Help protect wildlife on common
Published: Wednesday 26th February 14
New shallow pools are to be created on Tooting Common to provide a home for frogs, toads and newts.
The site of the proposed ponds
The council is working in partnership with the wildlife charity Froglife, with support from the Tooting Common Management Advisory Committee (MAC) and the Friends of Tooting Common, to build three pools in the common’s existing ecology pond.
Wandsworth is one of the greenest London boroughs, with 40 per cent covered by parks, open spaces and private gardens. Around 1,600 different species have been recorded within 27 different habitat types. Tooting Common is a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation and is the largest open space in Wandsworth.
Building work started on Monday and is expected to take two weeks. The ponds will be a perfect habitat for amphibians to breed.
Later this year once the pools are established local volunteers will be offered training to help monitor the pools to see if they have been successful in improving the habitat for local wildlife.
The ponds are part of Froglife’s Dragon Finder scheme, aimed at conserving the capital’s amphibian and reptile population. The Tooting project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Western Riverside Environmental Fund, which uses landfill tax credits to fund environmental improvements in the Western Riverside Waste Authority area.
As well as improving habitats, the project will educate local people about conservations issues and provide training in amphibian and reptile identification, monitoring and habitat management.
The council’s environment spokesman Jonathan Cook said:
“We’re delighted to help bring the Dragon Finder project to Tooting. The common is very popular with local people, and we manage it to preserve as many of the natural features and rich ecology as possible.
“As well as helping local amphibian populations flourish, we hope these new ponds will get more local people involved in monitoring the common and its wildlife, and teach people how to take care of our precious open spaces.”
London Dragon Finder Project Manager Vanessa Barber said:
“We are thrilled to be working with Wandsworth Council to improve such a well known and loved site. And the physical improvements are just the start! Through our community training programme we hope to make these ponds a strong-hold for amphibians, reptiles and other wildlife for years to come.’
Find out more about Tooting Common at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/tootingcommon
Read more about how Wandsworth Council protects biodiversity in the borough on the Enable website.
Help identify and record local amphibians and reptiles by downloading the free Dragon Finder app at www.froglife.org/dragonfinder/app/