We are investing over £200,000 in restoring grassland across a key area of Clapham Common. The council has agreed to use income surplus from the Events and Filming service to recondition the area of land used for events, as well as sports, dog-walking and other leisure activities.
The once-in-a-generation scheme will include works to level the 77,000 sq. metre site between Long Road and Long Pond, and to improve the drainage. The project will ensure the site, known as the Event Site, is restored to durable healthy grass by next spring.
Work on the project, the first major renewal this area has had in twenty years, will start in September 2020 and continue until April 2021. The site, which takes up less than 10% of the common, is expected to be fenced off throughout, to make sure the new grass has plenty of time to establish and provide a better open space for all park users for years to come.
The contract was awarded to Idverde Ltd, following a tender process. The works will be funded through the levies Lambeth charges for commercial events, which are invested back into the borough’s parks for the benefit of all residents.
Experts, including Lambeth Landscapes and external contractors, agreed that early autumn is the best time of year to undertake the work.
Clapham Common Management Advisory Committee (CCMAC), the community group working with Lambeth Council to advise and support the management of the common, are aware of the refurbishment project. The council will continue to engage with CCMAC throughout the works.
The key stages of the works:
Stage 1 - Completed
De-compacting the soil. The ground here has been compacted, which makes it hard for rainwater to drain away and for grass to sink nice deep roots. Special machines were used to break up the soil.
Remove existing vegetation. We’ll prepare by removing the top layer of vegetation.
Levelling out. There are a few dips on the site which naturally pool water as they’re lower than the rest of the ground around them. These will be levelled out, resulting in a better surface and improved drainage.
Re-seeding. After all that hard work, it’s time to plant new grass seed and wait for the ground to fully recover as the new grass grows. We’ll be using a special mix of grasses to make it as healthy as possible.
Drainage. Once the ground has settled, we’ll see areas where further drainage might be needed. We’ll install new drainage to make sure rainwater can drain away properly. Small holes will be drilled into the surface and filled with sand, which will help water to sink down into the ground.
October 2020 to April 2021: Let the grass grow! Time for all that hard work to pay off as we give the grass some quiet time to grow. During this time the ground will start to look nice and green, but it’s important that we keep it fenced for a while so that the grass can properly take root. Please stay off the grass!