It’s been pretty wet in recent days, and some parts of the country have suffered badly from flooding. How does Merton manage when rainfall is heavy?

Did you know that the Wandle Meadows nature reserve, just across the river from Garfield Park, serves as water storage space when the Wandle runs high? Dog walkers, runners and cyclists will be aware: this area becomes impassable when there’s been a lot of rain.

Sluice gates mean that a lot of excess water can be released into this large open space (a former sewage works), thus reducing pressure on low-lying areas upstream.

Wandle Meadows Nature Reserve
Looking north: Wandle Meadows Nov 2016
Flooded Wandle Nature Reserve June 2016
Looking north: same spot June 2016








Remember the torrential rain of June 2016: the day before the Brexit vote? Plough Lane was awash, and so were Wandle Meadows, as these photos show. Water was thigh deep and took weeks to subside.

Wandle Nature Reserve unflooded
Looking south: Wandle Meadows Nov 2016
flooded Wandle meadows June 2016
Looking south: same spot June 2016










It was really rather beautiful, with ducks and seagulls swimming on the placid waters. Impassable though unless you were prepared to get your wellies and trousers wet. Great spot for canoeing!