‘Commons for the Next Generations, Green Space for All’

Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators secures National Lottery Grant

images - Andrew Wilson

Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators, in partnership with Wimbledon Windmill Museum, have received a £126,100 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for an exciting heritage project – ‘Commons for the Next Generations, Green Space for All’.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will enable further development of the vision, based on the work carried out in 2017 to develop a ten year strategy for the Commons.

The work will help ensure the Commons are protected, preserved and available for future generations to enjoy. Wimbledon and Putney Commons represent a magnificently unique resource and one of London’s greatest assets.

Although the Commons are cherished and enormously valued for their ecological and recreational purposes, there are opportunities to further develop educational and social well-being purposes as well as broaden public engagement to allow those who are less able, less experienced, less comfortable or less accustomed to natural environments of this nature to better appreciate all that the Commons have to offer.

Supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project will enable work to be undertaken to better understand the challenges and requirements the site is facing at it approaches the 150th anniversary of the passing of the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Act that brought the Commons into public ownership. Working with the highly regarded cultural consultancy firm Barker Langham, a new masterplan for the Commons will be developed including a strategy to improve the financial resilience of Wimbledon and Putney Commons. Critical to the development of the plan will be the involvement of and consultation with our stakeholders, visitors and volunteers.

Diane Neil Mills

"It is a wonderful opportunity to further strengthen and secure the long-term future of the Commons,’ said Diane Neil Mills, Chairman of Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators. "We are enormously grateful for both the funding and the positive endorsement that this grant represents, particularly given the very competitive environment for National Lottery funding. I offer my most sincere gratitude to all of those responsible for this positive result."

Asif Malik, Chair of Wimbledon Windmill Trust, said: "As Chair of the Windmill Museum Trust, I am delighted that the grant will enable a wide range of exciting opportunities for enhancing the output and reach of the iconic windmill. Working in close collaboration with the Ranger’s Office, we will develop a long-term plan for the museum, its displays and activities, seeking to widen its appeal to all sections of the community, to expand its educational outreach, and to secure its prime position as a specialist museum of windmills."

Eric Langham, Founder at Barker Langham, said:"It is a tremendous honour and opportunity for Barker Langham to be involved in creating a new sustainable vision for Wimbledon and Putney Commons. Realising the Commons for future generations is a bold ambition and we are excited to start work with the project team to engage more people in more ways, to protect and manage the biodiversity and significant heritage of the Commons and to develop strategies that ensure a bright long-term future for this treasured place. A number of the team members from Barker Langham who will be working on this venture are regular users of both Wimbledon Common and Putney Lower Common, and will combine that important local knowledge with their world-class expertise to help deliver this project."

Stuart Hobley, Area Director London & South, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, this project will explore and map a bright future for Wimbledon and Putney Commons with its heritage and communities at its heart.“This comes in time for Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators’ 150th anniversary and also in time for the National Lottery’s 25th birthday. During that quarter of a century, National Lottery players have raised £7.9billion for over 43,000 projects across the UK, I’m delighted that Commons for the Next Generation is among them.”