Tooting Common’s fossil tree and its surroundings will be spruced up (gettit) thanks to a grant from the National Lottery.
The fossil tree trunk is a landmark of the common, dating back 145 million years to the Jurassic period. It was once part of the famous Purbeck Fossil Forest near Lulworth Cove in Dorset before being presented to The Balham & District Antiquarian and Natural History Society by local Victorian developer Alfred Heaver and placed on the common in 1898 by the London County Council.
Fossilised tree trunks, found while quarrying, were collected and placed in parks since the early 19th century. The restoration is part of the Tooting Common Heritage Project. A viewing platform will be constructed with display panels.
Tooting Common covers 220 acres with 3,000 trees and is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation. As part of the £1.9m conservation project the common’s lake will be refurbished with new wildlife habitats and new trees. The project will also provide new acid grasslands, restore the Woodfield Pavilion with toilets and a meeting space for the refurbished Tooting Bec Lido.