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For Events on the City of London Commons; Go to this link on our website.

January 2021

City Commons (Riddlesdown & Coulsdon) News

City Commons (W Wickham) News

City Commons (Ashtead) News

December 2020

City Commons (Riddlesdown & Coulsdon) News

This newsletter includes details of the proposed parking charges at Riddlesdown and Farthing Downs

City Commons (W Wickham) News

City Commons (Ashtead) News

November 2020

City Commons (Riddlesdown & Coulsdon) News

City Commons (W Wickham) News

Riddlesdown Open Space (end of Riddlesdown Rd) - Car Parking Charges to commence 25 January 2021

Update 21/1//21

The RRA have been made aware on 19 January 2021 that the City of London (C of L) will be starting the parking charges to their Riddlesdown Open Space carpark (off the southern end Riddlesdown Rd and also to their carpark in Farthing Downs) from Monday 25 January 2021.

The RRA and local Riddlesdown Ward Cllrs have been in correspondence with the C of L about these charges for about 14 months now, as we believe, especially for Riddlesdown Open Space, users will possibly park in nearby streets and cause inconvenience to those residents. This is in addition to all the parking, during school weekdays, for the nearby Riddlesdown Collegiate.

We believe our comments to the C of L about this have not been fully appreciated and understood. The C of L on their own Facebook page, when asked about this question of nearby street parking have responded: "double yellow lines are not something we can personally arrange as it is the highways department of the local authority (Croydon Council) who are responsible for this."

Whilst some may support the parking charges, we believe many residents living in the streets nearby to Riddlesdown won't. Certainly resident feedback we have received so far about the proposed charges is one of anger.

The C of L are also concerned as to the numbers of people who are currently driving to Riddlesdown in the current Covid national lockdown - especially at weekends. Many drivers are parking on the grass verges beside the access road from Riddlesdown Rd. When Rangers have asked some drivers not to park on the grass verges, "often they are met with a barrage of abuse and are largely ignored." The C of L have advised that from Monday 25 January any driver who does not park within the marked bays of the car park will be subject to receiving a fixed penalty notice (FPN).”

Of course with Network Rail's offices and storage facilities taking up many bays at the back of the carpark (until late March 2021), the number of parking spaces are currently reduced by nearly a third.

We have taken some information below from the C of L website. There are also some 'frequently asked questions' on the website:

"How much is it to park? - ANPR cameras will monitor vehicle movement into and out of the car parks. There is a 10 minute grace window before charges apply.

Costs will be:

Monday - Friday (excluding bank/public holidays)

    Up to 2 hours: £1.50

    All day: £3

Weekends and bank/public holidays

    All day: £3

Coaches and minibuses*

    All times £18

*17 seats or more

Parking is free for disabled visitors displaying a correct blue badge and registering their vehicle via email or telephone (01785 336780).

Season tickets; Season tickets can be bought through RingGo (external link) from Wednesday 20th January (note: you may find it simpler to do this if you have first registered with RingGo).

How to pay: You can pay a number of ways:

    Contactless cards and debit/credit cards at the payment machines by the car parks

    Via the RingGo app (external link)

    RingGo pay by phone system (details on the side of the machines)."

Post 1/12/20

This is an extract from the RRA's December E-Blast that was sent out (30/11/20) to our subscribers regarding the proposed parking charges that the City of London Corporation intend bringing in to the Riddlesdown carpark from January 2021;

“Following e-mail correspondence, the RRA have also just found out from the City of London Corporation (CofL) about the parking charges and the costs for the car park that are to be brought in. Some of you may have noticed two fencing bays, bases and the new parking machines have been installed - but are covered up.

The CofL advise the charges will commence in January 2021. The daily charge will be £1.50 for up to a 2 hour stay, or £3 for the entire day (with unlimited returns through the day). Monthly and annual season tickets will also be available through the ANPR Ringo app. The ticket machines allow visitors who do not have the Ringo app to pay using a credit or debit card. After Christmas the CofL will start to explain to visitors how the system works so that everyone is fully informed before the go-live date.

The RRA have again expressed serious concerns about this to the CofL (we have since Nov 2019), as we believe it will lead to more on street parking in nearby residential streets. We are surprised they are going ahead with this without carrying out a public consultation."

The final decision was taken by the CofL in September 2020.

The RRA are still in correspondence with the CofL about this, as we have received complaints from nearby neighbours both written and verbal.

Charges will also apply to Farthing Downs carpark, (Coulsdon) which Inside Croydon have run in this article today (but no mention of Riddlesdown).”

The new ‘South London Downs National Nature Reserve’

Updated 11/8/19

Introducing London’s Newest National Nature Reserve - July 2019

The extract below is taken from the City of London’s Newsletter July 2019

“We are thrilled to announce that the Coulsdon Commons have been declared part of a new National Nature Reserve; the South London Downs National Nature Reserve. National Nature Reserves are recognised for having nationally important habitats or species and bring greater levels of protection to conserve landscapes. The NNR will be the second biggest in London, joining Richmond Park and Ruislip Woods, and will bring together the 417 hectares of land managed by City of London and London Borough of Croydon to create a landscape both rich in nature and where people can engage with the natural world.”

A map of the South London Downs National Nature Reserve

A map of the South London Downs National Nature Reserve showing land ownership.

The above maps are published and acknowledged with thanks to the City of London Corporation and Croydon Council.

A recent press release from Natural England stating that Riddlesdown and all other City of London Commons/Croydon Council land (Coulsdon, Farthing Downs, Happy Valley, Kenley Common, Sanderstead and Whyteleafe etc) will be declared as the "South London Downs”

News letter No.23; February 2014

Court prosecution

In May 2013 one of our Jacob sheep was attacked by a dog on Riddlesdown. The dog was caught by visitors and we got details of the dog’s owner. The City of London Corporation decided to prosecute and on 27th January 2014 the dog’s owner was sentenced to a fine of £600, ordered to pay £95 in compensation and prosecution costs of £100.

We welcome responsible dog walkers to our open spaces but it is vitally important that visitors keep their dogs under effective control – especially where livestock are present. When livestock are attacked we will prosecute.

For full story see:


Winter bluebell on the downs?

A shrill steam whistle heralded a visit by the Bluebell Special to Riddlesdown as it travelled from East Grinstead, steaming out of the tunnel and across the mainline viaduct spanning the Quarry. This is one of the steam engine “Specials” pulling carriages full of passengers on daytrips along the Bluebell’s recently extended route.

A century ago, thousands escaped smog of London and travelled to the Victorian theme park on the lower slopes of Riddlesdown. Famed for its tea gardens, miniature railway, monkey house and other rural delights, Gardner’s pleasure resort had over four thousand visitors on an August Bank Holiday back in 1908 - and we are still finding their discarded bottles today!

Thank you to Alan Barnes for his stunning photograph.

See also the page on our website about steam trains passing through Riddlesdown Link

Riddlesdown Common - January 2013

Increasing numbers of deer have been seen roaming Riddlesdown Common and the adjoining Green Belt wood and scrub land. This is good to see.

However, there have also recently been reports of  a number of dogs seen chasing deer. Unfortunately on Saturday 5 January 2013 at approx 9.30am, two Alsatian dogs were seen chasing deer which resulted in one doe being severely injured. The Police and a vet were called to the injured deer which subsequently had to be put down by injection. The Police at Sanderstead SNT  are pursuing their enquiries to establish the dog owner(s).

Dog owners are reminded to keep their dogs under control at all times when on the Common and to be prepared to encounter deer at any time. If owners have large dogs and are likely to chase deer, then they are urged to take measures, to prevent further attacks.

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