Current Plans For Use

Supporters’ involvement in defining our plans

Some of the trustees’ plans for users are more developed that others, but all of them are open to modification according to supporters’ suggestions. Further ideas for uses (and potential users) are most welcome.

Self-sustainable

An aim, over the three-year period up to the end of 2019, will be to make Woodfield financially self-sustaining, mainly by charging modest fees for some of the organised activities and perhaps by running a small community café in the pavilion.

Quadron’s use of the pavilion & recreation ground

Some arrangements are almost in place. As part of the Tooting Common Heritage Project, Quadron, the contractor for the care of the Tooting Commons, will use the ground, its surroundings, and the pavilion as part of its training programme for workers learning to maintain green spaces (some unemployed and some socially disadvantaged). And also under the Heritage Project, TWP will begin using the pavilion and ground as a starting point for guided walks around the Tooting Commons, devoted to their natural and human history, and the observation of plants, birds, and occasionally, bats.

Forest schools

Among the more developed plans are those for ‘forest schools’ where small groups from local primary schools use the pavilion’s natural surroundings as a tool for expanding their curiosity and learning–including practical experience in planting and nurturing trees. Less developed are plans to establish such things as a small wild-life-friendly garden, a small orchard, and perhaps beehives, not only for children to gain experience in attending to them, but for rehabilitative work for offending youth, the physically disabled, and the troubled, and for local enthusiasts. Creating a well-fenced ecology pond, to take advantage of the poor drainage of the ground, is also being considered.

Wider use of the pavilion & recreation grounds

Originally, in 1933, Woodfield was fenced off and intended especially for the use of children and youth: for sports meetings, jamborees, and informal sports and games. The pavilion was fundamentally a changing room and the fencing a way of guarding the children and making the charging of entrance fees possible. The fencing and gating will not now be so effectively exclusive, but the trustees envisage these uses (suitably updated) being made possible again during the drier months. Some local schools which lack outdoor facilities are expected to use the ground. Equally, local families and groups might also use it for organised activities. Much of the time, especially during weekends, the ground will be available for informal public use.

Opening hours

Except for bat walks these uses will take place during daylight hours, will not be held every day, and often for only a part of the day. But it is the aim of the trustees to have the pavilion open daily for as long during daylight hours as there is a demand that can be supplied. The meeting rooms will be open for hire. Most meetings are likely to be held upstairs, leaving the main room free for the public to use, even when it houses events like art exhibitions. The kitchen and toilets will be open, like the outdoor room, for public use at times when they can be effectively supervised. It may also be possible to hold meetings and leisure activities in the early evenings, but it is the firm resolve of the trustees not to introduce more lighting in the area so as to preserve the natural tranquillity of Woodfield.

Public support

Decisions on these matters will be made with the support and ideas of those who wish to help The Woodfield Project, and only voluntary help will make any proposed activity viable.