by: Ian Symes, Vice-Chairman, Effingham Parish Council
Effingham Commoners’ Day 2016 was the best supported so far by the village. It is staged regularly to exercise Commoners’ Rights and by so doing to maintain these rights and help protect Effingham Common from development. Around 480 people attended witnessing the ancient right of grazing.
The event was opened by the Mayor of Guildford, Gordon Jackson, supported by the Mayoress. In addition to guided tours of the common, one showing its industrial heritage in the production of bricks, there were many other attractions including: a climbing wall, face painting, mystery trails, and games and quizzes by teaching staff from St Lawrence School.
This year Commoners’ Day had particular importance as Effingham Parish Council are producing a Neighbourhood Plan in which Effingham Common features prominently as a proposed Local Green Space. In order to be designated as such the green space being proposed must be seen to be popular with local residents and the large numbers attending will certainly demonstrate its local importance.
The local organisers of the event would like to thanks Guildford Borough Council, the Friends of Effingham Common and Effingham Parish Council for their sponsorship and to local helpers for all their hard work. This year Bevans Butchers kindly donated barbeque meat, Watsons Bakeries donated rolls, and the Village Stores contributed onions. Effingham Cricket Club provided refreshments and cakes and Effingham Scouts the marquees.
Other contributors were:
GBC Nature Trail
Hurdle making – Rob Stringer
Surrey Archaeological Society
Friends of Effingham Common / Effingham Local History
GBC Countryside stall and large tractor
Painted by You – craft stall
Sheep (x4) – undertaking the arduous duty of exercising the right of grazing
Also present on the day lending support was Immoovate, the GBC Cow, pictured below.