Tooting Common Heritage Project Newsletter: February 2019

Welcome to the February issue of 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: An Egyptian goose enjoying the view from atop the fossil tree

Wandsworth Council, Enable Leisure and Culture, project partners and the TCHP team would like to thank you for your continuous support in delivering the TCHP.



The refurbishment of The Woodfield Pavilion is progressing well and ahead of schedule. The interior of the building has been completely stripped bare and a new ceiling and floor has been installed to create a two storey layout. The building has been insulated and all windows have been removed, refurbished and reinstated with security shutters. The refurbishment work at The Woodfield Pavilion has also seen the four faced tower clock returned to the roof of the building for the first time in many years and the restoration of the weather vane atop the clock tower. The refurbishment is expected to be finished by the end of May 2019. If you are interested in volunteering opportunities or joining the charity as a member please get in touch with The Woodfield Project by emailing

Our vision is to create a community hub for education, recreation, leisure and sports activities which focus on health and wellbeing and foster an appreciation of the natural environment.



The new interpretation board displaying the history of The Fossil Tree has been installed. This marks the final stage of The Fossil Tree refurbishment and improvements! We will keep you updated about further interpretation covering other facets of the TCHP planned for the Common in the coming months.



The mild weather over most of the winter resulted in fewer sightings of winter thrushes like redwings on the Common. Goldcrests stayed around in good numbers and a chiffchaff, normally a summer visitor to the Common, was seen in January.

Image: A male shoveler searching for food on the icy lake. Credit: Alan Wilkinson

On the lake shovelers have been feeding in their very distinctive manner swimming in tight circles while sieving the water for food with their spatulate bills.

Image: Male tufted duck (right) and the tufted duck/pochard hybrid (left)

Our tufted ducks were recently joined by an unusual hybrid - the offspring of a male tufted duck and a female pochard (also rarely seen here).

Image: A great spotted woodpecker on Tooting Common. Credit: Alan Wilkinson

Breeding activity was underway by the end of January. Song thrushes were singing and great spotted woodpeckers drumming. The Egyptian geese seem to be brooding eggs by the end of January with goslings expected in late February. Snowdrops were blooming and the first butterfly sightings, a red admiral or peacock, expected soon.

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:


FORTHCOMING EVENTS Tree Planting at the Woodfield Project Meeting at Woodfield Recreation Ground, 16A Abbotswood Road, Streatham, London, SW16 1AP Free Booking required

Saturday 2 March, 11am to 2pm - Free, booking required. Email

In partnership with the Tooting Common Heritage Project (TCHP), The Woodfield Project invites you to come and lend a hand with planting trees that will contribute to the succession of native trees on the common.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please wear clothing and footwear suitable for the outdoors and weather. All tools and training provided.

For further information please email

This event is part of the Wandsworth Council’s Tooting Common Heritage Project, in partnership with Enable Leisure and Culture. Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Wandsworth Council.


PREVIOUS EVENTS Share Community Introduction to Digital Photography

During the winter period, Share Community, a local charity based in Wandsworth that offer training and employment support for disabled people, have been taking part in several guided visits to Tooting Common. The Common and its wildlife have been the subject of the group's introduction to digital photography course. Below are some of the images taken on their visits.

National Tree Week - Tree Planting As part of National Tree Week, pupils from Telfer Scot Primary School and volunteers from the TCHP helped to plant 15 native tress on Tooting Common. Species included English oak, hornbeam and lime.


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.