Behind the Scenes

The Trustees of Wimbledon and Putney Commons, the Conservators, are keen to make public more information about what goes on behind the scenes of the running of the Commons.

At their meeting in June 2018, the Conservators therefore undertook to publish the following information:

  • the quarterly number of incidents dealt with by the Mounted Keepers including breaches of the Byelaws;
  • volunteer hours worked across the Commons;
  • dates and locations when Conservators and/or senior staff make formal presentations to Residents’ Associations or other Groups/Societies 
  • visitor feedback (respecting restrictions regarding disclosure of personal information);
  • donations (respecting the right of donors to remain anonymous);
  • numbers of formal complaints received;
  • other information that is deemed appropriate from time to time.  



The Keepers are highly visible on the Commons as they patrol on horseback.  As well as being able to provide information to the public, a major part of their role is to enforce the Commons' Byelaws and ensure that the Commons remain a safe place for all our visitors.

From April 2019 to June 2019, the Keepers have dealt with the following number of incidents:

Cyclists             116
Dogs                  88
Golf                    23
Rough Sleepers 11
BBQ’s                13
Litter                  13
Parking                8
Miscellaneous   84

From July to September 2019, the Keepers have dealt with the following number of incidents:
Cyclists              137
Dogs                   40
Golf                     11
Rough Sleepers  22
BBQs                  16
Litter                   17
Parking                7
Miscellaneous    91

From October to December 2019, the Keepers have dealt with the following number of incidents:

Cyclists                49
Dogs                    33
Golf                      10
Rough Sleepers   10
BBQs                     3
Litter                       6
Parking                 15
Miscellaneous      50

From January to March 2020, the Keepers have dealt with the following number of incidents:

Cyclists                       69
Dogs                          34
Golf                            28
Rough Sleepers          4
BBQs                           2
Litter                            5
Parking                        3
Miscellaneous           49



Although the Conservators have a duty to maintain the Commons as "open and unenclosed" and in a "natural state", as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) a certain amount of management is required to ensure the heath and acid grassland remains as it should.  Without intervention, the Commons would soon become a large area of woodland.  Equally as importantly, with the Commons being such a popular area for visitors, we must ensure it is kept as safe as possible.

With such a small team of staff, managing the conservation work on top of the day to day maintenance is challenging.  Over the last three years our Conservation and Engagement Officer has been slowly building up a team of volunteers that help out with various tasks.  Starting with the Saturday morning Scrub Bashers, who help clear scrub from the Heath, Peter now also has an "Estates Team" that help with jobs around the site, perhaps ditch maintenance, painting the stable yard, all things that again help ease the pressure on our Maintenance team.

But there are many other types of volunteering too.  From organised groups from local schools, organisations and companies that come along for a day of team building, to individuals out with a litter stick and a carrier bag; or our wildlife volunteers that help us record the Commons' wildlife and helping out at events.  We are grateful for every single hour that every single volunteer gives so selflessly.

April 2019 to March 2020

Scrub bashers - 376 hours

Mid-week volunteers - 189 hours

Other volunteer groups - 1,338 hours

Duke of Edinburgh volunteers - 285 hours

London Wildlife Trust Farm Bog volunteers - 84 hours

Work experience - 56 hours

Other volunteers – 135 hours

Adopt an Area Litter Pickers - 1445 hours

Total volunteering hours 3908


Formal Presentations

Conservators and staff are often asked to make presentations to organisations such as local Residents' Associations or local history societies.

April 2019 to June 2019

30th May – Presentation by Chairman, Diane Neil Mills to members of the Parkside Residents Association

9th June 2019 Presentation by the Chairman, Diane Neil Mills to the Belvedere Estates Residents Association

10th June – Presentation by Simon Lee to members of the Wimbledon Common Residents' Association

July to September 2019


October to December 2019

8th October - Presentation by Simon Lee to members of the Edgehill Residents Association
29th November - Presentation by Simon Lee at Putney Library
9th December - General Open Meeting Presentations by Chairman, Diane Neil Mills and Simon Lee, CEO, and Richard Thompson, Head Keeper.

January to March 2020



As well as formal presentations, Conservators and staff are involved in a series of walks and talks organised on the Commons, some of which are private in that they have been requested by specific organisations or schools, or public walks led by the Commons' Senior Staff either as one-off events or as part of larger events.

April 2019 to June 2019
3rd April – Stables visit by children from South Mead Children’s Group
9th April – Stables visit by children from Willington School
21st, 22nd & 23rd June – BioBlitz - various walks and talks

July to September 2019
9th July – Walking for Health
10th July – Management led walk on Putney Lower Common
13th July – Stables visit by Stag Lodge Pony Club
23rd July – Walking for Health
28th July – Butterfly and Dragonfly walk led by volunteers
6th August – Walking for Health
20th August – Walking for Health
3rd September – Walking for Health
15th September -  Bird walk led by volunteers
17th September – Walking for Health

October to December 2019

9th October - Management led walk on Wimbledon Common
13th October - Bird Walk led by volunteers
15th & 29th October -Walking for Health
5th November - Keepers' talk to pupils and teachers from Wimbledon Study School
12th November - Walking for Health
17th November - Winter Bird Walk led by volunteers
26th November - Walking for Health
10th December - Walking for Health 

January to March 2020

7th & 21st January - Walking for Health
4th & 18th February - Walking for Health

All other walks for this period were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Visitor Feedback

Our Visitor Survey is ongoing here



April 2019 to March 2020

Vountary Parking Donations - £3,160
Bench Donations - £15,695
Horseride Appeal  - £20,408
Wildlife Garden - £6,474
Friends - £19,776
Sundry Donations - £15,057

Formal Complaints

April 2019 to March 2020 - 0