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 (APM) every June (June 17 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. Read a more detailed description of its role here

 

 


The MAC is actively involved in all aspects of Common management. One example has been Crossrail2 where the MAC was 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 (currently 16). George Meakin took over from Charles Walton as Chair in 2016. Chris Metcalfe is Deputy Chair and Treasurer and Richard Fox is Secretary. Officers from Enable LC, 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, a willingness to attend meetings on a Monday evening, and to engage on issues as necessary between meetings is welcome. What is expected of a MAC member is described here. You can read about the MAC’s election procedures here and find a nomination form here. You can also e-mail us to discuss joining the MAC.


 

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. You can read more about the background to our set up, our achievements and aims here. Our first AGM was held on May 10 2019. See the Chair’s presentation here.

 
 

The Friends grew out of the Enhancement Sub-committee (ES) of the MAC, created in 2013 in order to more actively engage with users of the Common. 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 were taken on and developed by the Friends, and engagement with the public has increased substantially. With the MAC and Friends working closely together, but with complementary roles, the Common will benefit from stronger public involvement. The two groups have collaborated very effectively on their input to the new Management and Maintenance plan commissioned by the Council. Among the projects that have been discussed are nature interpretation boards, a water fountain and Heritage projects such as an oral history of the Common.

The Friends are set up as an Unincorporated Association with a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer and up to eight other committee members. A Committee of nine was elected at the AGM on May 10 2019. It meets as required, roughly every other month. The minutes of the last committee are here. Get in touch if you are interested in joining the Committee or volunteering some of your time to help our various activities.


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 for an hour, a week, or longer, let us know