Inventory Site Record

Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Fields and Memorial Wood (Merton)

Brief Description

The site, once part of the estate of Morden Manor, was acquired in 1931 by Merton and Morden UDC. The Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Fields were opened as a public amenity and named in memory of Sir Joseph Hood, MP, former Mayor of Wimbledon and a local benefactor. Part of the site is largely grassed and used as playing fields, with a bowling green and 1950s pavilion fronted by rose gardens in the north. To the west a path leads to the Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Wood, which was established as a nature reserve in 1994. The Beverley Brook runs through the woodland. In 2000/2001 10,000 trees were planted as a Millennium Wood adjacent to the wood and to the south of the Playing Fields.

Practical Information
Site location:
Marina Avenue, off West Barnes Lane
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Park
Open to public?
Opening times:
8am (weekdays)/9am (weekends & Bank Hols) - dusk
Special conditions:
Play area, Crazy Golf, tennis courts, football pitches, Trim Trails, paddling pool (summer holidays), toilets, café, car park
Public transport:
Rail: Motspur Park. Bus: K5
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.merton.gov.uk/environment/openspaces/parks/parks_in_the_morden_area

Full Site Description

The Memorial Wood was originally planted in the 1860s, in all likelihood as a hunting covert for the Garth family, Lords of the Manor of Morden, since there were dog kennels near here. Until 1990 the wood was inaccessible to the public and designated a bird reserve but since then entrances have been made in the north-east corner and the south, with a footpath running through the woods. Overlooked from the west by two gas holders, it was established as a nature reserve in 1994 and contains fine trees including mature oaks.

Sources consulted:

Ian Yarham, Dave Dawson, Martin Boyle, Rebecca Holliday 'Nature Conservation in Merton, Ecology Handbook 29', London Ecology Unit, 1998, p68; Alan Scott, London Conservation Services report for LB Merton 'Management Plan for Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Fields 2007-2012' (2006)

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ226671 (522650,167150)
Size in hectares:
12.75 (Playing Fields)
Site ownership:
LB Merton
Site management:
Leisure and Culture Services; Friends of Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Fields
Listed structures:
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Yes - Borough Importance II (Wood only)
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Local Nature Reserve (wood). Public Open Space (Recreation Ground). Green Corridor

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.