Boris backs plan to clean up Tooting Common rubbish spot


A group of volunteers are set to remove litter from Graveney Woods


By Hannah Stubbs

London Mayor Boris Johnson has come out in support of an attempt to clean up Tooting Graveney Woods.

Friends of Tooting Common are taking a group of volunteers to the spot, which along with Tooting Bec makes up the Common, to remove a build-up of rubbish.

Mr Johnson said Londoners were doing a brilliant job volunteering.

“Bringing people together to roll up their sleeves to give areas a mini facelift and make them more enjoyable can make the world of difference for locals and visitors alike,” he said.

Friends of Tooting Common treasurer Simon Hemsley said they were just a group of concerned local people that wanted to do something practical.  

The group hope at least 20 volunteers will turn up to remove garden waste and furniture.

“We want to use the public enthusiasm for volunteering and restore the woods to their natural state,” he said.

The green space plays host to a number of community projects including art collective The Secret Garden Project.

Project co-ordinator Bethan Johnson said: “It’s a positive thing that Friends of Tooting are doing this, I wish this project had happened sooner.”

Tim Webb, spokesman for the area’s RSPB said: “A clean-up will be great because rubbish and fly-tipping harm wildlife generally.

“On the whole I’d say well done. Restore it to a habitat for all wildlife.”

The clean up is supported by a grant from the Clean Up Capital Fund and advertised by the Mayor of London’s volunteering network Team London.

“We encourage everybody and the Mayor is encouraging everyone to sign up and get involved in their local community by volunteering,” said Gilly Long, a project support officer at Team London.

“Volunteering was a priority arising out of the Olympic game last year as part of the legacy.”

The clean-up is on Sunday, October 20 meeting at the lodge at the junction of Furzedown Road and Furzedown Drive at 9.30am. For more information visit

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