The latest news from the Coulsdon Commons team
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March 2016

Welcome to the Coulsdon Commons Newsletter covering Coulsdon Common, Farthing Downs and New Hill, Kenley Common and Riddlesdown

Still time to have your say

Visited our Commons recently? We would love to hear what you thought. Complete our annual visitor survey before the end of March.

Is your dog chipped?

Are you aware of the new law? From 6 April, all dogs must be microchipped and the Dogs Trust has launched a campaign to spread the word.

Getting your dog chipped will not only mean that you are abiding by the law, but it will also make it much easier to be reunited with your furry friend, should they ever go missing.

Dog walking on the Commons

There are also specific rules regarding dog walking on the Commons:
  • Dogs must wear a collar and identity tag.
  • You must always carry a lead.
  • Dogs must be on a lead around sheep. Posters warn of presence of sheep.
  • Dog mess – bag and bin it using the bags and bins provided.
A big thank you to all those responsible dog walkers who follow these rules.

Minibeast Madness on Coulsdon Common

Half term family fun was had by all on Coulsdon Common as children peered under logs and leaves to discover what was living beneath. 
The event took place in the Grove, an area which the Ranger team are managing as wood pasture. Children learnt how insects move, what they eat and why they blend in with their environment before finishing with games and a short quiz.
Missed this event but want to join the next children’s event? Then look out for the Coulsdon Common Easter trail

Commons made safe and accessible after storms

It has been a wet and windy start to 2016 across the country, including on the Coulsdon Commons!
After the high winds in February, our Rangers conducted tree safety inspections and worked to remove any damaged or windblown trees. Thanks to regular tree safety assessments throughout the year, many potentially dangerous trees had already been removed and therefore the impact of the recent storms was minimal. The majority of our footpaths are now open and accessible again.
Are you concerned about the safety of a tree on one of the Commons? Or have you noticed a path that is inaccessible? Call us on 01372 279083 or use our online form

Reading the rocks

Riddlesdown Quarry is a wonderful place to visit to understand the story of chalk, laid down over a 10 million year period during the Upper Cretaceous Period, which began about 90 million years ago.
At the Quarry, geologists can see layers of marl (chalky clay – some of which include ash from volcanic eruptions) and flint in beds of chalk. The site is an outstanding educational resource because it is so accessible. Other quarries have been filled in so visitors must go to cliff faces on the coast, running the risk of being cut off by the tide, or try and understand the fragmentary glimpses provided by bore holes. The Reading Geological Society visited the Quarry in late February and the walk leader pointed out one of the characteristic layers of tabular flints (left image). 
Although the Quarry is usually closed for the safety of the public, organised tours are held throughout the year. Look out for these in the Newsletter and on site posters.

Heritage conservation on Kenley Common 

Contractors are helping the City of London to conserve World War II heritage on Kenley Common by cutting and removing vegetation growing on the blast pens and air raid shelters. If left unchecked, the roots of trees and shrubs would damage the brick work and eventually be a danger to the structural integrity of these buildings. The tree stumps will be treated with herbicide to stop them growing back and then the grassy banks will be maintained by a tractor and arm mower. The mature trees next to the air raid shelters will remain, as they are important landscape features and havens for wildlife. 

Tidy up on the Downs

The final ‘tidy up’ from the winter conservation contract work on both Farthing Downs and New Hill can now begin. Timber will shortly be collected up and sold as bulk firewood and the fields then mown to clear the final debris to promote the colonisation of grasses and flowering plants. These areas will be mown several times over the coming years and grazed by our Sussex cattle and Jacob sheep to control the regrowth of bramble and other undesirable species. Following this initial intensive management, the area will be allowed to grow for hay, which will be cut and field dried to spread the seeds of plants and promote a quicker recovery.
Come to the Drive Road entrance to New Hill in April to see the cows with their calves in Stables Field (restricted access)! The New Hillbillies volunteer group have already cleared the fence line and gates in Stables Field to enable repairs to the fence before the arrival of the herd.


Clean for The Queen

Saturday 5 March 2016, 10am - 12noon
Would you like to join the national movement to clear up Britain in time for Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday? Volunteers are invited to take part in a mass litter pick of Riddlesdown to leave it looking spic and span. If you would like to take part, you can be sure to be rewarded with the finest of British traditions – tea, biscuits and cake!
Email us for more information on how you can take part.
Booking and volunteer registration essential

Easter Monday trail at Coulsdon Common
Merlewood Estate Office, Ninehams Road, Caterham, Surrey, CR3 5LN

Monday 28 March 2016, 1.00pm - 3.30pm
Find the clues and answer the questions on the trail to win a prize! Visit the Merlewood Estate Office on the day and follow the signs to the gazebo to pick up your trail sheet. Please park considerately on surrounding roads as there is no parking at the Estate Office. The trail is unsuitable for buggies and we suggest wearing footwear that you don’t mind getting muddy! No need to book, just come along.



The Chain Gang
Coulsdon Common
First Thursday of each month at 10am

Riddlesdown Volunteers 

Second Thursday of each month at 10am

Kenley Volunteers
Kenley Common
Third Tuesday of each month at 10am

The New Hillbillies
New Hill
Third Sunday of each month at 10am
For further information:
Tel: 01372 279083
Copyright © 2016 City of London, All rights reserved.
The City of London Corporation has seven green spaces in South London and Surrey covered by three charities: Ashtead Common, Coulsdon Commons and West Wickham Commons.
Each charity has its own Newsletter and you can now:

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