Council reopens gates to South Park Gardens

Merton Council, in partnership with the Friends of South Park Gardens, reopened the newly refurbished gardens on Sunday.

Marking the occasion, local resident Helen Fuller unveiled the park’s prized century-old fountain, which has now been fully restored to its former glory.

The facelift was made possible following a successful grant award of £1,158,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The council contributed £269,000 and the Friends of South Park Gardens raised £20,000 for the works. An additional £1,000 was donated by the Wimbledon Society.

Improvements to the park include re-laid paths, new trees and a wide variety of plants. Thirty new benches have been installed along with waste bins, new notice boards and railings. The funding will also cover event management, marketing and school liaison work.

Over 800 residents celebrated the reopening of the gardens at a picnic organised by the Friends group.

Merton Council cabinet member for environment and leisure services Councillor David Simpson said: “This is a tremendous example of Merton taking the lead with its partners in project managing this very important programme of refurbishment. It is wonderful to see the gardens reopened just as the summer starts. I’m looking forward to enjoying them along with fellow Merton residents over the coming months.”

Chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) London Committee Wesley Kerr said: ‘I want to congratulate the Friends group and the council for all their hard work to get these historic gardens so beautifully restored and refurbished. HLF was pleased to make the grant award and the results have more than justified that investment, proving South Park Gardens is the heart of the community, a marvellous plant-filled space for leisure and learning.’