Meet the Surrey Hills & Rivers team.

Ben Webb
Ben founded Surrey Hills and Rivers as a community-based business after a 20-year career as a Chartered Tax Adviser working for some of the biggest corporations in the world. 
His philosophy is that the joyful immersion of young people in the countryside provides unique educational, physical and social benefits, rendering it the very best thing for their wellbeing. 

Critically, he believes that managing amongst the fundamentals of the great outdoors has the power to provide young people with perspective on what’s important, and Ben’s view is that this is also the true foundation for the future health of the natural environment and for harmonious society. He concludes therefore, that there is nothing more deserving of his full-time attention than contributing to the quality of childhood experiences. 

For Ben, working successfully with young people to this end is an occupation second to none, because it serves not only an abstract global purpose and legacy, but at the same time visibly makes all the difference to the individual standing right in front of you.  So, Ben aims to be very much involved with every experience that Surrey Hills and Rivers provides, and quite often he can be found wearing the chef’s hat too! 

Ben has two daughters and a son of his own.  He’s personally enjoyed a lifetime of play and physical endeavour in the great British countryside, and highlights include competing in rowing at Henley, earning the Royal Marines green beret, olympic distance triathlons, marathon running and marathon kayaking.

Pippa Rowlandson
Hello, my name is Pippa and I’ve been working with Surrey Hills and Rivers as an activity provider since 2021.  It’s a dream commitment as it combines all my favourite hobbies; making crafts, woodland walks, camping, walking along the rivers, canoeing and eating by the campfire, outside on the beautiful farmland.

I run my own small company (Kharma Mosaics, www.kharmamosaic.com) making mosaics and 
running pop-in workshops at festivals, tipi weddings and holiday camps.  I have worked in events for most of my life and combine my passion for making mosaics and teaching and running events.  

I was very lucky to have lots of family holidays on farms in Cornwall when I was growing up and love being outside camping and surfing too with my son in Cornwall. I very much look forward to meeting you all when you visit the lovely Surrey Hills and Rivers camps.

Kaye Smith
Kaye has over 20 years’ experience of working with children in a variety of settings, from nurseries and schools, National Trust properties and the Wey Kayak Club in Guildford. With a passion for creativity and the outdoors, Kaye has a real gift for engaging with young people and helping them experience things that they might otherwise never encounter. 

A qualified kayak coach, Kaye runs the beginner junior section of the Wey Kayak Club, giving children of all ages and backgrounds skills they can benefit from for a lifetime. Kaye has worked for Surrey Hills and Rivers from its infancy
both on the water and at the farm and she enjoys sharing her love of nature, crafts and the outdoors with the children.

Kaye has two daughters in their early 20s who have followed in her footsteps with a love of exercise and the outdoors. In addition to working for Surrey Hills and Rivers, Kaye works for a charity as a sighted guide, helping visually impaired people to live full lives, and volunteers as a mentor for young people facing challenges at home or at school.

Amanda Childerstone
I’ve been a member of the Wey Kayak Club for 31 years and I’ve been coaching there for more than 10 years, my other roles including organising the club introductory courses and schools kayaking programme.

I am a qualified teacher and have worked with children with special needs, particularly autism. I also taught swimming and canoeing in America for 3 summers with Camp America.

I used to compete in marathon canoeing and have paddled the 125 mile Devizes-Westminster race solo (‘K1’) over 4 days. I have also taken part in a 2-week wilderness open Canadian canoe trip down the North Macmillan river in Canada, and our family have spent many holidays doing multi-day trips down rivers in the UK and Europe including the Dordogne, Gudena, Shannon and Spey. 

I have 3 grown up children who all paddled at the Wey Kayak Club for many years and who went on to compete at marathon world championships and many other international events.

Ben Williams

Hello there! My name is Ben Williams.

I have been involved with youth work and playgroups since 2010 and have a wealth of experience bringing fun and activities to all ages and backgrounds.

In particular, I have a great fondness for nature and love of the outdoors that I look to impart through all of our activities. Some of my
favourite pastimes at the farm include woodland skills and camping, mycology/foraging and sustainable crafts.

I also love history, cooking outdoors, music and chess.

About Us

We believe that every day should include activity outdoors, whatever the season and whatever the weather.  We facilitate an outdoor life for people of all ages, backgrounds, means and abilities, by providing outdoor experiences through a range of activities.

As well as working with young people, we extend our provision to adult and family groups for rewarding family, social or corporate experiences outdoors.

Our sessions are delivered only to small groups and are meticulously planned, calibrated and dynamically differentiated for each group and individual.  Our ambition is to provide an outdoor experience that makes a real and positive difference to lives, every time.

We will make it fun.  There is a pure contentment derived from persevering in physical challenges and from being exposed to the elements.  But we believe the truly magic ingredient is ensuring that every person enjoys their experience as part of a team of peers oozing with positive and kind dynamics – never for ourselves alone.  There’s no fun quite like playing outdoors with friends, new or old.

We will also make it count.  Every experience is subtly framed to deliver physical, technical, personal, emotional and social development in a happy environment. 

For young people: specific educational themes/curriculum topics can be interwoven upon request and will bring even more to the sessions.  Days of pure contentment and friendship outdoors – our fondest childhood memories.  Appreciation of the natural world and the real essentials in life.  Ultimately better childhoods today, and helping children take their place in the best possible society tomorrow.

We’re all about making outdoor experiences happen, making them fun and making them count.

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