The London borough of Wandsworth has an incredible 670 hectares (1600 acres) of parks and green spaces, which makes it the greenest borough in Greater London. This is a tremendous amount of green space that needs to be cared for by Wandsworth Council, which has separate departments to deal with this enormous task. To give some comparison, London’s Hyde Park could practically fit 5 times into Wandsworth parks, commons, cemeteries and other green spaces.
This means there are vast amounts of trees within the Wandsworth Borough, which can be found in South West London. There are many tree species of a varied age and situated in many settings which include park trees, woodland to street trees. Taking care of this amount of trees is a large task. Unlike many London boroughs, Wandsworth put the tree works out for tender and appoint a contractor to carry out works on their behalf. Amazingly there are over 60,000 trees in the borough’s green and open spaces and another 15,000 growing as street trees.
Parks, commons and open spaces where a vast and varied amount of trees can be found within Wandsworth include:
B Battersea Park, bramford gardens
C Christchurch Gardens, Coronation Gardens
F Falcon Park, Fountain Road Rec, Fred Wells Gardens, Furzedown Rec
G Garratt Green, Garrett Lane Old Burial Ground, Garrett Park, Godley Gardens
H Harroway Gardens, Heathbrook Park, Huguenot Old Burial Ground
K King George’s Park
L Latchmere Recreation Ground, Lavender Gardens, Leaders Gardens
M Montefiore Gardens
O Old Burial Ground
P Park Lane
Q Queenstown Green
S Shillington Park, Swaby Gardens
T The Pleasance, Tooting Common, Tooting Gardens
W Wandsworth Common, Wandsworth Park
Y York Gardens
Safety and the Law
Wandsworth council are legally responsible for all trees within the above open spaces as well as all street trees. The board must ensure all these trees are safe as well as in good condition; therefore, a designated contractor carries out necessary arboricultural works on all trees when and if required. At a minimum, the contractor inspects all trees on a bi-annual cycle to ensure the trees do not present a risk to the public.
As already mentioned the council is responsible for the trees within their open spaces that are listed above. Trees that are found on private land are the responsibility of private individuals or organizations. They are responsible for the maintenance and safety of any trees, which fall on their demised premises. If you are unsure, you can contact the council’s tree officer via email on firstname.lastname@example.org. The council can also give you a list of locally approved arborists (“tree surgeons Wandsworth“) who could advise further and can carry out any necessary works.
Tpo’s & Conservation Areas
TPO, which is short for tree preservation order, is an order that can be made to preserve a tree or to protect a group of trees. Wandsworth council made its first preservation order in 1949 and since then a further 250 orders have been made within the borough covering nearly 7000 trees. Trees that are covered by such an order are seen to have a high amenity value and are usual mature. Often they can be seen from a highway or road and, therefore, can be viewed by the general public, they can house important and endangered wildlife such as bats, screen buildings or other things considered as an eyesore or could simply be seen a beautiful.
Conservation areas are designated areas which are protected this includes buildings to trees, any trees within these areas are subject to planning permission which can take up to six weeks and works are at the discretion of the council who may come and have a look. If the actions you wish to carry out are deemed unnecessary, then the application will be rejected. Wandsworth council often agree with lesser works which are seemed to be more reasonable and is deemed to not only be more aesthetically pleasing but is better for the tree. If you are unsure if you live within a conservation area and if your tree is subject to planning permission, check out the link below and see if your trees fall within the designated areas.
Trees and the Wildlife
Trees are a valuable part of urban life within the borough, without them, it would indeed be a very dull and Solum place to live. They help to break up the city life and offer a habitat for wildlife that lives in the city, whether it be magpies nesting in street trees or standing dead wood in parks and commons which accommodate invertebrates which in turn provide woodpeckers that peck the insects and grubs from the decaying wood. Without the significant green spaces, Wandsworth would not have the boast the vast amount of trees and this would have an enormous impact on its wildlife. In places along the river, bank trees do a good job of holding the river bank together with their roots and help to stop the erosion of the banks and further maintenance issues for the council, as well as contributing to amenity value for dog walkers and others using toe paths along the river. There is plenty of wildlife within Wandsworth some of which has an endangered status these includes birds, bats and invertebrates. This wildlife depends on trees within the borough to survive and to disturb these protected species, which can be done by carrying out tree surgery can land a hefty fine.
Although there are actually three commons within Wandsworth, the council are responsible for the running of Tooting and Wandsworth Commons only as Putney Common is managed by the Commons Conservators. The Commons have a broad range of uses which include children’s play areas, ornamental and ecological conservation areas, a fishing lake, outdoor swimming pool, woods, tennis courts, wildlife areas and outdoor bowling areas.
Wandsworth Common boasts 73 hectares (175 acres) while tooting common is the largest open space within the borough with 92 hectares (221 acres) of green space. The council’s arboricultural contractors attend to all trees in these areas while the conservators have their own in-house team of tree surgeons that tend to the trees within Putney common. Just like many outdoor spaces in South West London, the commons have a significant number of (Quercus) oak trees which are at a relatively young age compared to other specimens which can be found locally in areas of South West London like ones in Richmond Park. The Commons also contain large numbers of silver birch (Betula pendula) which are a native tree. Unfortunately, they have an endangered Conservation status as their population is decreasing.
A list of parks in Wandsworth are listed at the top of this article. The largest of these parks is Battersea Park, covering 83-hectare (210-acre) it is situated in the northernmost part of the borough, has riverside views and runs between Albert Bridge and Chelsea Bridge. All the trees in the park have been tagged and recorded and there are over 4000 of them in this one park alone. Other parks in the borough include leader’s gardens in Putney, which have some rather large horse chestnut trees at its center and to the east of the park, has some rather large willow trees which run along Beverley Brook (a tributary of the River Thames). Some of the services provided by the borough’s parks include a zoo, tennis courts, cafes, playgrounds, football pitches, a putting green and a boating lake. Wandsworth Park otherwise known as King Georges Park is one of the borough’s central parks, it is a grade 2-listed Edwardian park and has beautiful areas, sports grounds and boasts a beautiful avenue London Plane trees which is a real feature of the park. Recently an avenue of cherry trees has been restored, gaps have been filled in where dead trees have previously been removed and trees in poorer condition replaced, was carried out as part of a larger tree-planting scheme and much funding has come from Thames water. Species included Hornbeam, Cherry, Oak, Pear, Crabapple, Rowan, Lime, Maple, Whitebeam, Hazel, London Plane and Birch.
Source: Stanford’s Library Map of London and its Suburbs. Published by Edward Stanford, 6, Charing Cross, London, February 15, 1862.
Trees have always been an important part of life in Wandsworth, and the area is well known for being one of London’s greenest boroughs. Well over 2000 new trees have been planted between 2008 and 2012 in streets, parks and housing estates. Another 1000 trees have been planted since November 2013. All residents benefit from this vast tree planting scheme and shows a commitment from Wandsworth council to keep its green borough status and a commitment to make it a better place to live.
Article Source: http://www.graftingardeners.co.uk/wandsworth-green-spaces/