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FOWP Quarterly Forum Meeting Minutes, 18th January 2022

Committee News

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FOWP Forum 2022-01-18: Please see these minutes of the FOWP Forum meeting held at 5pm on 18th January 2022 (zoom).

These minutes should be read along with the Chair’s Report and the agenda for the meeting.

Extract from the minutes:

FOWP Forum 2022-01-18 Minutes

Attendees (on zoom):

  • Martin Sumpton (FOWP Deputy Chair, Chaired this meeting)
  • Charles Runcie (FOWP EC, SGRA Chair, Zoom host for this meeting)
  • Tony Borkowski (FOWP EC, Wimbledon Park Angling Club)
  • Rob Kennedy (FOWP EC, Membership Secretary)
  • Beth McKillop (FOWP EC)
  • Amelia Obertelli-Moriarty (FOWP EC)
  • Rev Ian Tattum (FOWP EC)
  • Christopher Coombe
  • Leoni Cooper AM (London Assembly Member, Merton & Wandsworth)
  • Dr. Dave Dawson
  • Cllr. Ed Gretton
  • Cllr. Oonagh Moulton
  • Linda Murgatroyd
  • Johnny Perkins (AELTC)
  • Bill Wiffen (minutes corrected 7 February 2022)
  • (Nick Steiner – FOWP Chairman – joined for the last 5 minutes)

Thanks to Charles Runcie for hosting the meeting.

Apologies were received from Fleur Anderson M P. And from Nick Steiner

A quorum for the meeting was achieved.

Previous forum minutes were taken as read and agreed.

The Chair’s report was attached to the meeting agenda but not discussed in detail due to running out of time, so the report was not formally endorsed on this occasion.


The use of glyophosate * in the Park was raised by Linda [* a weed-killer which has been commonly used e.g. ‘Round-Up’ and which is harmful to animals] id Verde and Merton to advise on its use and limited application).

Dam safety project – it was noted that Heras fencing has been installed by the Contractors in and around Ashen Grove Wood within the Park and Golf Club to safely isolate the outfall area from the lake. The level of the lake has been reduced by at least 12 inches by removing the boards on the sluice; this has resulted in a substantial increase in the discharge via the brook through the Park and Dave has noticed the brook flowing faster and higher. Also, the golf club (Professional and Assistant Manager) reported that within 2 – 3 days the areas of the 17th Hole beside the lake have been much improved under-foot and the waterlogging usually prevalent at this time of year has been greatly reduced. It seems that the original drains are now working again.

Although Merton has a webpage about its Dam restoration Project it would be appreciated if Merton could place a Gantt Chart (flow chart) in the Noticeboards so that the public can more readily understand what work is to be done and when? [Ed to advise].

And will Merton inform us about the level of the lake (height) to be restored? And when?

 AELTC Planning Application for its development of Wimbledon Park  – this was discussed for most of the meeting. Points were raised as follows :-

  1. There is uncertainty about the timeline for the planning decision in both Wandsworth and Merton or, indeed, whether Merton should consider the Wandsworth B C decision?     In any event the local authority elections will be held in May so a June / Summer decision would probably be the earliest to expect. Further comments or objections are still invited in the meantime.
  2. Dave spoke about the proposals relating to soils and ‘re-landscaping’ proposals. The 18th Century landscape does not require acid soils for its grassland (meadows) and neutral soils (pH ca. 7) would be better.
  3. The report upon fish was ‘good’ and referred to the establishment of the European Eel in the lake.
  4. Dave said that the decline in wildlife was a key point to judge the planning application on its merit. The Wimbledon Society’s newsletter highlights the adverse effects of the plans upon Biodiversity and Trees. Jane Plant (Tree Warden : Merton) was quoted by Dave : she said that the replacement of ‘middle aged trees’ with saplings would result in a net loss of trees.
  5. Will Merton B C enforce the Deed of Covenant agreed upon the sale of the golf course Freehold in 1993?                                                                                                                                     

When golf ceases to be played (1st January 2023) the lakeshore land coloured green on the plan attached to the Land Registry Title Deeds is to be fenced-off (as described) and returned to Merton as a public access / footpath. The golf course land is Metropolitan Open Land protected by legislation –– a site of Grade ll* Listing of National and Special Historic Importance – and a Conservation Area including wildlife habitat Sites of Grade 1 Importance for Nature Conservation – The T & C Planning Act 1990 etc which are to protect the site from any development as agreed by AELTCC and Merton BC at the time of the sale.

  • Rob asked if Merton BC Officer John Bosley had been in discussion with AELTCC about this? Ed stated that no officer (Merton) can agree with AELTCC but can only give them guidance. Oonagh confirmed that Merton’s officers had been in discussions with AELTCC.
  • Leonie pointed out that the GLA planning officers were engaged with AELTCC and were concerned about ‘Wilding Principles’. AELTCC were hoping for a decision by early Summer 2022 and that detailed discussions were going on behind the scenes. At any planning meeting open to the public there would be a restriction on the number of speakers.“……continued
FOWP Forum 2022-01-18

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