Wandle Park, Croydon

Young people and volunteers by the River Wandle

Making a difference

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for heritage

  • The historic character of Wandle Park has been restored and its facilities enhanced particularly through the restoration of the river corridor, which reinstated its original course linking the park back to its water heritage.
  • The biodiversity value of Wandle Park has been significantly increased with new native planting, creation of new meadow habitats and the naturalisation of the River Wandle.

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for people

  • The improvements have created a more welcoming area and altered people’s perception of crime and security in the park. More people now have the confidence to visit the park and enjoy the health and social benefits of outdoor recreation.
  • More people have developed and used newly acquired skills. Around 400 volunteers have received training in areas such as horticulture, interpretation and event management. Staff have gained new skills and confidence to manage the historic landscape. Contractors working in the park are required to include training opportunities in their tender proposals and three staff have successfully completed modern apprenticeships.

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for communities

  • People from different backgrounds have shared experiences in cultural, heritage and educational activities, including an oral history project, outdoor film showings, a permanent exhibition about Wandle Park and a published album of local historic photographs of the park.
  • Volunteers and the Friends Group have joined forces to create a stronger sense of local ownership and pride in Wandle Park, which is reflected in Wandle Park’s new Green Flag status.

Lessons learnt

  • Early engagement with partners such as the Mayor of London and the Environment Agency was vital to ensure support for such a challenging transformation and to ensure momentum was maintained through the long process of resolving technical issues associated with flooding and contamination.
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