Wandsworth Council is the owner and custodian of the Common but contracts out day-to-day management to Enable LC (previously the Parks Department, now a charity) and other companies whose contracts are managed by Enable.

 
 

The MAC (Management Advisory Committee) is an elected group of volunteers that monitors and advises the council and its agents on the management of the Common on behalf of its users. There is an Annual Public Meeting every June (June 18 this year).

In May 2017, the MAC decided to set up The Friends of Wandsworth Common (FoWC), a decision endorsed at the 2017 APM, to encourage a more active dialogue with users and to engage the community in the protection, conservation and enhancement of the Common.

Use of the common is governed by the GLC byelaws and policed by the Parks and Events Police.  You can read an interview with them here

 
 
 
 

Wandsworth Council has managed the Common since 1968 and, on the GLC’s demise in 1986, became its owner. The Council soon saw the need to communicate with Common users and invited the Wandsworth Society to establish a Management Advisory Committee (the MAC).

 
 

As a conduit of information, ideas, opinions and advice between users and Council, the MAC’s constitutional role is “to help achieve a balance between facilities for formal and informal open air recreation on the Common, the protection and development of plant and animal life, to preserve and enhance the Common’s natural character and to promote public interest and participation in the protection and appreciation of the Common.” This the MAC has been doing since 1986.

 

 


The MAC is actively involved in all aspects of Common management. One example has been Crossrail2 where the MAC has been at the forefront of discussions with TfL, Crossrail2 and the Council, with the MAC being the accredited consultative body.

Crossrail2
 

 

The MAC consists of up to 24 members and is currently fully subscribed. George Meakin took over from Charles Walton as Chair in 2016. Michel Walton is Deputy Chair and Treasurer and Richard Fox is Secretary. Officers from Enable, the Parks and Events Police and others as appropriate attend six meetings per year, including the Annual Public Meeting in June. The minutes of the last APM are here and of the last MAC meeting on the button below.

People wishing to stand for the MAC should attend the APM and be nominated by at least one other person. Anyone with a love of the Common and a willingness to attend meetings on a Monday evening is welcome.


 

The Friends of Wandsworth Common launched at a public meeting on May 12 2018 when the first officers were elected (read the story). The group’s creation stemmed from a decision by the MAC in 2017, subsequently endorsed by the June 2017 APM.

 
 

The Friends grew out of the Enhancement Sub-committee (ES) of the MAC, created in 2013 in order to formally engage with users of the Common. This was intended to allow the MAC to gain a better understanding of what users thought about the Common and how it is managed while users in turn would be informed of the MAC’s role and how to protect the Common.

The ES was also empowered to raise funds for appropriate projects to enhance the Common, working together with the Council and Enable. Some of its more visible achievements have been the swan and duck food programme and the map, available for sale at The Skylark Café.

The MAC ES’s functions will be taken on by the Friends and engagement with the public is expected to increase. With the MAC and Friends working closely together, but with complementary roles, the Common should benefit from stronger public involvement. Among the projects that have been discussed are nature interpretation boards, an oral history of the Common, information leaflets, nature walks and litter picks.

The Friends are set up as an Unincorporated Association with a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer and up to eight other committee members. The committee meets at least three times a year and there is an AGM. The minutes of the last committee are here.


With ever increasing pressure on local authority resources, the Friends can help preserve the common with active volunteers. We are looking for enthusiastic people who can help in the areas of membership, communication, IT, event planning and organisation, liaison with groups using the common including cyclists, dog owners and walkers, fitness trainers, sports organisers etc., liaison with local businesses on things like litter, and project planning and execution.

 
 Wandsworth Common Friends

Join the committee, or if you would just like to be more actively involved, whether it be for an hour, a week, or longer, let us know how.