6 posts

Friends of Tooting Common – walks on 1 and 2 January

On Sunday 1 January 2023, there will be a short informal walk on Tooting Common to mark the New Year. It will start at the cafe at 2.30pm, and last for about an hour.

Then on Monday 2 January, there will be a New Year Plant Hunt, led by Roy Vickery of the South London Botanical Institute, starting at the cafe at 11.00 a.m. and continuing for about 90 minutes, depending on the weather. 12 years ago the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland launched its New Year Plant Hunt, encouraging people to go out over three days and record how many wild plants they could find in flower. We have held two such hunts on the Common, in 2019 when 26 plants were found in flower, and 2022 (this January) when we found 32. No expertise is required, but the more pairs of eyes the better.

Everyone is welcome on both of these walks. People coming will need to have footwear suitable for muddy ground.

Friends of Tooting Common: Pumpkin Parade 2022

FOTC’s annual Pumpkin Parade on Tooting Common on 30 October was a very successful event, with a very good number of people and families attending. There were some excellent carved pumpkins in the three categories – for funniest; most artistic; and scariest – and also some excellent fancy dress. And, alongside the competitions, there was a very interesting session on willow star decoration.

FOTC donated the proceeds from the event – £100 – to Royal Trinity Hospice, to help support the excellent work they do.

Photos of Tooting Common

A number of people post photos of the Common on the FoTC Facebook group, particularly of trees and plants.

We (FOTC) draw these together every few months and post them here. The most recent set of photos is here: 

FB posts Jan to Mar 2021

We hope these photos help celebrate the Common, particularly for people who aren’t often able to get out onto it.

Many thanks to all of the photographers, and particularly to Roy (Vickery) for his very informative posts, and for sharing his botanical expertise with us.  Many thanks also to Eamonn (Richardson) for drawing these photos together.

Some photos for previous months are:

FB posts Nov -Dec 2020

FOTC September-November 2020

FOTC, august-september2020




 FOTC April/May 2020

We hope this will provide a longer-term record of how the Common looks at different times.

Alongside circulating these photos, we also run regular photo competitions for the Common. (See separate blog post on this.)

Litter on Tooting Common

Friends of Tooting Common are concerned at the volume of litter on the Common.  We consider that more could be done on litter collection, and have raised the issue with Enable and the Council. We also arrange our own volunteer litter picks (and will shortly be restarting them, which were suspended during lockdown). 

However, it is also very important that people take litter home with them, and certainly do not to leave it lying out on the Common.  Littering the Common is selfish, and spoils the Common – which is a really excellent greenspace, available to everybody – for everyone else.

Condition of Tooting Common

There has been very considerable wear and damage to a number of parts of the Common as a result of heavy usage, particularly during summer 2020. These problems have been exacerbated recently by waterlogging, resulting in a number of large muddy areas. FOTC have raised these issues of concern with Enable (who manage the Common on the Council’s behalf), while recognising that these and other problems on the Common may not have easy short-term solutions.

Concerns about dog and puppy thefts

There have been some general concerns about dog and puppy thefts in London, and also some reports recently of people acting suspiciously in some other greenspaces in Wandsworth – eg asking dog owners about their dogs, and/or taking photos of the dogs. There have been no reported incidents of concern on Tooting Common, which is re-assuring. However dog owners using Tooting Common may want to be generally aware of these reports, and to be vigilant to eg anyone asking questions about their dog(s).

Also, if you know of any actual theft, or see someone acting suspiciously, please report it to the police on 101, so that any incidents can be logged and acted on.