COVID-19 - Wimbledon and Putney Commons

Now that the England has moved into a third national lockdown, the Commons remain open to visitors, providing an important place for both physical and mental health.

Our staff are doing all they can to ensure the Commons remain safe for all our visitors. But we need your help too.  Whilst we are not currently making any significant changes in relation to visitor access we would ask that, whatever your reason for visiting, please take time to read our advice on visiting the Commons during the pandemic to ensure that everyone's visit can be both safe and enjoyable.

With the combination of wet weather and heavy footfall, the Commons are currently very wet and muddy.  Areas of particular high usage, such as the Roehampton Hills and around the Windmill car park, are now almost devoid of grass and can be very slippery underfoot so we would recommend wearing suitable footwear.

Government Restrictions

The lockdown restrictions issued by the government are as follows:

  • It is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.
  • You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting).
  • This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

 You can exercise in a public outdoor place: 

  • by yourself
  • with the people you live with
  • with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
  • in a childcare bubble where providing childcare
  • or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household

For the safety and well-being of others, we would ask that you kindly follow the guidance to stay local for your daily exercise -– “local” has been defined as staying “within your village, town or part of the city where you live”.  If you have a green space closer to you that you can exercise in, then we would ask you to consider whether the Commons are “local” to you; adhere to the laws in place in respect of meeting others, and avoid driving to the Commons if at all possible. 

Do not visit the Commons if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, are awaiting a test result, are self-isolating for any reason, or are displaying symptoms of the virus (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell).

Social Distancing

Social distancing measures have been mandated by government to reduce social interaction between people in order to limit the transmission of coronavirus.

For your own safety and well-being, please follow government guidelines in respect of social distancing and keep at least 2 metres (6’ 6”) between you and non-household or "bubble" members where possible, or 1 metre with risk mitigation (such as masks); this includes both other visitors to the Commons as well as members of our staff.  This is particularly important if you are running or cycling.

Update on Facilities

Commons' Car Parks

We intend, at present, that the car parks will remain open. All of our car parks have remained particularly busy over recent months and if we find we are overwhelmed by vehicles parking inappropriately, we may be forced to close the car parks.

Therefore, we would ask visitors to find alternative means of getting to the Commons wherever possible.  If, on arrival, the Windmill Car Park is full, please try one of our other car parks - you can find the location of all our car parks here.

Car park opening times will be as follows:

Windmill Car Park                            7.00am to 5.00pm

REMPF Car Park                             8.00am to 4.00pm

Springwell Car Park                         Dawn to dusk

Telegraph Car Park                         Dawn to dusk

Car parks are for use of visitors to the Commons only.

Toilet Facilities

Windmill car park toilets will remain open every day from day from 7.00am to 5.00pm

REMPF toilets are open 8.00am to 3.30pm.

Social distancing restrictions are in place and you are kindly asked to observe these.  The toilets are cleaned two or three times a day and will be closed during cleaning.

The Ranger’s Office

All our staff are working as normal but the Ranger’s Office will not be open to the public.  However, the Office is manned between 9.00am and 5.00pm and staff are available if you need us in an emergency, or if you find a lost dog for example.  For out of hours emergencies please contact the Duty Officer on 020 8788 7655 or via the emergency doorbell.

Refreshments - Windmill Tea Rooms and London Scottish Golf Club

The Windmill Tea Rooms and the London Scottish Golf Club will be serving takeaway food only and will not provide any seating inside or outside. As soon as you have your refreshments please move away from the area.

The Tearooms will operate during their normal day time hours – 8.45am to 5pm, 7 days a week. The London Scottish Golf Club will open from 9am to 5pm on weekends and at ad hoc times during the week (see noticeboard outside the club house). Please ensure you dispose of take away food containers or coffee cups responsibly, either in bins on the Commons or take them home if bins are full.

Horses

Wimbledon Village Stables have once again put most of their horses out to grass but some remain and will be exercised in pairs.  Please take care if walking near the horse rides and be aware that you might come across horses, particularly if you have dogs and/or young children with you.

Cycling

Please ensure that you keep to the permitted cycle paths, keep your speed down and keep your distance from other visitors. Be prepared to slow down or stop to allow others to safely pass by if necessary.  Use your bell to let people know you are behind them so they can move to the side to let you pass. A map of permitted cycle paths can be found here.

Running

Runners are asked to keep their distance from other visitors and be prepared to slow down or stop to allow others to pass if necessary.

Golf

Golf play has stopped.  Visitors should take care if walking on the golf course and we ask that you continue to respect the hard work of the greenkeepers and keep off the tees and greens to prevent them from being damaged.

Bins/Rubbish

With the likely increase in visitors, there will be an increase in the amount of rubbish.  Please help us to keep the Commons clean and tidy at all times. Take your rubbish home with you wherever possible, especially if bins are full. 

Please do not leave your litter at the side of the bins; it not only presents a risk to wildlife that lives on the Common, but also presents a health risk to other visitors.  It also doubles the amount of clearing-up our staff have to do when it has been attacked by crows and foxes.

Benches

All benches are available but they are not sanitised and, in order to maintain social distancing, you should only use a bench with other members of your household or bubble.

Walking Dogs on the Commons

There are no changes to dog-walking on the Commons.  We strongly advise* that dogs be on a lead between 9.00am and 5.00pm, especially in busy areas. Outside of these times, dogs may be off-lead.  Please pick up after your dogs and remember that no more than four dogs are permitted in any one group.

*What do we mean by “strongly advise”? This means that we ask you to take responsibility for ensuring that your dog remains under proper control at all times and that you are able to recall your dog if the situation demands it. If you cannot guarantee this, then please keep your dog on a lead. Given the significantly increased visitor numbers we are experiencing, this is particularly important if you are walking when, or where, it is busy.

Please respect all our visitors - some people are frightened of dogs, may be vulnerable and at risk of being injured if knocked over, or simply don’t want to be approached by a wet muddy dog. In accordance with our byelaws, our staff may ask you to put your dog on a lead to prevent it from causing a nuisance or in any way endangering other visitors.

Byelaws

Despite the alien environment in which we find ourselves, our byelaws are still very much in effect and are enforced by our Keepers.  The byelaws protect the Commons, our flora and fauna, as well as the safety of our visitors and set out exactly what is and isn’t permitted.  Upholding law and order during these difficult times is of paramount importance and is a responsibility that our staff take seriously.

In addition to what has already been mentioned, we would also draw your attention to the following:

Do not light barbeques or any form of fire. 

Do not fly any drones or model aircraft.

We thank everyone for using the Commons responsibly.

Thank you.

28 April 2020
Updated 12 May 2020
Updated 20 May 2020
Updated 28 May 2020
Updated 1 June 2020
Updated 8 June 2020
Updated 20 July 2020
Updated 24 August 2020
Updated 04 November 2020
Updated 2 December 2020
Updated 20 December 2020
Updated 6 January 2021