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Wandle Park was opened in 1890 and cover 8.5-hectares (21-acres). The park was formed from two water meadows (Frog Mead and Stubbs Mead) to the west of Croydon town centre . 13 acres of Stubbs Mead was bought from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for £2,700 and the indenture states that "The land shall be forever dedicated and used as an ornamental pleasure ground and place of recreation for the inhabitants of the Borough of Croydon and for no other purpose whatsoever. It is now protected by Fields in Trust through a legal "Deed of Dedication" safeguarding the future of the space. The centrepiece of the new park was an artificial boating lake with an island in the centre planted with trees. It was originally intended to divert the River Wandle to feed the lake with water, but whilst the lake was being constructed sufficient groundwater was found for this purpose. Proposals were then modified and a separate channel took the river to the north of the boating lake. In the early 20th century the lake was extended to the east and another island created that could be reached by two rustic bridges. The lake froze in winter and was used for ice-skating, but the water level in the lake was erratic and it completely dried up at times in the summer. In 1967, a concrete culvert was constructed, the river was diverted into it, and the old river bed filled in. The River Wandle was buried from view and at the same time the then dry lake was filled in, topsoiled and grassed. Restoration of the River Wandle within the park began on 14 November 2011, with works to a new skate park and ball courts and the park closed on 9 January 2012 for the river restoration works. The upgraded skate park and games area opened on 11 May 2012, and most of the park reopened at the end of December 2012 and a new bridge was installed in March 2013.

LocationEdit

TQ315656. The park is close to Factory Lane and there is a small car park off Cornwall Road. There is also access across a bridge from Waddon New Road and from Wandle Park tram stop.

Public transportEdit

Tramlink: Wandle Park stop.

Bus:

HabitatEdit

Most of the site is intensively managed grassland, including a children’s’ playground with some small groups of shrubs and trees. The River Wandle at this point is effectively little more than a stream emerging from, and flowing back into, culverts at either end. There is also a small pond.

SpeciesEdit

A mixture of the more common species may be found here, but Little Owl was apparently recorded here before regeneration of the park. Grey Wagtails have colonised the river and waterfowl including Moorhen and Coot are beginning to appear on the pond. Mistle Thrush is often present and Redwings are frequently seen in winter. A Red-legged Partridge took up temporary residence one spring. Cold weather has seen various species appear including Snipe, Lapwing and Skylark. This is a site worth keeping an eye on, especially during migration periods or in cold weather.