Celebrating Capability Brown’s 300th anniversary

The landscape architect Capability Brown, who created Wimbledon Park, was born 300 years ago this August. The Friends of Wimbledon Park (FOWP) have organised a series of events to mark this important milestone.

Over the weekend of 13 and 14 February, around 100 volunteers of all ages turned out to plant 1,000 trees to restore and extend Horse Close Wood and help screen the Wimbledon Park Road car park from view. The trees – all native species, including dog rose, wild cherry and blackthorn – were funded by a £3,000 grant from the London Tree and Woodland Community Grant Scheme which FOWP secured last year.

Click to see photos of Restoring Horse Close Wood

FOWP Chairman Nick Steiner said: “The event was a chance for local people to celebrate Capability Brown’s tercentenary, and play a part in enhancing this wonderful piece of local heritage.”

Plans are now also well under way for the main celebration, which takes place on Saturday 13 August. There will be a walk round the 4km Heritage Trail to unveil a series of commemorative plaques, followed by tea and cakes. FOWP are inviting local dignitaries and MPs to take part, and hope that local people will also want to join in. So do please save the date.

Did you know?

Capability Brown has been described as “England’s greatest gardener”, with more than 170 gardens to his name, including Blenheim, Chatsworth and Longleat. As well as Grade II* listed Wimbledon Park, designed for the Spencer family, his London gardens include Syon Park, Richmond Palace Gardens, (now part of Kew Gardens), Gray’s Inn Walks and St James Park.


Horse Close Wood lies at the northern edge of Wimbledon Park. It has been the subject of two previous management plans, each being written in response to a need for early decisions on proposed work there.


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Join our litter-picking group

litter-pickingOur litter-picking group, set up in August 2015, meets regularly on the second Sunday of the month. We work together to clear up the litter in the woods and hedgerows of the park, which the Merton Council team don’t have time to tackle. Gloves and litter pickers are provided, so if you fancy lending a hand we’ll be delighted to see you. Just turn up at 10am at the tennis kiosk by the café.

Car park is green again

The former temporary car park area is now grass again, after a successful campaign last year by the Friends of Wimbledon Park, with strong support from local residents. Merton Council removed hardcore and reseeded the site in March and in early June the fences were taken down. Our ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots show what a difference it makes to have this valuable piece of green space restored, as well as the views across to the lake and beyond.

Car park - before

Car park – before

Car park - after

Car park – after