Controversy over replacement Mitcham Bridge
Merton Council's plans to replace the historic crossing of the Wandle at Mitcham Bridge have provoked widespread concern. They will require the felling of trees, demolition of an historic wall, tarmacing of protected green space and removal of Ravensbury Park's protection from air pollution and traffic noise. They also breach cycling standards. We have co-ordinated efforts in a joint letter from a wide cross section of local residents and active travel, environmental and community groups and highlighted that a less damaging design is possible which will deliver the bridge just as quickly. Our Chair, Tony Burton, spoke at the protest meeting in November 2020.
Closing the "missing link" in the Wandle Trail
The Wandle Trail is one of the jewels in the crown of the Wandle Valley. It provides near unbroken access along the river and links its sources in Croydon and Carshalton to the Thames near Wandsworth Bridge.
The main railway line into Waterloo creates a break in the Wandle Trail near Earlsfield and it is forced onto busy roads away from the river. There is a longstanding campaign to close this gap and continue the Wandle Trail under the bridge. This has fresh impetus with the development of Garratt Mills by The Collective providing new funds.
Wandle Valley Forum is leading a steering group of interested parties in both Wandsworth and Merton, including the local authorities, Network Rail, Environment Agency and adjacent landowners to close the mising link.
Wandle Delta Masterplan
Wandworth Council is preparing a Masterplan for the Wandle Delta. We have developed key principles for the future development of this important part of the Wandle valley to realise the strategic opportunities to:
Campaign to deliver Beddington Farmlands nature reserve
"the Council should now seek to discharge the relevant conditions without delay"
Local Government Ombudsman, 2015
Beddington Farmlands nature reserve was once a jewel in London's ecological crown. Its wildlife is now in shocking decline. The latest Breeding Birds survey shows eight species now extinct, failed or in drastic decline. The iconic tree sparrow has collapsed from a thousand birds to a single breeding pair in just a decade.
The reserve is now the site of a major new incinerator being developed by Viridor, who promised to restore the surrounding area and set targets for increasing key wildlife. A comprehensive management plan was drawn up to deliver an abundant nature reserve for local people. Planning permission for the incinerator was given by Sutton Council in 2013 conditional on this management plan being delivered.
The reality is very different. The incinerator is almost finished but the restoration plans have fallen way behind. Wildlife has collapsed and, despite the welcome arrival of the wildlife hides, There is next to no public access to enjoy this vast area of open space at the heart of the Wandle Valley Regional Park.
We are campaigning for an end to the delay. It is time to enforce the planning conditions and require Viridor to restore the site and deliver the nature reserve it promised. This should include access across the site and to key viewpoints.
Our latest petition secured support from over 6,500 people. It was presented to Sutton Council in October 2019 (along with our critique of the Officers Report). You can read our verbal representations at the Committee meeting. As a result of the campaign Viridor must report on progress every six months.
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Wandle Valley Forum
Wandle Valley Forum provides support and an independent voice for 140 community groups & voluntary organisations and for everyone who shares a passion for the Wandle. Our campaigning was instrumental in establishing the Wandle Valley Regional Park and we are integral to its future development. Support us by offering your time or giving a donation.
Our priorities are set out in the Wandle Valley Forum Charter.
Latest Wandle Bulletin
Wandle Valley Forum Charter
The Wandle Valley Forum Charter was launched in April 2016. The Charter is grounded in the views of community groups, voluntary organisations and local businesses that support Wandle Valley Forum. The Charter:
Have a look at the Wandle Valley Forum Charter here.
Download and print the Wandle Valley Forum Charter here.