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Tooting Common Heritage Project Newsletter: June 2018

Tooting Common Heritage Project

Welcome to the Tooting Common Heritage Project (TCHP) newsletter. Below you can read about what has been going on over the last couple of months and what is to come!

Image: The floating rafts anchored to the eastern edge of Tooting Bec lake are now in bloom

After what feels like a very brief spring, we are now moving into the summer months as the Common finally comes to life again. It is now possible to see the positive results of the work carried out as part of the heritage project. The plants on the floating rafts anchored to the eastern edge of Tooting Bec lake are now in bloom, providing an amazing habitat for wildlife and the small leaved lime trees in the new avenue are all in leaf and doing well.

Image: Small leaved lime trees in the new avenue are now in leaf.

On behalf of Wandsworth Council, Enable Leisure and Culture (as well as all the various other partners) and the TCHP team, we would like to thank you for your continuous support.

EMPLOYMENT SKILL AND LEARNING On a very crisp snowy March afternoon Councillor Caddy, Wandsworth Councillor for Employment and Skills, and Jeffrey Smith, Cluster Lead Employer Adviser for Job Centre Plus Wandsworth, came to hand out certificates to two of the five candidates who successfully completed the latest round of City & Guilds Level 1 qualification in Land Based Studies, as part of the Tooting Common Heritage Project Employment Skills and Learning project. All five candidates successfully achieved MERIT passes in their Level 1 qualification in Land Based Studies. During the course all candidates received a thorough grounding in small plant and machinery including the use of pedestrian mowers, strimmers and leaf blowers, as well as more traditional grassland management practices such as using hand scythes.

All five candidates have expressed an interest in Seasonal Grounds Maintenance job opportunities with idverde this spring and will be interviewed later this month for these positions on the Wandsworth contract….Good luck everyone! It was also great to see candidates from previous courses at the ceremony, including Carl Taylor from Year 2 who is now working full time for idverde at Battersea Park in Wandsworth and Ben Barber from year 3 who is now working full time for idverde at Bishops Park in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

Image: Employment Skills and Learning team and Cllr Caddy on Tooting Common. Credit Johnny Armistead


Image: Smooth newt Credit: Alan Wilkinson A good range of wildlife has been seen on Tooting Common this spring. Bats including Common Pipistrelle regularly feed over the lake at dusk. Smooth Newts are in some ponds.

Image: A red kite in flight over Tooting Common. Credit: Alan Wilkinson Migratory birds such as Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Swift have returned to breed, though a little later than usual. Red Kites were seen to pass high over the Common several times in fine weather along with the occasional Peregrine and Buzzard. Keep an eye on the skies!

Image: Common blue butterfly Credit: Alan Wilkinson

The usual early spring butterflies have been seen including Comma, Speckled Wood and Holly Blue in particularly good numbers. Common Blue butterflies have just started to appear among the buttercups. Alan Wilkinson


TCHP runs historical and ecological walks and talks, engages with local schools and hosts an exciting range of community events on Tooting Common. Keep up to date by visiting:


PREVIOUS EVENTS EASTER EGG HUNT The heavens opened, but this did not deter a steady stream of Easter egg hunters. Equipment with a map and a set of clues the intrepid attendees were rewarded with a prize at the end of the hunt.

THE WOODFIELD PROJECT - PRACTICAL CONSERVATION DAYS The Woodfield Group continue to hold monthly work days to manage the area surrounding the pavilion. A Saturday work session was recently held to construct a stag beetle loggery. Stag beetles require dead wood habitats to lay their eggs and for the larvae to live and feed on during the early stages of their life.

VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES The Tooting Common Heritage Project is looking for volunteers! There are many opportunities to get involved with, either on a short-term basis or by regularly committing time to a specific project or group.

Volunteering is a rewarding experience it provides the opportunity to learn about your local environment, enhance your skills, improve your health and well-being and meet new people. Visit the website for more information about volunteering opportunities, or email the TCHP Team.

Visit the website

Wandsworth Council has been awarded just under £1.4m by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of a larger £1.9m scheme to explore, restore, conserve and enhance the cultural and natural heritage of Tooting Common.

Initiated by Wandsworth Council, managed by Enable Leisure and Culture in partnership with the South London Swimming Club, The Woodfield Project, idverde (formally Quadron Services Ltd), The Tooting History Group and Wandsworth Historical Society. Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Wandsworth Council.



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