Wimbledon Park has been placed on Historic England’s At Risk Register.
The organisation said the move was due to uncertainty about the park’s future; the impacts of divided ownership on landscape management; views of the original designed landscape being obscured; and the deteriorating condition of the lake.
Historic England is the government’s statutory advisor on all aspects of the historic environment. As part of its work, it assesses designated heritage assets to identify whether they are at risk from deterioration and neglect, or are vulnerable as a result of over-use or inappropriate development. The results of these assessments are published annually on the Heritage at Risk Register. The 2016 edition of the register will be published on its website www.historicengland.org.uk in October.
A spokesperson for Historic England said: “Inclusion in the register implies no criticism of the owners, many of whom are actively seeking ways to secure the future. The aim of the register is to keep attention focused on the park, to act as a working tool to help define the scale of the problem and to prioritise action by ourselves, local authorities, preservation trusts, funding bodies and others who can play a part in securing the future of these irreplaceable landscapes.”
Merton Council is currently drawing up a masterplan for the part of Wimbledon Park and lake which it owns, with the help of landscape architect LDA Design. The council says this plan “will create a long-term vision for the next 25 years and provide focus for decision-making and future investment”.
Councillors have now drawn up a shortlist of three options which LDADesign will develop in more detail, and these will be presented for public consultation over the coming months. Two of these options involve moving the athletics stadium to the area backing onto the railway line alongside Elsenham Street. You can see draft designs online and also sign up to receive email updates – go to www.merton.gov.uk and search for ‘Wimbledon Park masterplan’.