Viewpoints over the Wandle Basin
One of the Common’s most important amenities has been the wide views offered across the Wandle Valley (extending, under the very best weather conditions, to a far horizon as far afield as Windsor) with other views across the tributary valley of the Norbury Brook/River Graveney being obtained from The Rookery. Views northwards across the Thames were blocked by the progress of building development a century ago.
Sadly, an exercise to conserve ‘acid grassland’ in the middle of the slope of the Lower Common failed to attract sustained maintenance with the result that the grass became overwhelmed by scrub, which later matured into trees and eventually a small unplanned woodland, thereby curtailing some of the best views. Nevertheless, sufficient viewpoints survived to justify the installation of seven seats with view identification plaques on the high points, in the spring of 2000, to celebrate the Millennium.
In 2010, a century after an initial study, local authorities and amenity organisations combined to make a Lottery Fund application to consolidate the public open spaces along the river Wandle, lined by the emergent ‘Wandle Trail’ walking and cycling route, and to create enhanced ‘gateways’ into the Valley. Another result of this initiative was to merge the Wandle Valley and the nearby Beddington/Mitcham swathe of parkland and common into a single entity for recreation and landscape planning.
Streatham Common offers some of the best views over the new Wandle Valley Regional Park and are shown on maps prepared in connection with the grant application for the regional park.