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, 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.  

 

Keepers

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

Cyclists 122
Dogs 85
Golf 14
Rough Sleepers 4
BBQs 17
Litter 11
Parking 11
Miscellaneous 90

From July to September, the Keepers have dealt with the following number of incidents:

Cyclists 109
Dogs 24
Golf 24
Rough Sleepers 25
BBQs 12
Litter 20
Parking 6
Miscellaneous 105

 

Volunteering 

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/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.


From April to June, volunteers have put in the following hours:

Total of 520 hours.  This includes hours for Scrub Bashers, mid-week group, schools, Bio-Blitz and a small number of litter pickers. 

From July to September, volunteers have put in the following hours:

Total of 430 hours. This includes the hours for the Scrub Bashers, the mid-week Estate Team, the Commons’ Open Day, the visitor survey and Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.                                                                    

Formal Presentations

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

From April to June, the following presentations have been made: 

Conservators:

By:     Diane Neil Mills, Chairman
Date:  Monday 4th June 2018  
To:      Wimbledon Common West Residents' Association AGM
Subject: Introduction and overview of the Board's priorities.

Chief Executive:

None

Other staff:

By:      Peter Haldane, Conservation and Engagement Officer, 
Date:  15th May 2018
To:      Wimbledon Guild
About: Behind the Scenes with a Wimbledon Common Ranger

By:      Peter Haldane, Conservation and Engagement Officer, 
Date:  7th June 2018
To:      Wandsworth Heritage Walk & Talk (organised by Putney Society)
About: Putney Lower Common 

From July to September, the following presentations have been made: 

By:         Simon Lee, Chief Executive, 
Date:     22nd September 
To:         West Wimbledon Society 
About::   Wimbledon and Putney Commons

As well as formal presentations, Conservators and staff are involved in  a series of walks 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 to June 2018:

22nd April - Bird song walk led by a volunteer from the Wildlife & Conservation Forum (Public)
30th April  - General informal walk for a small group of visitors led by staff, Peter Haldane (Private)
13th May  - Bird Walk led by volunteers from the Wildlife & Conservation Forum (Public)
23rd May  - Keepers Stable visit by pupils & teachers from a local school (Private)
7th June   - Keepers Stable yard visit by pupils and teachers from a local school (Private)
8th June   - Keepers Stable yard visit by pupils and teachers from a local school (Private)
23rd June - BioBlitz Dragonfly and Butterfly walk led by volunteers from the Wildlife & Conservation Forum                               (Public)
24th June - BioBlitz Bird Walk led by volunteers from the Wildlife & Conservation Forum (Public)
24th June - BioBlitz General Bird Walk led by Conservators, volunteers and staff (Public)

July to September
4th July    -  Summer Evening Walk with Commons' Management Team (Public)
5th August - Butterfly and Dragonfly Walk led by volunteers from the Wildlife  Conservation Forum (Public)
23rd Sept  - Bird Walk led by volunteers from the Wildlife & Conservation Forum (Public)
26th Sept  - Keepers' Stable Yard visit by pupils and teachers from a local school (Private) 
28th Sept  - Walk on the Common for members of the Banstead University of the Third Age (Private)

Walking for Health walks led by staff Peter Haldane or Bill Rowland, or a trained volunteer:

10th April
24th April
8th May
22nd May
5th June
19th June
3rd July
17th July
31st July
14th August
28th August
11th September 
25th September 

Visitor Feedback

From time to time we carry out surveys on either specific issues, or general visitor surveys.  Such a survey is currently being carried out and you can participate in that here: Visitor Survey.

April to June

None

July to September

A Visitor Survey is currently being carried out and between during the period July to September, 390 online responses were received and 112 paper copies.  

Donations

As a registered charity, Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators, are able to fund raise and accept donations, collecting Gift Aid where appropriate. in 2017 a successful fundraising campaign raised £55,000 to pay for the restoration of the Inner Windmill Road.  This year, we are fundraising to raise money for the creation of a Wildlife Garden in front of the Ranger's Office.  The Conservators also receive donations from local organisations, for example, the Wimbledon Village Stables raised in excess of £35,000 specifically to pay for horse ride restoration, and many other clubs using the Commons also make ad hoc donations.

Donations received between April and June 2018 are as follows:

Horserides - £11,407

Wildlife Garden Appeal - £49 (only launched towards the end of June)

Donations received between July and September 2018 are as follows:

TBC

Formal Complaints

The Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators recently set up a formal Complaints process to deal with complaints about conduct, standard of service, action or lack of action by WPCC.

Complaints received from April to June 2018:

None.

Complaints received from July to September:

None