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

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Dog Attack on Sheep on Riddlesdown

New 23/7/20

Report from City of London Corporation

“Did you witness this?

A dog attack occurred in Famet field next to the A22 on Riddlesdown on Tuesday 21 July 2020, around 6.05am. Regrettably, two sheep have been killed and another has needlessly suffered as the result of this dog owner’s actions - we are waiting to see if it will survive after treating its wounds.

There is no excuse for what happened; no matter how good-natured, there is always the possibility of dogs inflicting harm and killing sheep. Tragic outcomes like this are easily avoided by keeping dogs on a lead in fields with sheep. There are posters on all gates where livestock are present.

If anyone has information relating to this incident, we urge them to contact the Coulsdon Commons Rangers by calling 01372 279083 or emailing” city.commons@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Please keep your dog under control at ALL times on Riddlesdown Open Space and in particular near to the livestock.

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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