The nearest visible ponds to Croydon the Wandle park demonstrates how private enterprise in conjunction with the council and an active friends group can restore the fortunes of a majestic but previously neglected park a ten minute walk from Croydon town centre.
In August I attended the garden party to launch the new look Wandle park. Early in the last century the gentry of Croydon would go boating on the lake at Wandle park . In fact the original inauguration of the park was attended by as many as thirty thousand people. But in the fifties the river table dropped and the river was covered over.
The builders of a new housing development near to the park had agreed to restore the wandle from the culvert and recreate the lake. It certainly looked impressive when I visited to enjoy the singers and poets at the new bandstand.
The new adventure playground was hugely popular with the younger generation and the new cafe did a roaring trade providing copious meals for the hungry crowds.
The wandle is now visible through the park and then returns underground until it resurfaces in nearby Wadddon Ponds.
The park improvements include a new outdoor gym, skate park and pond next to the bandstand. There are also accessible paths around the park that have been used by walkers, mother and their push-chairs and cyclists. From the bridge that crosses the railway line you can observe both trams and trains and also the centre of Croydon.