Local History

The area known as the Borough of Runnymede has only been in existence since 1974, although the importance of the area dates back many thousands of years.

Runnymede Borough, formed when the administrative areas of Chertsey Urban District Council and Egham Urban District Council were combined, covers an area of 30.1 square miles (78 square kilometres) approximately 20 miles outside London.

Geography & nature

The Borough of Runnymede is situated within the large geological depression known as the Thames Basin. The underlying rocks of this area, formed approximately 50 million years ago, and the later deposits, are responsible for the soil type in the Borough, and therefore soil fertility and the type of plants that grow here.

The vegetation in the Borough ranges from heath land on poor, sandy, acid soils to woodland areas which over time have been more intensively farmed. Sand and gravel raising has been a significant local industry, and both are still commercially extracted today. The Borough is a very green area with just under 30% of the region covered with trees and woodland. 68% of the Borough is designated as Green Belt land, and 2% falls within Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

The local areas of Addlestone, Chertsey, Egham, Englefield Green, Longcross, Lyne, New Haw, Ottershaw, Thorpe, Virginia Water and Woodham which make up the Borough each have their own individual histories.

Note: Statistics taken from First Annual State of Runnymede Report 2004, Runnymede Borough Council