Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators July Update

News on Board Meeting, Windmill lottery funding, Putney Hospital site and events

Wimbledon Windmill – Heritage Lottery Fund
Works by specialist millwrights Owlsworth IJP to restore the Windmill (as part of the successful Heritage Lottery Fund project) are well underway. Scaffolding has been erected allowing painting and repair to the wooden boards on the ‘cap’ to begin. Following these works, the semi-permeable membrane beneath the black wooden tower will be replaced, thereby preventing further water ingress to the first floor ceiling of the structure.

New sails have been fabricated at the company’s Reading depot (see picture above) and it is anticipated that these will be installed during September, weather permitting.

Owlsworth IJP have, through the Prince’s Trust Young Persons’ Scheme, employed sixteen-year-old Susannah Martin from Wimbledon, on a multi-trade foundation scheme, to assist with the restoration of the sails. Susannah will also be working on site during their installation.

Conservators’ Board Meeting – 11 July 2016

Windmill Tearooms
Following safety concerns with the existing umbrellas, the Board considered and agreed a request from the lessee of the Windmill Tearooms to install two large beige umbrellas on the forecourt area of the Tearooms, each covering approximately four picnic benches. The costs will be met by the lessee.

Putney Hospital Site
The Board continues to work with its legal advisors Charles Russell Speechlys on the implementation of the Charity Commission’s October 2015 Formal Action Plan. Following the
update given by the Chairman at the Annual Open Meeting, the Board at its meeting on 11 July,
approved a process for selecting and appointing a surveyor to carry out the retrospective valuation.

It is expected that, following a short-listing and interview process, the successful firm will be
appointed in during September 2016.

Commons Events
BioBlitz Weekend
With the support of our DEFRA Appointed Conservator, the third annual BioBlitz event was held
over the weekend of the 25th and 26th June 2016 and once again proved very popular. More than 45 people attended the bat walk and moth trapping session on the Saturday evening, when fortunately the weather held until around 11.00pm, permitting an excellent display by the
Daubenton bats.

Sunday began with an early morning bird walk, led by resident expert Dave Wills and supported by some 25 people. Summer is not the best season for migratory birds but nonetheless a good number of species was noted, including a Garden Warbler.

Sunday also saw two separate walks, one at 10.30am and another at 2.00pm, with 20/25 people attending each one. The Commons’ staff were assisted on these walks by a range of volunteer experts in butterflies, dragon/damselflies, birds, insects and flora.

The Commons Open Day
Please come and support our Annual Commons Open Day on Sunday 11th September 2016. This
event, organised by the Commons’ staff, promises, as always, to be a great family day out.
Preparations are well advanced with many stalls already booked. Our regular displays and arena
events are organised, including the Birds of Prey, Working Dogs and Horse Riding events. There
will be opportunities to meet the Keepers’ horses and enjoy tractor rides around the Common.

Putney Lower Common - New Development Landscaping
Landscaping works to restore Common land as part of the New Development at Putney Lower
Common have commenced. The former access road from Commondale to the old hospital site has been removed, areas topsoiled and new footpaths have been installed. Planting and further
landscaping works are planned for the autumn/winter period.

July 20, 2016