Monday, August 21, 2017
Tooting Common to get £2m makeover

Tooting Common to get £2m makeover

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One of South London’s biggest parks is getting a £2million makeover from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), as its lake is cleared, tennis courts revamped, and the habitat spruced up.
The work on Tooting Common will also see a new pavilion, toilets and a meeting space. Floating rafts will be installed on the water, with beds of Great Pond Sedge, Purple Loostrife, March Marigold and Water Mint.
Overhanging branches and submerged trees will also be removed from the eastern side of the lake near the woodland area known as The Sanctuary.
Tooting Bec Lido will also get an extensive revamp.
The common project is designed to make the lake a more welcoming and thriving habitat for wildlife.
Reducing leaf fall and removing rotting wood from polluting the lake will lead to cleaner water and allow more light to help aquatic plants and vegetation thrive.
Last year Wandsworth council was awarded just under £1.4m by the HLF to restore, conserve and enhance the cultural and natural heritage of Tooting Common.
Another £500,000 is being match funded by various partners including Transport for London, The Woodfield Project, Wandsworth Council and Enable Leisure and Culture.
The common covers 220 acres and is the largest open space in Wandsworth. It is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation – and is ranked in the top tier of these protected spaces as a site of Metropolitan Importance.
The HLF-supported Tooting Common Heritage Project project will also provide new acid grasslands, restore the Woodfield Pavilion to offer toilets and meeting space for community groups and pay for extensive refurbishment work at the lido.
It is also paying for the restoration of the common’s 1930s drinking fountain which is being cleaned, repaired and brought back into public use.
New trees will be planted along Chestnut Avenue to replace those in terminal decline.
The scheme is offering new volunteering opportunities for local people, and it will also see the compilation of The Common Story – a project that will work with volunteers to unravel some of Tooting Common’s historical mysteries and provide research and archive training to those taking part.
That work is being assisted by Wandsworth Historical Society, The Woodfield Project and the South London Swimming Club.
Environment spokesman Councillor Jonathan Cook said: “The restoration of the lake is a really exciting element of this wider heritage project that will help make sure the common’s important historical features and its important biodiversity are preserved for future generations.”

Chief Reporter | Former news reporter on Daily Mail and Times, former editor in Edinburgh and Barnet. Sports editor and father for 15 years. Once made nine doormats for Harrods entrances. They lasted two years.

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Tooting Common to get £2m makeover