Books  Regional Natural History  Natural History of Europe 

River Wandle Companion and Wandle Trail Guide

Walking / Outdoor Guide

By: Bob Steel(Author), Derek Coleman(Author)

236 pages, ~200 colour & b/w photosand illustrations, 40+ colour maps

Culverhouse Books

Paperback | May 2012 | #225649 | ISBN-13: 9780957258211
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £18.99 $24/€21 approx
Hardback | May 2012 | #225648 | ISBN-13: 9780957258204
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £32.99 $42/€36 approx

About this book

The River Wandle Companion and Wandle Trail Guide is the first general guide to the river Wandle, South London, for some fifteen years, and the largest volume on the river since Hobson's Book of the Wandle nearly a century ago.

The first half of the book looks at the river thematically with chapters on the river's history as an industrial area and a playground for the wealthy; its wildlife, hydrology and regeneration. The second half contains a stage by stage guide to the Wandle Trail, with notes on the historical features of interest along the river banks.

Lavishly illustrated with almost 200 pictures, most in colour, and over 40 maps, River Wandle Companion and Wandle Trail Guide is a must-have for those with an interest in the river.

"Essential reading for anyone who has ever wandered along the Wandle’s banks, remembered this famous little river’s hard-working history, or wondered about its future."
– Theo Pike, Chairman of Trustees of the Wandle Trust


Chapter 1 - Introducing the Wandle
    The name of the river
    The geological background
    Settlements and archaeology
    To hell and back

Chapter 2 -  Wandle water
    The river hydrology: flow and variation
    Competing for water
    Flooding & flood management
    Water quality: pollution then and now

Chapter 3 -  The industrial heritage
    London's engine room
    Technology, skills and enterprise
    How many mills?
    Wandle entrepreneurs
    Industrial case studies
    Industrial change and decline
    The Surrey Iron Railway

Chapter 4 - The houses of the river
    Church, aristocracy and mercantilism
    The beginning of the end
    Case study: the Wandle riverside at Hackbridge
    Gazeteer: surviving Wandle houses

Chapter 5 - The wild river
    Amphibians & reptiles
    Dragonflies and damselflies
    Butterflies and moths
    Other fauna

Chapter 6 - The river reborn: the story of the reclamation of the Wandle

    The Seers
    Reclaiming the riverbanks: the birth of the Wandle Trail
    Towards a Regional Park?
    Map of localities and heritage sites

Chapter 7 - The Wandle Trail guide
    A note on maps used
    Notes to the overview maps
    The Croydon Wandle
    Beddington Park and Old Wallington
    The Carshalton Arm
    Wilderness Island to Goat Bridge
    Goat Bridge to Mitcham
    Morden Hall Park
    Colliers Wood to Earlsfield
    Earlsfield to King George's Park
    The Wandsworth section

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Bob Steel has spent almost all of his life living within 200 yards of the river. A geographer by profession, he has a particular interest in the industrial and social history of the Wandle, and old maps of the river. He is the co-author of an earlier booklet on the history of Wilderness Island Nature Reserve on the Wandle, and of several other books on other topics.

Derek Coleman, author of the ‘Wild river’ chapter, is one of the leading Wandle naturalists who as well as researching a wide range of riverside flora and fauna has used his own observations along the river dating back over twenty years.

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