Author Archives: Claire

Wandle Catchment Plan update: the Vision is published!

At last, the wait is over!


The Vision forms a core part of the Wandle Catchment Plan, outlining our overall aims to improve the River Wandle and its surrounding landscape.

It has been developed in partnership with the local community via a series of workshops and surveys that the Wandle Trust ran throughout spring and summer 2012. This was possibly the largest community consultation to take place in the Wandle valley and the huge amount of feedback and information we received has provided invaluable guidance in the development of the Catchment Plan.

We would like everyone who has participated to have their own copy of the Vision and to learn more about the Catchment Plan. We are mailing copies to all those who provided postal details during the consultation. If you would like a copy and have not already provided your address details, please get in touch by emailing Claire at

But this is only the start! We need you to help us spread the word further – whether or not you have been able to participate already. We want as many people to see the Vision as possible.
Are you a member of a local group?
Or are you involved with community events?
Do you run a business in the area that engages with people?
Or do you know of any forthcoming activities (such as walks, coffee mornings or local fairs) that might be interested?
If you can answer yes to any of these, please let Claire know as we’d love to give you some copies of the Vision.

Due to the image-orientated design of the Vision, its large file size means it is not downloadable as a complete document at present. We have created download-friendly PDF page spreads instead and these will be accessible soon, so watch this space if you would prefer an electronic version…

In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview of the four overall aims:

The river supports a mosaic of habitats with high biodiversity

Water: plentiful and clean, and varied in its flow speeds, widths and depths

Sympathetically managed pathways along the whole river

Everyone in the catchment aware of the river and knowing how their actions can affect it. Councils, businesses, government agencies and public working together to improve the river

The next step will be to produce an Action Plan. This will support the Vision by detailing what will need to be done to achieve the overall aims to improve the river, now and for the future, and it will guide the many organisations working in the Wandle valley. The Action Plan will feature the advice of technical experts as well as the local community to ensure that the Plan is scientifically robust as well as locally relevant. Together, the Vision and the Action Plan will complete the Catchment Plan.

Work on the Action Plan is well underway and we expect to complete it very soon. It will be a much larger document than the Vision and so we will most likely make this available online rather than printing and distributing it. We will post an update here shortly.

Thanks again to everyone who took part and get in touch if you’d like a copy of the Vision!

Wandle Catchment Plan update: Developing the Vision (part 2)

We thought you might like to know a bit more about who took part in the initial consultations to help us develop our overall aims for improving the River Wandle.

In total, 27 workshops were held across the four boroughs between February and June and 99 questionnaires were completed. We are delighted by this show of interest and support and want to thank all of you who spared time to take part.

428 individuals participated, representing engagement with fifty-six different organisations, interest groups and schoolchildren. Here is the full list of groups by region:

LB Wandsworth:
1. Wandsworth U3A (University of the Third Age)
2. Wandsworth Cycling Campaign
3. LB Wandsworth biodiversity staff
4. Wandsworth Society
5. Henry Prince Estate residents
6. King George’s Park allotment holders
7. Wimbledon Park Residents’ Association
8. Wandsworth Living Streets
9. Saint Cecilia’s secondary school

LB Merton:
1. Friends Of Ravensbury Park
2. Peter Scott Tree Care & Drain Scan Company
3. LB Merton Councillors
4. LB Merton biodiversity staff
5. Mitcham Common Conservators
6. National Trust – staff & conservation volunteers
7. Morden Hall Park Angling Group
8. Merton Poets group
9. Bennett’s Hole volunteer leader
10. Deen City Farm
11. Mitcham Cricket Green Community

LB Sutton:
1. Wilderness Island volunteers
2. Carshalton Society
3. Beddington Farmlands Bird Group
4. Hackbridge & Beddington Corner Neighbourhood Development Group
5. Spencer Road Wetland volunteer manager
6. Sutton Nature Conservation volunteers
7. Sutton Ecology Centre
8. Walkie-Talkies (Beddington-based walking group)
9. LB Sutton biodiversity, parks & sustainability staff
10. BedZed Pavillion & Save the Bridge group

LB Croydon:
1. Croydon Rifle & Pistol Club
2. Good Companion Social Club
3. Croydon Natural History & Scientific Society
4. Croydon Real Nappy Network
5. LB Croydon Councillor / deputy mayor
6. Quaggy Waterways Action Group
7. Friends of Wandle Park
8. Friends of the County of Surrey Croydon Canal Restoration Group
9. Peebles Court Residents’ Association
10. Kenley & District Residents’ Association (KENDRA)

1. Environment Agency
2. Wandle Trust
3. London Wildlife Trust
4. Groundwork London
5. Metropolitan Public Gardens Association
6. Natural England
7. Wandle Forum
8. Wandle Valley Festival
9. Wandle Piscators
10. Wandle Industrial Museum
11. (CTC) National Cyclists’ Association
12. Wandle Connect

1. Kings College London Aquatic Science MSc students
2. Woodland Trust
3. English Heritage
4. Kingston University Environment & Earth Resources MSc student

Wandle Catchment Plan update: Developing the Vision (part 1)

Earlier this year, we asked lots of people throughout the Wandle Valley to tell us what matters to you about the river, via our consultation workshops and a questionnaire.

The aim of this consultation is to identify what needs to be done to make the river healthy and attractive for both people and wildlife, and use these ideas to create a Catchment Plan for looking after the river.

There are two parts to the Catchment Plan – a Vision and an Action Plan. The Vision will outline the overall aims for achieving a healthy river, and the Action Plan will provide the scientific details and technical actions needed to achieve those aims. The Vision will be printed this autumn and the Action Plan will follow by Christmas. More information on the Action Plan will follow, but first, here are the details of how we are developing the Vision.

The themes that emerged as being important to you are wide-ranging. They include: wildlife and landscape, water quality and river character, access, engagement, recreation, activities, awareness, information and education, funding, stewardship, management and governance, engineering and the built environment, heritage and transport.

The values that you said were of top priority overall are: wildlife and landscape; water quality and river character; access; and engagement, recreation and activities.

These have been developed into four overall aims as a Vision for the Catchment Plan to deliver. But before we go any further, we want to check what you think about these findings. Do you think they reflect the things that matter most to you about the river and its surroundings?

We want to make sure everyone has had the chance to comment, and we want to hear from you even if you weren’t able to participate in the consultations previously.

Update: the questionnaire has now closed. Thanks to all of you who offered feedback.  It was very positive and we will take your points on board in the next stages.

Wandle Catchment Plan workshops: it’s time to have your say (or click below for our online survey!)

Click here for our online Catchment Plan survey

From early April through May, the Wandle Trust is running a series of consultation workshops throughout the Wandle Valley to get local residents’ views on what the Wandle means to them at the moment, and what could be done in the future to make it healthier and more appealing.

The series of public workshops has now come to an end, but you can still take part by filling out our online survey.

So how are the workshops going so far? What have people thought and said, and are they finding the workshops as enjoyable as we hoped they would?  Here are some updates:

People from nearly thirty different organisations and interest groups have participated, including charities, Friends Of groups and social clubs as well as landowners and managers.  That’s not a bad cross-section at this stage!

With so many different backgrounds, there’ s a natural diversity of interests and priorities.  Yet, interestingly, there’s frequently a large amount of agreement on key issues.  I’m noticing it as I type up and consolidate the results, but it is something participants are also seeing at the workshops as we progress through the activities.  One attendee commented that they liked the “Co-operation and diversity of ideas amongst participants”, while another enjoyed the “opportunity to interact with other local interested people”.

A key thing that seems to be a winner is the way the workshops are carried out using a piece of kit called Ketso.  It is democratic, non-judgmental and, perhaps most importantly, being made of fuzzy felt with adhesive shapes, it is great fun to use!  “Immeasurably better than a flipchart”, “very innovative and easy to use” and a “useful way of pooling ideas” are just some examples of the overwhelmingly positive feedback I’ve received.

Ketso is also proving that even people who come to a workshop feeling they might not have anything to contribute are finding it a good way to brainstorm.  One popular sentiment that is emerging is surprise at how many different things are being thought of and how satisfying it is to look at when a session is finished and all the ideas are mapped out in front of you.

But don’t just take our word for it – come along and experience it for yourself!

Just in case you can’t get to one of the workshops, we’ve also created a special online  questionnaire to help make sure you don’t miss out.  So if you prefer to let us know your views this way, please take ten minutes to click here and have your say!