His Royal Highness Prince Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh, visited Riverside in Farnham on Monday – and was quickly put to work!
During his visit, the Duke spoke with school children and volunteers from various community organisations – including stopping for tea and cake with the Space2Grow parenting group.
He also helped make a swift box for the Tice's Meadow Nature Reserve, plug plants for Farnham in Bloom and plant the 70th tree in Farnham's new Jubilee Walk, commemorating his mum, the late Queen Elizabeth II's 70 years on the throne.
The Duke of Edinburgh arrived just before 11am and was received by His Majesty's Lord Lieutenant, Michael More Molyneux, and Farnham town clerk, Iain Lynch.
He first met with representatives of the Farnham Rivers Group, the Bourne Conservation Group and Farnham Biodiversity Group, where he discussed the groups' work, including their riverfly survey and moth surveys.
The Duke also met with members of the Tice’s Meadow Bird Group, where he learned about their achievements establishing the former sand quarry in Badshot Lea as a nature reserve and participated in making swift bird boxes with volunteers.
He also met children from Badshot Lea Infant School who were making bug hotels helped by Tice’s volunteers, and two children from Ukraine who have been living in the Farnham community for the past year.
The Duke of Edinburgh also chatted with volunteers from Space2Grow, Farnham’s community well-being garden, and met garden volunteers, who were making willow fencing and helping Potters Gate pupils make willow bird feeders.
He also met Heath End ‘well-being intervention’ pupils and well-being support dog Tuppy. The pupils explained their recycled plastic bottle greenhouse project, after which the Duke met with the Space2Grow parenting group to discuss the benefits of the group over tea and coffee.
The Duke met the team behind Men in Sheds, where he saw the stools they made and shared some of their community projects and woodworking skills.
He then proceeded past the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth Jubilee bench to meet volunteers of the Farnham in Bloom community group. The Duke also had an opportunity to plant plug plants with the In Bloom volunteers and pupils from Farnham Heath End School and St Andrew’s infant School.
During the visit, the final trees of Farnham's 70 for Jubilee Walk, the Queen’s Green Canopy avenue, were planted by representatives of the community, including the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Brightwells Tennis Club, the mayor and mayoress of Waverley, Centenarian Mr Frank Rhodes and Herald head of content Daniel Gee.
The Mayor of Farnham invited the Duke of Edinburgh to plant the 70th tree in the Queen's Green Canopy avenue. The Duke of Edinburgh planted the tree and unveiled a plaque as part of the new Jubilee avenue commemorating his mother, Queen Elizabeth II's 70 years on the throne.
The Duke's visit was well-received by the community, who were thrilled to meet him and share their projects with him – with the mayor of Farnham, Councillor Alan Earwaker, leading a rousing 'three cheers' for the Duke of Edinburgh to bring his visit to a close.