About Friends of Wimbledon Park (FOWP)
FOWP is a voluntary organisation which acts as an umbrella group to bring together all those with an interest in Wimbledon Park, which is Grade II* listed by English Heritage. FOWP was set up in 2012 to promote collaboration and offer a forum for discussion between the three owners of the park (Merton Council, the AELTC and The Wimbledon Club), the different organisations that lease or occupy parts of it (including Wimbledon Park Golf Club, Wimbledon Park Angling Club and Wimbledon Park Bowls Club), local residents and park visitors.
Our aim is to develop a long-term vision for the park that takes account of local people’s views. We want to protect the green open space and important wildlife habitats while also striking a healthy balance between the needs of the many different users of the park, including families, sportspeople, dog walkers and anglers.
Our membership includes:
- Individuals who use and enjoy the park
- Organisations such as Wimbledon Park Golf Club and St Cecilia’s School
- Residents’ associations such as Wimbledon Park Residents’ Association, Southfields Grid Residents’ Association and Wimbledon House Residents’ Association
- Ex officio members including Wandsworth and Merton councillors, Merton Council officers and the two local MPs
- Developing a long-term vision for the park. We are working on a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to undertake a comprehensive programme involving restoration of the lake and improvement to the sports facilities. We also want to gain Green Flag status for the park. Click here to find out more.
- Public issues: we consult and campaign on matters affecting the park, such as events, traffic, planning and policing issues
- Conservation: we collaborate with Merton Council to develop and deliver environmental projects
- Education: our resident ecologist Dr Dave Dawson leads regular nature walks around the park; these are free and open to all.
- Volunteering: we encourage local people, including schoolchildren, to get involved in work to improve the park
- Communications: as well as this website and a FOWP Facebook page, we produce a quarterly email newsletter for members giving news on the park.
We believe it is important that local people work together to look after Wimbledon Park. There are currently a number of factors putting pressure on the park:
- Increasing visitor numbers and changes in the way they use the park, e.g. for barbeques, fitness classes and children’s activity camps
- Reduced public funding, leading to increased commercialisation of the space with events and paid-for activities
- Changes to ecology and wildlife, caused by a variety of issues including climate change and the silting up of the lake
By supporting our work you can help protect Wimbledon Park for future generations.