Marshy areas and landscape changes arising from previous industrial use of land created ideal conditions for the growing of watercress, esp in parts of Mitcham and Merton.
Willow Lane area – French émigré _ Louis Dutriez had thriving business – market garden and pig farm. Cress harvested and sent to London markets via Mitcham Junction. Richard Martinne – Vimy Ridge 1917
Merton – Colliers Wood area – Wandle waters and cuts left by calico bleaching were ideal for crop.
Brook Path area , High St & Christchurch. Tended with planks to prevent crushing – workers wore kneepads. Cultivation till First World War period – Vitacress contd to be grown at Grove Farm nr Watermeads till 1960