Enjoy the latest Wandle Valley Forum Bulletin
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No. 14   August 2016
It might be the holiday season but there's masses going on in Wandle world. We hope you enjoy this bumper Bulletin. It includes an important survey about the future of the Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust - if you do nothing else then please complete this. There is also worrying news about Croydon Council pulling out from the Trust. We also have news on our grants for Wandle Fortnight and updates on the cycle quietways and developments in the Earlsfield gap.  You can feed in to national debates on parks and green spaces, get involved in London as a National Park City, enjoy a Wandle talk and help tackle the midge problem. There is good news about more Lottery investment in Wandle green spaces and reports on the decision to contract out green space maintenance in Sutton and Merton. And why not enjoy a Wandle art exhibition, sup at the first Wandle beer festival and see Merton's favourite tree.

Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust

Complete the survey about its future

Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust is the champion of the Regional Park. It is drawing up a new strategy for its future and is keen to have your views. Please complete the survey to have your input. It will take less than 15 minutes and will shape the future of the Wandle Valley for years to come.
Wandle Fortnight - watch out for Wandle celebrations this September. We're delighted to provide small grants to nine organisations for their Wandle Fortnight activities: Friends in St Helier, Mole Valley Orienteering Club, Sutton & Wandle Valley Ramblers, Ethnic Minority Centre, Wild in the City, Mitcham Cricket Green Community & Heritage, Object Book, Wendelsworth Community Garden and Workshop 305.  Many more applied for our grants and we hope to run a similar programme in 2017. Thanks to Living Wandle Landscape Partnership & Heritage Lottery Fund for support.
Enjoy a variety of Wandle inspired culture this summer. A Wandle art exhibition runs till August 13th in central Croydon.  CAMRA SW London is running the first Wandle beer festival in Wandle Fortnight and the Honeywood Museum has a talk on the Making of the Modern Wandle on 14th September. 
Croydon Council withdraw - Cabinet Member Tim Godfrey has withdrawn Croydon from Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust. This is despite the millions of pounds of funding which Croydon has enjoyed because of its location in the Wandle Valley. We have protested the move and ask all our supporters to encourage Croydon towards a more enlightened view.
Lottery investment for parks and green spaces - The Wandle is set for more major investment from the Lottery with a successful £3m Parks for People bid just announced for Beddington Park and another £4m one in train for The Canons in Mitcham. Their dovecotes are pictured above. The Beddington Park investment includes significant changes to the famous lake which will divert the Wandle. The Canons plans include restoration of the medieval fish pond and opening up the unused 17th century mansion house. This investment follows hard on the heels of Lottery funding in Wandle Park and the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership. 
Merton and Sutton contract out green space maintenance - The Landscape Group has been selected as the contractor to undertake green space maintenance in Merton and Sutton after a long procurement process. This has not been without controversy and a new Independent Merton Green Spaces Forum has been established in Merton to share information and strengthen the voice of local Friends and like minded groups. It can be contacted here. The new responsibilities - from February 2017 - include Merton's favourite tree which has been nominated by the local community - the foxglove tree in London Road Playing Fields, Mitcham (above). Nominations for 2017's favourite tree have opened and can be sent in to Tree Wardens Group Merton using the form here.
Midge swarms are a growing concern along the river with Ravensbury Park and now Morden Hall Park being increasingly hit. Wandle Trust is working on the issue and needs your help to support the Environment Agency by providing eyes on the river. There's a hotline to call if you experience a swarm 0800 80 70 60 and more information here.

Cycle Quietways - The latest Merton Council plans for a TfL funded Quietway along the Wandle have provoked controversy - including proposals for over 100 illuminated posts and bollards which light up as walkers and bikes pass by. One short stretch of Wandle Meadow (above) has an extraordinary 24 bollards. Read our response here and see the plans here.
Earlsfield Gap - Separate planning applications to redevelop 8, 12 and 12a Ravensbury Terrace and Haslemere Industrial Estate are being considered by Wandsworth and Merton Councils. These cover most of the land on the west side of the Wandle (left) yet no coherent approach to opening up the river is being pursued. This confirms the need expressed in the Wandle Valley Forum Charter for "common planning policies to leave space along the river bank".
Parliamentary inquiry into parks - The House of Commons has announced a major inquiry into the impact of reduced funding for parks. We're discussing how to respond with Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust and London Green Spaces Friends Group Network. You can contribute by providing us with examples of the issues you are facing locally and also completing the 5 minute survey created by the inquiry.
The Wandle Valley Forum Charter was launched in April. The Charter:
  • describes the distinct role of Wandle Valley Forum vis a vis other Wandle organisations
  • sets out community priorities for the Wandle Valley
  • identifies the contribution to be made by Wandle Valley Forum in delivering on the priorities
It has been widely circulated and attracted good support. We would love to supply you with copies to circulate at your own events and you can view it here.
A special evening of talks, performances and ideas on making London a National Park City is being organised for over 2000 people in the Royal Festival Hall on 21 September. The new Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has confirmed his support for the National Park City and this will be a key event - book your tickets here.
Welcome to Workshop 305, Mitcham Camera Club, Ethnic Minority Centre, Mole Valley Orienteering Club, Friends in St Helier, Wendelsworth Residents Association, John Innes Society, Read to Me Croydon, Merton Park Ward Residents Association, Object Book, Wild in the City and Wimbledon and Wandle Scouts  as new supporter groups. If you know a group that might be interested then please put them in touch. 

Wandle Valley Forum provides support and an independent voice for over 100 community groups, voluntary organisations, businesses and people who share a passion for the Wandle. Support us by offering your time or making a donation. You can find out more on our website, contact us by email or get involved on twitter or Facebook using the links above.

This Bulletin is produced by Tony Burton,Wandle Valley Forum. We welcome feedback & please tell us of any errors

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