Woodland Floor and Habitat Improvements: Temporary Protective Fencing

Lambeth Council (LBL), London Wildlife Trust (LWT) and Streatham Common Cooperative (SCCoop) have been working together on a number of activities within the woodlands on Streatham Common, including as part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NHLF)-funded ‘Great North Wood’ project. As well as improving awareness and involvement in the management of remnant woodland areas like those on the Common, the project has been working on targeted improvements to the biodiversity and landscape of these sites.

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January 2018

The Rookery gardens at the top of Streatham Common will receive a National Lottery grant of £84,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to restore the cascade water feature and rockery gardens to their former glory. People from the local community will be central in designing, planting and celebrating the garden.

The cascade and accompanying rockery were originally installed in around 1912 as part of the newly created Rookery public gardens. The Cascade stopped working a few years ago, and the gardens have been neglected following years of budget cuts.

Streatham Common Cooperative will lead the National Lottery funded project in partnership with other local organisations, with work to the cascade starting in January 2018, volunteers designing and planting the new gardens in 2018, and finishing with celebratory community events in summer 2019.

History of the site

When installed in around 1912, the Cascade flowed down to Streatham Wells in the Rookery, surrounded by fashionable Edwardian planting of informal planting mixed with fashionable “exotics”. The Wells were opened after natural springs were discovered in 1659. Sparkling water from the springs had a slight odour of sulphur and was thought to cure many diseases. It was sold across London at sixpence per gallon.

The house where the Rookery Gardens stood was demolished in 1912 and the Rookery Garden was gifted to London County Council (LCC) after a fundraising effort led by local resident Stenton Covington in 1912.

The project

The project will restore the Cascade and replant the surrounding rock garden, influenced by the Edwardian exotic. This will ensure that the heritage is better managed, with much reduced environmental impact and improved biodiversity. The project will also improve public access to the site by refurbishing ‘’crazy’’ paving and replacing damaged protective fencing.

Community delivery is central to the aims of the project: A core group of volunteers will help to deliver it, and local community groups and schools will be involved in the planting. There will be a programme of educational outreach including tours and events to spread the knowledge and appreciation of the Rookery's heritage to a much wider group of local residents. The grant will fund the redevelopment of an old shed into an education centre.

Initial works to the cascade will be complete in spring 2018. Designs for the rock garden will be developed and delivered alongside a programme of community engagement, completing with a launch event in summer 2017.

The total project will cost £148,132, of which £84,600 will come from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The lead project partners are SCCoop and Lambeth Council, who will contribute most of the other funding. Other partners are Friends of Streatham Common, Streatham Common Community Garden and Streatham Society.

Come and Join in, Get mucky, Help save the Woods

  • 24 March at 10:00 – 14:00

Meet at ROOKERY CAFE at 10AM

Finish at 3pm

Come one, come all. no experience needed

Bring wellies /boots/ wet weather gear and packed lunch (Cafe is near)

Gloves, tea coffee and biscuit provided

This week begins the Wodland Wildlife Water Project.

Month by month we will be uncovering waterways,building pathways, digging ponds making fences and much much more. Improving habitats and encouringing wildlife and in the process having Fun.

Come one, come all. no experience needed

Bring wellies /boots/ wet weather gear and packed lunch

Gloves, tea coffe and biscuit provided

Children are welcome must be accompanied by an adult.

(Sorry, no dogs allowed)

Please email to let me know your coming


We are delighted that the new playground is now open at the bottom of the common.

The playground was opened by the Mayor of Lambeth, Marcia Cameron on Saturday 16th December 2017.

Planning permission for a small kiosk next to the playground to serve drinks and snacks has now been applied for.

The refurbished building will provide a kiosk overlooking the playground, new office space for grounds maintenance staff and storage. Posters about this will be put up by the playground next year.

In 2014 the Friends of Streatham Common, SCCoop and others have campaigned to get long overdue investment into Streatham Common. When Lambeth’s investment plans were first published, Streatham Common had no planned investment, but following our campaigns, we gained a commitment for £1 million to redevelop the playground and lower yard area, which has been in steady decline for a number of years.

At a public meeting about investment on the Common that was held in November 2013, many requests were made but it was clear that there was a consensus for a better playground, with something to be done about the disused paddling pool, and for more facilities for older children and sports. This led to the creation of a scheme to redevelop the bottom yard and playground area.