Travellers in Woods

A group of travellers drove into the Common’s main woodland yesterday (Sunday) churning up a track of grassland where they entered and dumping truckloads of household and other waste in and around the woods. A council official in attendance on Monday morning was about to instigate the process for their removal. The waste, however, is almost certainly going to have to be removed at the Council’s expense. UPDATE – the travellers moved on later on Monday, leaving the waste behind them. Clearance of the waste should start by the end of the week.

Rookery Project Update

A meeting was held on Wednesday 9th October to discuss the next steps for the Rookery Centenary project.

Following an introduction from the Chair (Richard Payne) about the latest work of the friends,   Barbara Wright from the Friends gave an update on the Green Flag Award, and what that means going forward.  Among many aspects discussed, the current bad state and regular unavailability of the toilets was noted as particularly important.  We’ll get something up on our website about this soon.

We then heard from our Guest speaker Fiona Crumley, formerly Head Gardener, Chelsea Physic Garden and Chiswick House on volunteers and a great future for public gardens.  It was interesting to hear that volunteers are really key to turning around public gardens.  We heard how Chiswick was completely turned around on the back of volunteers building momentum to move from no gardeners, to one, and then to five, as public support grew as they could see the gardens improving.  It was also interesting to hear that another key part to the project was creating a Trust to manage the gardens which could then bid for larger sums of money from the HLF and other sources and also generate some income from thing like weddings and filming, further increasing the project’s momentum.  Pleasing to hear that we are heading down the right path with our plans for SCCoop and the HLF money we won last year.

We then heard from Sophie Hussey from the Friends and Charlotte Dove who has been recently appointed as the Project Co-ordinator about the Centenary Project and what it plans to achieve.  This includes among other things the research and restoration of the White Garden.

We the spoke about the upcoming volunteer days and what work we would be focusing on initially, which in the short term includes clearing more of the ivy from the walls of the garden.  We’ll also be providing a warm drink and some biscuits for the volunteer group.

If you would like to get involved in the project, please email


Sundial vandalised

The sundial in the Rookery, which was donated by the Friends of Streatham Common earlier this year to mark the Rookery’s centenary, has already been vandalised. The brass gnomon – the bit that casts the shadow onto the dial – has been wrenched off, also causing some damage to the slate surface of the dial.

The new sundial was a replacement for one that was stolen about three years ago. That one was all brass and probably taken for its value as scrap metal. We chose therefore to replace it with a sundial that was slate apart from the gnomon, the scrap metal value of which can be no more than a few pence, which is probably why it was found nearby rather than taken.

New Rookery Co-ordinator Appointed

The Friends of Streatham Common is pleased to announce that it has appointed Charlotte Dove as Project Co-ordinator to manage the delivery of the Rookery Centenary Gardens Project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Rookery, one of the London Borough of Lambeth’s premier parks, opened formally to the public in 1913 and has obtained a prestigious Green flag Award. Because of its heritage and unique character, the garden is on English Heritage’s Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.

This is an exciting time for the historic gardens, celebrating the centenary of being open to the public this year. Following the hard work of a number committed local volunteers, the Rookery has secured lottery funding for the restoration, improvement and promotion of the gardens as well as the encouragement of volunteering.

The project co-ordinator will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of this project including the co-ordination of volunteers and liaison between Lambeth Council Park Services, the Friends of Streatham Common, contractors and other volunteers.

Please contact us if you would like to help us in any aspects of the centenary projects.