City Commons’ work recognised with 7 Green Flag awards

Award-winning: Farthing Downs in Coulsdon and six other City Commons areas in and around Croydon have been given Green Flag status

Seven green spaces in and around Croydon which are protected by the City of London Corporation have been granted prestigious Green Flag status.

Coulsdon Common, Kenley Common, Farthing Downs and Riddlesdown, plus Spring Park and West Wickham Common in Bromley and Ashtead Common in Surrey all picked up the prize.

Six of the spaces, managed by City Commons, have also won Green Heritage Awards in recognition of their historic features and the high standard of conservation – with it being the first win for Coulsdon Common.

The international award, run by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, is overseen by a panel of expert judges.

Now into its third decade, the accolades are awarded to green spaces in recognition of their high environmental standards, levels of maintenance and visitor facilities. It rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard across the UK and globally.

Flagging up success: the Green Flag awards represent significant recognition of City Commons’ work

Fifteen green spaces run by the City Corporation won the Green Flag this year and 14 others received the Green Heritage accreditation.

Graeme Doshi-Smith, the chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Epping Forest and Commons Committee, said, “These sites have been a lifeline for visitors during the coronavirus pandemic, helping people get exercise and fresh air and benefiting both mental and physical health.

“They are treasured by our local communities and international visitors alike.

“I thank our staff and volunteers for the excellent job they do in maintaining the sites to such a high standard, keeping them accessible for everyone and giving people the opportunity to explore the natural world.”

The Commons comprise four separate, registered charities, and rely on the public for income and donations to protect 11,000 acres of outstanding environments attracting 2.5million visits annually.

They receive more than £2.5m from the City Corporation to protect the sites, which stretch from Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common in Buckinghamshire to the borders of south London, Croydon and Surrey, including Epping Forest and Hampstead Heath.

These sites, most of which are charitable trusts, are run at little or no cost to the communities that they serve. They include important wildlife habitats, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and National Nature Reserves. They are protected from being built on by special legislation.

Read more: Goats settle in for their winter’s work at Riddlesdown Quarry

  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at
  • Inside Croydon is a member of the Independent Community News Network
  • Inside Croydon works together with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, as well as BBC London News and ITV London
  • ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: Croydon was named the country’s rottenest borough in 2020 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine – the fourth successive year that Inside Croydon has been the source for such award-winning nominations
  • Inside Croydon: 3million page views in 2020. Seen by 1.4million unique visitors

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in City Commons, Environment, South London Downs NNR, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to City Commons’ work recognised with 7 Green Flag awards

  1. B says:

    Well done for kenley common receiving this ,kenley is quiet and I frequently see the Public walking their dogs or jogging.

  2. Ian Kierans says:

    This is a fantastic achievement by the City Commons and a credit to each of the Trusts. Appreciate their work costs money but what a fantastic return on that investment along with the benefits it brings to Communities. Perhaps it is time for Government both Local and Central to enable this body to scale up their Parks Management service. Perhaps transferring some other parks over to them might be of benefit rather than flogging them off for Development.

    Perhaps designating the status of parks to Sites of Special Community Interest and prohibiting any sale in perpetuity might be a way to go.

  3. Chris Flynn says:

    Whilst the City of London Corporation is something I don’t understand and feel uneasy about (YouTube has a few films!), there’s no doubt the City Commons have provided a phenomenal benefit to Croydon.
    It’s therefore really surprised me how empty the car parks for Riddlesdown and Farthing Downs have become since the introduction of the £3 parking charge. Surely this is a relatively modest contribution to help support our local areas? I’m up on Riddlesdown several times a month, and can honestly say there is always work going on by CC.

  4. Lewis White says:

    Maybe £ 3 is too much ?. I must say that I have not parked at Farthing Downs since the payment came in– I drive and park in a few nearby residential roads.

    Perhaps a cheaper weekday rate of £1 might work to bring more people out mid week, and £2 at weekends? It’s a hard balancing act between having overflowing car parks and having empty car parks.

    One of the joys of Lockdown was seeing so many people out enjoying the downs–most of them not leaving litter !

    It would be sad if these people did not come back.

    • Chris Flynn says:

      I’m not sure who would churlish enough to give that comment a thumbs down, but it wasn’t me!

      I agree £3 does seem like a kick (I’m lucky to live within walking distance of Riddlesdown), but if you look at National Trust / English Heritage prices, and treat it as investiment in keeping our area fantastic (protecting green spaces, as we’re so keen to do in the south of the borough!) then it puts it in a new light. I believe there are monthly season tickets.

Leave a Reply