Wandle Valley Forum Bulletin

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No. 26   March 2018
These are changing times in the Wandle Valley. Living Wandle is about to close its doors, bringing an era of multi-million pound external investment by the Lottery to an end. But Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust has been boosted by external funding (including the Lottery) and is set to put the Regional Park on a stronger footing. We are campaigning on many fronts and already preparing the ground for Wandle Fortnight which will run from 8th to 23rd September 2018. before that we have a second Meetup and our Annual Meeting on 24th April.  Please keep spreading the word about our petition for Viridor to keep its promises on a nature reserve for Beddington farmlands – we’ve attracted over 4,700 signatures to date.

Wednesday 25th April
7pm, Colour House Theatre

Come along to the main event of the Wandle Valley Forum, stay in touch with Wandle news and catch up with other groups and organisations who share your interests in the Wandle Valley and its communities. Supper will be available in the historic wheelhouse – the only working wheel on the river. If you might be interested in joining our Executive Committee then please get in touch.


Our petition calling on Sutton Council to enforce delivery of the promised nature reserve by Viridor has garnered huge support.  Over 4,700 people have signed already and the pressure for action is growing.

Please sign and then spread the word

Wandle Fortnight will run from 8th to 23rd September this year. Wandle Fortnight is the annual celebration of all things Wandle, run by the community for the community. It’s now time to start planning your own event or activity – check out 101 Civic Ideasfor inspiration. More than 70 events and activities were included in last year’s programme and we’re keen for 2018 to set a new record. Let us know what you have planned. We are also hoping to run a small grants programme again and more details will follow.
Freeing Norbury Brook – The Environment Agency is considering plans to free stretches of Norbury Brook from its concrete channel through Croydon as part of flood alleviation measures. Read more about these welcome plans and a news report. This is one example of a growing move to allow rivers and streams to run more freely and remove culverts.
Regional Park resilience funding –  Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust’s plans to make the Regional Park more “resilient” are in progress. The first meeting of its resilient heritage group is imminent and it is appointing consultants on a £122,000 tender to deliver the programme.
Kings George’s Park – The report of the workshop discussing a “management and maintenance plan” for King George’s Park has been published. We’re pleased it has listened to our views and highlighted that the Park “is not currently making the most of some of its key features including the River Wandle and Wandle Trail and much of the reason for this is physical or visual barriers between the park and the river.”
London Friends of Green Spaces Network  – This brings together groups with an interest in parks and green spaces from across the capital. It has a new website and you can sign up to stay in touch. The Network meets regularly at City Hall and provides an excellent way to stay in touch with what’s going on in the fast moving world of parks and green spaces. Check out the campaign to encourage Heritage Lottery Fund to continue its Parks for People programme.
Wandle boroughs’ parks score poorly – Parks for London‘s first  survey of the state of each Borough’s parks has just been published. Good Parks for London 2017 shows Merton is near the bottom (25th) and the highest scoring Wandsworth is only at 15th. Sutton is 20th and Croydon 21st. These are all now managed by different contracts with idverde.
Community sees red at Redrow – Redrow Homes has cleared large numbers of trees and other habitat along the the river as part of its redevelopment of the Wandle Trading Estate on the Sutton/Merton boundary at Goat Road. It is unclear whether enforcement action can be taken. The events show how vulnerable the Wandle can be to insensitive development along its banks.
London National Park City  – A majority of London’s ward councillors have signed up to supporting London becoming a National Park City and the National Park City Foundation has announced this will happen in 2019. Mayor Khan has supported the plans and announced the first National Park City Week in July.
London Plan could do more for Wandle  – The draft new London Planrecognises London’s waterways and Regional Parks but fails to give explicit recognition to the Wandle or Wandle Valley Regional Park in planning policies. Our submission calls for this and for it to acknowledge the importance of closing gaps in public access such as along the Wandle Trail.
Local Plans for Croydon and Sutton adopted –  After a long journey of consultation, evidence building and public inquiry the new Local Plans for both Croydon and Sutton were adopted on 27th and 26th February respectively. They set out important planning policies for the Wandle and will shape future development for many years. Wandle Valley Forum gets a mention in Sutton’s planning policies, supporting efforts to open up access to Beddington Farmlands across the railway after the recent bridge demolitions. Disappointingly, the final changes to the Sutton Local Plan release Metropolitan Open Land next to Beddington Farmlands for industry.

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