There are several sites in Croydon that benefit from grazing at different times throughout the year. For the month of July, you’ll be able to find cattle and sheep grazing in most of the locations below which were featured in the project.
As part of the adventure, you’re invited to explore each area in search of the grazers. We’ve given you a starting point for each location. Please respect and admire the animals from a distance, and do not approach or feed them.
Share your adventures with us on social media using the hashtag #croydonrural.
This area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). In years past, the City of London corporation bought this area (and others like Epping Forest and Hampstead Heath) to make sure it was protected, but Farthing Downs has always been a green area of respite dating at least since the Victorian era.
Happy Valley borders Farthing Downs and is owned by Croydon Council who purchased this green space after the Green Belt Act came into existence in the 1930s. Dominic North, countryside warden at Croydon Council, has put together an audio trail voiced by a selection of celebrities and famous figures including Joanna Lumley, Benjamin Zephaniah, Miriam Margoyles, and more. See the trail here, available in English, Hindi, Polish, and French.
Roundshaw Downs can be found closer to the centre of town; if you've ever been down Purley Way, you've already gone past it. This used to be the site of London's first international airport and was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 1994.
Kenley Common and Aerodrome
Kenley is well-known for the current Kenley Aerodrome, which sits next to Kenley Common, and used to be RAF Kenley. On any given present day you will likely find huge gliders flying overhead, as well as spotting the white chalk cliffs of the quarry which can be seen from the road and train.
Hutchinson's Bank is a steep valley-side grassland in New Addington managed by the London Wildlife Trust, easily accessed by tram and some walking, and a butterfly-lovers paradise.
Accessible by bus and by car, Coulsdon Common was home to two working windmills and used for wartime preparations and exercises. It is now a Site of Nature Conservation Importance.