Protecting our Carshalton heritage

Like you, we value our local heritage and we want to protect it for generations to come. There are several exciting developments and as your local councillors, we thought you’d like an update.

In 2011 the Council started looking at the future use of buildings in Carshalton. We undertook widespread consultation on possible options for the sensitive use and protection of historic heritage buildings all situated within the Carshalton Village Conservation Area, and the parkland in and around Carshalton Ponds and The Grove Park. In total six thousand local residents were contacted by the Council to ask them for views, and six Carshalton Friends groups were also consulted.

This led to a special meeting of the Carshalton Local Committee in September 2011, attended by over seventy local residents. As residents were clear that they wanted such assets to stay in community hands where possible, they voted for progressing the Sutton Centre for the Voluntary Sector (SCVS)proposal for a voluntary sector centre at The Grove House and Ecolocal proposals for use of The Lodge as an ecological centre.

The Lodge.

Ecolocal has submitted final proposals to the Council for a mixed use office/classrooms and residential development at The Lodge, a much loved Victorian building. Ecolocal’s proposals were considered to offer best value and to provide the basis for a sustainable long term use of The Lodge that would provide significant benefits to the community.

The Ecolocal proposal was debated and agreed at a meeting of Full Council on Monday 2nd November at the Civic Offices in Sutton.

The Old Rectory.

The Old Rectory is a Grade 2 Georgian house and is of major historical importance. Carshalton Friends groups have formed a new organisation Carshalton Old Rectory Association (CORA) proposing to convert the building into an Arts Centre with residential flats. This proposal is subject to CORA obtaining funding, and they have been given until March 2016 to find this.

Commitment was given in 2011 that the Council would not sell the Old Rectory, due to its importance locally.


Stonecourt, situated at the corner of Grove Park with Mill Lane and North Street, will be sold for residential use either by freehold or on a long lease by private treaty. This will ensure future control over the use of the building, parking restrictions (The Grove Park is car free) and maintain full public access to the park. This matches residents’ wishes as expressed in 2011.

The Grove House.

Sutton Centre for the Voluntary Sector (SCVS) in partnership with The Volunteer Centre Sutton and the Friends of the Grove, will be applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund in March 2016 for a grant to restore the large 1840s house, set up a trust of local people to manage Grove House, record and celebrate a 200 year story of giving from philanthropy to voluntary action, and to deliver heritage skills training and a heritage volunteer programme.

SCVS have recently consulted local people about their plans. Comments can be sent to Your ward councillors have been reporting back on how these proposals have progressed through Focus leaflets, through Carshalton Local Committee and other meetings. We are pleased to say that theproposals are progressing well.



Sutton Ecology Centre

ecoThe summer of 2015 has been yet another successful one for the popular Sutton Ecology Centre, having hosted a wide range of exciting environmental-awareness-raising events for the borough.  The centre, which is located at The Old Rectory in Festival Walk, Carshalton and is funded by Sutton Council, attracted more than 360 borough children and their parents through its doors with a number of open days that gave them the opportunity to meet exotic snakes and reptiles up close, see rare and unusual stick insects, and enjoy playing a range of games based on Julia Donaldson’s classic children’s book The Gruffalo.

Ecology Centre Building

Ecology Centre Building

Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment & Neighbourhoods Committee, said:

“The Sutton Ecology Centre is a vital resource for residents and it embodies our green borough values. These events for children and their parents provide a valuable education for us all about the importance of enjoying and respecting nature and the environment. It’s pleasing to see so many attendees over the summer months, and we will be sure to build on our success and keep hosting a wide range of stimulating and fun ecological activities and events for area families.”

The Sutton Ecology Centre is located close to the popular local attractions Honeywood Museum and Carshalton Water Tower. Opened in 1989, the centre is owned by the London Borough of Sutton Council and run in association with the Friends of Sutton Ecology centre volunteer group.

Mary Buckton, Biodiversity Education Officer at Sutton Council, said:

“The Biodiversity Team believe that making that connection with nature at an early age is vital to ensuring the protection of our wild spaces in the future. Sutton Biodiversity Team offer a wide range of education about Sutton’s Nature, throughout the year, for people of all ages.  Sutton Ecology Centre is open to the public in daylight hours 7 days a week. We’d love to welcome you along to enjoy nature at this beautiful oasis in Carshalton.”

To find out more about the Sutton Ecology Centre, visit

To be kept up to date with events and Sutton’s nature, sign up to our newsletter by emailing:

Latest Woodland Trust News

Dear Recorders

News that 2014 was the warmest year on record makes me wonder what 2015 has in store. We’ve teamed up with British Science Week to ask the public to help us answer the question ‘How fast does spring move?’ by spotting some commonly seen spring signs.

Also in this issue:

  • Blackcaps and chiffchaffs are our species of the month
  • Spring findings from 2014
  • News from our sister project Track a Tree

Kate Lewthwaite
Citizen Science manager

PS a request from our science advisor Professor Tim Sparks: when you are recording this spring, please remember to look for ‘trend-setting’ rather than abnormally early events. For more help see our recording guide booklet.

Species of the month- blackcaps and chiffchaffThe arrival of early spring migrant birds is always a welcome sign. Kylie in our team gives some tips about spotting chiffchaffs and blackcaps, which will be returning to the UK soon.
Your findings from spring 2014Now all the results are in and analysed, what was last spring like?
How fast does spring move? Find out with British Science WeekNature’s Calendar is delighted to be a partner for British Science Week 2015. This initiative is a great opportunity to introduce recording to family or friends over the next few months and to help answer an interesting scientific question.
Track a Tree workshops

Our sister project, Track a Tree is looking for more volunteers to record spring in the woods in 2015. They are running three workshops during March.. Find out how to book a free place by visiting their blog.

‘Hogsperts’ in the making: Local children honour the shy, humble hedgehog at Sutton Ecology Centre open day

Iris O’keeffe meets a hedgehog.

The hedgehog quite possibly became the new favourite animal of more than 100 local children yesterday, Tuesday 17 February, as Sutton Ecology Centre held a day honouring the spiky animal.

The young centre-goers got up close and personal with hedgehogs from Riverside Animal Centre, Beddington Park, while discovering where the creatures live and what they eat on a trail.

Organised by Sutton Council’s biodiversity team, the day also saw children make hedgehog masks and clay hedgehogs.

Meanwhile, members of The People’s Trust for Endangered Species came along to talk about their project, Hedgehog StreetSutton Nature Conservation Volunteers told visitors how to help nature on Sutton’s doorstep; and the Friends of Sutton Ecology Centre provided fun refreshments, including hedgehog-themed biscuits and cakes.

Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of Sutton Council’s Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee, said:

“The great fun had by all children, mums, dads and carers who attended the Hedgehog Open Day again goes to show what a valuable resource our ecology centre is to residents, young and old.

“As one of London’s leafiest boroughs, it is important that we provide our children with an excellent environmental education – and I’m certain that all children who attended the day are now completely clued-up on our humble hedgehog friends.”

For more information about Sutton Ecology Centre and upcoming biodiversity events happening around the borough, go to the council website.

Joshua and Isabel Dear. Click to download.

Charlotte Elliot-Square.

Iris O’keeffe shows off her Hedgehog mask.

Council maps the wild side of our Borough

Sutton Council has published a new map to encourage us all to get out and discover the wildlife on our doorstep.

The Sutton Nature Explorer Map provides handy information on selected wildlife sites in the Borough. So if you want to know which sites have Autumn interest, where education activities are held, how best to travel or even where you will be able to make an active difference by volunteering, then this map is for you. For those with a keen interest, this A5 fold-out leaflet draws attention to key species found in the Borough and explains how the landscape is managed to support them. Even if you’re not a nature buff, you’ll be able to identify some lovely spots where you can simply relax and enjoy being outdoors.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Sutton Nature Explorer Map is free and available to pick up from the reception of the Council offices at Denmark Road or at Biodiversity Team events.

The Sutton Nature Map

The Sutton Nature Map

Cllr. Jill Whitehead

Cllr. Jill Whitehead

Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of Sutton Council’s Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee, said:

“This new map identifies the borough’s green and wild land and will help add recognition to the importance of our wild land resources. I hope that residents will pick up this information and get real enjoyment out of it, exploring new places and seeing beautiful sites in their very own borough.” 

You can also download a copy from the Sutton Nature website at

Sutton Ecology Centre, off Festival walk, Carshalton – 25 year anniversary party on Saturday 12th July

ecoSutton Ecology Centre is an environmental educational facility comprising a 2.2 hectare Nature Reserve, the Old Rectory listed building, a Gatehouse and other various out-buildings.

The Friends’ next big event, in conjunction with Sutton’s Biodiversity Team, will be the Celebration of 25 years since Sutton Ecology Centre was opened.  This will incorporate their usual Summer Fair and will take place on  Saturday 12 July. There will be music, drama, ploughman’s lunches, home made cakes, crafts, books, children’s activities, bat walks and much much more
We believe it starts at 11am….!

Carshalton Village – Focus Team’s Actions

In recent years we have been fully involved amongst many other matters with the following activities:-

1) More School Places. We successfully worked with Carshalton All Saints C of E Primary School and with local residents to bring a new form of entry.

2) Preserving and Enhancing our Heritage. We designed and obtained funding for a new Carshalton Second World War Memorial to be completed this year. We are also deep cleaning all the borough’s war memorials.

3) Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour. We worked with local police to ensure that anti-social behaviour is minimised and Carshalton High Street and local parks kept safe.

4) Heritage Centre. We refurbished the Heritage Centre at Honeywood Walk, Carshalton with improved displays, using Lottery Funding.

5) Improved Leisure Facilities. We refurbished and modernised Westcroft Centre including a new Carshalton Library.

6) Invested in our High Street. We secured funding for new Carshalton village signs which will be installed soon, introduced the Carshalton Christmas lights and brought the new Frost Fair to help local businesses thrive.

7) Listening to You. Carshalton Council buildings including The Lodge and The Grove House: We consulted extensively with local residents and Friends Groups over re-use of the redundant council buildings whose future re-use is now assured.

8) Better Transport. We successfully campaigned with Tom Brake MP and other Lib Dem councillors to save the cross London Thameslink loopline trains service.

9) Safer Roads 1. We installed safer crossing facilities at the junction of Ruskin Road and Park Lane following the All Saints School expansion nearby. We got pavement bollards installed at the junction of Ruskin Road and Woodstock Road.

10) Safer Roads 2. We successfully campigned for TfL to install new railings around Carshalton Ponds.

11) Carshalton Park. We installed marker posts to protect the air raid shelter discovered in 2012 and various brick piers to the park railings rebuilt/repaired. We have got the “Ornamental Garden” between Talbot Road/The Square junction and Ruskin Road improved.

12) The Grove Park. We install a new waste bins and a new multi-gym at the award winning park.

Ecology Centre – Council’s Successful Bid for Heritage Lottery Funding

Environment & Neighbourhoods Committee chair and local councillor Jill Whitehead says:

“Sutton Council is bidding for heritage lottery money for a number of important heritage type projects in our borough and has been successful in a bid for the Ecology Centre, Festival Walk, here in Carshalton, the jewel of the borough’s crown, as it were.”

The project is designed to encourage greater use of local nature sites by creating Nature Explorer backpacks which parents will be able to hire from the Ecology Centre to use with their children. This will benefit a new generation of schoolchildren who will learn more about nature, local sites and associated fauna. Sutton Council was successful in achieving grant funding of £6,500 (“every little helps!”) and Sutton Council itself will provide another £2,000. The preparatory work has been carried out on designing maps and backpacks.

A launch event will take place in early Summer 2014 and we’re told that the backpacks will be in use throughout next summer onwards.

An Older House in Carshalton - The Old Rectory in times past

The Old Rectory in times past before it became the Sutton Ecology Centre in the heart of Carshalton Village

Second Frost Fair comes to Carshalton on 7th December

Frost Fair returns to Carshalton

Cllr. Jill Whitehead says:

Carshalton welcomes its second Frost Fair on Saturday 7th December 1-6pm by Carshalton Ponds. Organised by charity EcoLocal with the Friends of Honeywood Museum the fair is a traditional winter event with activities for all of the family. The fair includes craft stalls, hog roast, music and entertainment, children’s activities at Honeywood Museum and the Ecology Centre. Full details next week!

More volunteer stewards for the Fair still needed – please contact Tansy if you could help for an hour or two.



Friends of Ecology Centre are to hold a Summer Garden Party on Saturday 3rd August 11am-4.30pm

Jill, Hamish and Alan have received a message from the Friends of Sutton Ecology Centre in Carshalton to say that the Friends are holding their Summer Garden Party at the Ecology Centre, Festival Walk, off Honeywood Walk near Carshalton Ponds from 11.00am until 4.30pm on Saturday 3rd August. 

The “Bioblitz” and launch of the “Nature Discovery Backpacks” are also taking place on the same day, so there will be lots going on.