherhead Leisure Centre.

Children’s illustrator collaborates with Conservation Charity to celebrate art and nature!

Cathy BrettLeatherhead artist, Cathy Brett, has been a frequent visitor to a pretty corner of Ashtead this year. She’s not there to walk her dog through Ashtead Woods, to jog by the Rye Brook, or to take a stroll through the Meadows. Instead, visitors who bump in to Cathy in this idyllic pocket of green will find her busy sketching, painting and taking photographs.

At the end of 2017 Cathy was commissioned by the Rye Meadows Wetland Trust to create some artwork for greetings cards, but she was so inspired by the charm of the landscape and the hard work undertaken by the volunteers of this environmental charity that she has become their Artist in Residence, as well as a keen supporter.

This isn’t the first time Cathy has collaborated with a local organisation. Leatherhead residents may remember her much-praised 70th Anniversary exhibit at the Leatherhead Museum last year, where she created a series of illustrations depicting key events in the town since the museum opened in 1947. Many visitors bought her cardboard cut-out-and-stick ‘Mini Museum’ and sticker sheet that enabled them to ‘curate’ their own collection of artefacts.

During the summer of 2017, she could be found at several local events including the River Mole Discovery Day, sketching for the Teasel Wood Trust, and in October running children’s workshops for the Big Draw, Epsom.

Cathy is delighted to still be involved with the museum and will again be part of the Big Draw Epsom team of artists this autumn. Her commission with Rye Meadows will continue into the winter, by which time she will have created a huge body of work across all four seasons – sketchbooks, photographs, paintings and prints – which will be exhibited in the New Year, possibly compiled as a book. Meanwhile, the work so far can be viewed at Ashtead Village Day on June 9th, where you can discover more about the work of the trust and buy Cathy’s greetings cards!

Cathy Brett (MA UCA) is an award-winning artist, author, illustrator and academic. She is the author of ‘Ember Fury’ (Borders Book of the Month), ‘Scarlett Dedd’ (Richard and Judy Book Club), ‘Everything Is Fine’ (Headline) and is Co-creator, with Jo Cotterill, of ‘Electrigirl’ (Oxford University Press). Her current work-in-progress is a graphic novel which has been shortlisted for two major awards (Laydeez Do Comics Prize 2018 and Myriad Editions First Graphic Novel Award 2018).


Rye Meadows Wetlands Trust, Ashtead, is a conservation and environmental charity, run by local volunteers. Their vision is to managed the land and to enhance this wildlife corridor for the long term benefit of the environment and the village of Ashtead. They have been doing this with the assistance of:
Thames Water, The Environment Agency, Surrey Wildlife Trust, The Woodland Trust, Mole Valley District Council, Ashtead Rotary, and others.


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A-Plant LogoAshtead Plant Hire Company Ltd (A-Plant) is a proud supporter of the Friends of Ashtead Rye Meadows Wetlands.