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London's Parks and Green Spaces

Commons, Countryside and Open Spacee

Group Name Size Description
Addington Hills, Coombe Wood, and Croham Hurst (Shirley Hills) 53 Viewpoint

Addington Hills, Coombe Wood, and Croham Hurst (together the Shirley Hills) are south east of Croydon in south London. Wooded hills and heathland. Addington Hills has a spectacular viewpoint facing north (140m / 460 feet) and Chinese restaurant (!) at CR0 5HQ, many paths. Croham Hurst is a steep hill covered in ancient wooland with access from Croham Manor Road, Bankside and Upper Selsdon Road. Always open. Free. Coombe Wood has a small formal garden (free, dawn to dusk) with a nice cafe

Barnes Common 49

Common land in Barnes. It is situated in the south east of Barnes adjoining Putney Lower Common to the east and bounded to the south by the Upper Richmond Road. With Barnes Green, it is one of the largest areas of common land in Greater London. Its facilities include a full-size football pitch and a nature trail. The Common, which is made up of mixed broadleaf woodland, scrubland and acid grassland, is generally flat.

Belhus Woods Country Park

Country Park in South of Essex. Mixture of ancient woodland, meadows, lakes, and open grassland. Parking £4 a day.

Blackheath 85

Blackheath is a large area of open grassland in south-east London, south of Greenwich Park.

Bostall Heath and Woods 159

Bostall Heath and Woods is an area of 159.1 hectares of woodland with areas of heathland located in the Royal Borough of Greenwich ward of Abbey Wood and adjacent to Lesnes Abbey Woods. The area to the south of the A206 (Bostall Hill) is Bostall Woods and to the north is Bostall Heath. The wood is owned and maintained by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, with the exception of the Cooperative Woods, in the north east corner of the site which are owned by the Royal Arsenal Co-operative Society.

Clapham Common

Clapham Common is a large triangular urban park in Clapham, south London. Originally common land for the parishes of Battersea and Clapham, it was converted to parkland under the terms of the Metropolitan Commons Act 1878. It is 220 acres (89 hectares) of green space, with three ponds and a Victorian bandstand. It is overlooked by large Georgian and Victorian mansions, and nearby Clapham Old Town. Holy Trinity Clapham, an 18th-century Georgian church overlooking the park, is important in the history of the evangelical Clapham Sect. Half of the park is within the London Borough of Wandsworth and half within the London Borough of Lambeth.

Coldfall Wood 14

Coldfall Wood is an ancient wood in Muswell Hill, North London. It covers an area of approximately 14 hectares and is surrounded by the St. Pancras and Islington Cemetery, the East Finchley public allotments, and the residential streets Creighton Avenue and Barrenger Road. It is the site of the discoveries which first led to the recognition that glaciation had once reached southern England. It was declared a local nature reserve in 2013, and is also a Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation, Grade 1.

Crayford_Marshes 638 Marsh

Area of marshland alongside the River Darent just before it joins the Thames north of Dartford.

Dulwich Wood

Dulwich Wood together with the adjacent Sydenham Hill Wood is the largest extant part of the ancient Great North Wood in the London Borough of Southwark. The two woods were separated after the relocation of The Crystal Palace in 1854 and the creation of the high level line in 1865. The wood is privately owned and managed by the Dulwich Estate.

Epping Forest 1728

Epping Forest is an area of ancient woodland in south-east England, straddling the border between north-east Greater London and Essex. It is a former royal forest, and is managed by the City of London Corporation. It covers 2,476 hectares (6,118.32 acres) and contains areas of woodland, grassland, heath, rivers, bogs and ponds, and most of it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Stretching between Forest Gate in the south and Epping in the north, Epping Forest is approximately 19 kilometres (12 mi) long in the north-south direction, but no more than 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from east to west at its widest point, and in most places considerably narrower. The forest lies on a ridge between the valleys of the rivers Lea and Roding ; its elevation and thin gravelly soil (the result of glaciation) historically made it unsuitable for agriculture. It gives its name to the Epping Forest local government district which covers part of it.

Epsom and Ashtead Commons 200

Large wooded area around Epsom in south London (near the M25). It is owned and managed by the City of London Corporation. Always open. Free

Erith Marshes Marsh

Erith Marshes is an area of grazing marsh beside the south bank of River Thames in London, England. It is located next to the Crossness Sewage Treatment Works and is owned by Thames Water. It is a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation in the London Borough of Bexley. It can be accessed by London Buses routes 177, 180, 229, 401 and 472. The bulk of the marshes which once existed from Woolwich to Erith have now been built upon. The small part that remains is owned by Thames Water, who manage an award winning wildlife area and Tilfen Land. Note: At the time of writing Tilfen Land have planning permission to build an industrial park on around 33% of the remaining marshes and at its northern end Londons hugh waste incinerator has planning permission to be built. The expansion of Thamesmead to the west, Erith to the east and Belvedere north of the railway line and the earlier construction of Crossness Sewage Works makes this an area that will soon almost totally disappear within the next few years.

Esher Commons (Esher Common, Fairmile Common, West End Common and Oxshott Heath) 222

Esher Commons comprises several large areas of lowland heath and wooded areas to the South West of Esher in Surrey. Includes Esher Common, Fairmile Common, West End Common and Oxshott Heath.

West End Common has pretty village with green, pond, pub, garden centre, free parking, woods.

Esher Common has low wood hills, and bisected by road, including the busy A3 but with 2 pedestrian bridges. Adjacent to Claremont Gardens NT. Free parking

Oxshott Heath comprises woods and heathland in Oxshott, Surrey. Has a sand escarpment, from which views to Box Hill (near Dorking) can be made out to the south. Its lightly raised summit has a war memorial. Free car parks on A244.

Fryent Country Park 103

Fryent Country Park together with Barn Hill Open Space is a large park situated in the north of the London Borough of Brent. It covers 103 hectares (254 acres) of rolling fields and small woods.

Grangewood Park 11

Grangewood Park is an extensive woodland area situated in South Norwood, London. It is managed by the London Borough of Croydon. It is bounded by Grange Road, Wharncliffe Road, and Ross Road. It covers an area of 27 3 ⁄ 4 acres 11.23 hectares. The park is located on the main A212 road (Grange Road) between Thornton Heath and Upper Norwood / Crystal Palace. The nearest stations are Thornton Heath, Selhurst and Norwood Junction.

Hackney Marshes 136

Hackney Marshes is an area of grassland on the western bank of the River Lea in the London Borough of Hackney. It was incorporated into the Lee Valley Park in 1967. It was originally a true marsh, but was extensively drained from Medieval times, and rubble was dumped here from buildings damaged by air raids during World War II. The principal area of the marsh lies below Lea Bridge Road between the Old River Lea, and the Hackney Cut – an artificial channel of the Lee Navigation, dug about 1770, to avoid a loop in the natural watercourse. The southern extent is marked by the A12 ; although the industrial land around Hackney Wick Stadium was originally an extension of the marsh, it now forms a part of the Olympic Park for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Hackney Marsh is one of the largest areas of common land in Greater London, with 136.01 hectares (336.1 acres) of protected commons.

Hainault Forest 136

Ancient woodland, some heathland, a golf course, and grassland.

Hainault Forest 136

(Redirected from Hainault Forest Country Park ) Hainault Forest Country Park is located in Greater London, with portions in: Hainault in the London Borough of Redbridge ; the London Borough of Havering ; and in the Lambourne parish of the Epping Forest District in Essex.

Ham Common 48

Ham Common is an area of common land in Ham, London. It is a conservation area in and managed by the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It comprises 48.69 hectares (120.3 acres), the second largest area of common land in the borough, 2 acres (0.81 ha) smaller than Barnes Common. It is divided into two distinct habitats, grassland and woodland, separated by the A307, Upper Ham Road. It is an area of ecological, historical and recreational interest, designated a Local Nature Reserve.

Hampstead Heath 320 Swimming ponds

Running along its eastern perimeter are a chain of ponds – including three open-air public swimming pools – which were originally reservoirs for drinking water from the River Fleet. The Heath is a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation, and part of Kenwood is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Lakeside concerts are held there in summer. The Heath is managed by the City of London Corporation, and lies mostly within the London Borough of Camden with the adjoining Hampstead Heath Extension and Golders Hill Park in the London Borough of Barnet.

Happy Valley and Farthing Downs 120

Happy Valley Park is in Coulsdon, South London. Located in the Green Belt, most of it forms part of the Farthing Downs and Happy Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is a steeply sided valley with large areas of grassland and wooded slopes. Devilsden Wood on the western side has a canopy of ash, oak and hazel. Trees such as midland hawthorn and plants such as sweet woodruff are characteristic of ancient woodlands.

Adjoining it is Farthing Downs, a scheduled ancient monument. It is a long strip of grassland on top of a low ridge with pockets of ancient woodland, which narrows to a point at the northern end. It is the most extensive area of semi-natural downland left in Greater London. Its consists of chalk and natural grasslands.

Highgate Wood 28

Highgate Wood is a 28 hectare (70 acre) area of ancient woodland in North London, lying between East Finchley, Highgate Village, and Muswell Hill. It was originally part of the ancient Forest of Middlesex which covered much of London, Hertfordshire and Essex and was mentioned in the Domesday Book. It lies in the London Borough of Haringey, but is owned and managed by the City of London Corporation. The London Borough of Haringey contains four ancient woods. These are Highgate Wood, Queen's Wood, Coldfall Wood and Bluebell Wood. Highgate Wood is shown on the Ordnance Survey map of Middlesex in 1886 more or less in its present formation, but known by the less salubrious name "Gravelpit Wood".

Hornchurch Country Park 104

Hornchurch Country Park is a 104.5 hectare park on the former site of Hornchurch Airfield, south of Hornchurch in the London Borough of Havering, east London. The River Ingrebourne passes through the park and if forms part of Thames Chase Community Forest. The most popular part of the park is to the west of the Ingreborne, where the ground is flat and paved; this area is most commonly frequented by dog walkers. The woodland to the east of the river is somewhat inaccessible, though not vast enough to be considered suitable by many hikers. Some southern parts of the park that reach into Rainham have been used as landfill. There is a fishing lake located there, and there are many paths leading from the park to other nearby areas, including Upminster, Dagenham and Rainham. There are a number of pillboxes and other items dating from the Second World War to be found in the park. The park is a Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation, Grade I. Almost all of it falls within the Ingrebourne Valley Local Nature Reserve, and the eastern edge is part of the Ingrebourne Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest. There is access from Airfield Way/Squadron's Approach, off South End Road.

Hornchurch Marshes

Hornchurch Marshes is an area of the London Borough of Havering, adjacent to the River Thames, in London, England. It includes the eastern part of the Ford Dagenham estate and turbine 2 of the Dagenham wind turbines. The land has been contaminated from landfill and industrial use. It is now an area of regeneration called Beam Reach and is the location of the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence. It forms part of the London Riverside section of the Thames Gateway redevelopment area.

Horton County Park

Park near Epsom in outer SW London. Part wooded countryside, part recreation/amenities. Has a long history, but more recently, part of it were once the ground of (now closed) secure psychiatric hospital.

Ickenham Marsh Marsh

Ickenham Marsh is an area of grassland and marsh in the London Borough of Hillingdon. It is managed as a nature reserve by London Wildlife Trust.

Ingrebourne Marshes 74 Marsh

Ingrebourne Marshes are a 74.8 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Hornchurch in the London Borough of Havering. It was notified in 1988 for its biological interest. The Marshes run along both sides of the River Ingrebourne, the northern portion next to Hornchurch Country Park and stretching south to Rainham. This is almost all closed to the public, but part of it can be viewed from the Park. A long narrow strip stretches east from the river to Berwick Pond Road, incorporating Berwick Pond, a reservoir which is used for fishing. This is open to the public. The site also includes an irrigation reservoir east of Berwick Pond Road. Ingrebourne Valley Local Nature Reserve includes a small part of the SSSI west of the river. The site is the largest area of freshwater marsh in Greater London. It is very diverse, with large areas of reed sweet-grass, common reed swamp, wet neutral grassland and tall fen. These habitats have a wide variety of invertebrates and breeding birds. Invertebrates include sixteen nationally scarce fly, beetle dragonfly and cricket species. There are two nationally rare Red Data Book species, the hoverfly Anasimyia interpuncta and the scarce emerald damselfly Lestes dryas. 61 species of bird regularly breed on the site, such as the common redshank and the northern lapwing. Common cuckoos exploit the nests of reed warblers and sedge warblers. Havering Council has raised the water level and reintroduced grazing to protect the wetland. Access to the site is from Hornchurch Country Park and Berwick Pond Road.

Jubilee Country Park

Jubilee Country Park is a 62-acre (25 ha) public park in Petts Wood in the London Borough of Bromley. It is a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. It was purchased by Bromley Council to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 1977, and opened as a park in 1981. The park is part of an extensive wildlife corridor together with Petts Wood and Scadbury Park. The London Loop goes through it. The park consists of extensive areas of grassland and ancient woodland. The grassland has a large population of the rare corkyfruit water dropwort, while midland hawthorns are abundant in the woodland. There is access from Southborough Lane, Blackbrook Lane and Tent Peg Lane.

Kenley Common

On site of former WW2 airfield with many surviving structures. Chalk grassland and ancient woodland set among gently rolling hills

Lesnes Abbey Woods

Lesnes Abbey Woods, sometimes known as Abbey Wood, is an area of ancient woodland in southeast London, England. It is located near to, and named after, the ruined Lesnes Abbey in the London Borough of Bexley and gives its name to the Abbey Wood district. The woods are adjacent to Bostall Woods. The woods have several features dating back to the Bronze Age and a fine display of wild bluebells and daffodils in the Spring. The abbey kept fishponds which were fed by a small stream running down through the woods, and these are still visible today though the water level is often low. Local community group Lesnes Abbey Conservation Volunteers run practical conservation events to help manage the woodland. They are a registered environmental conservation charity run by local people. The charity was started in 1994, and works closely with Bexley Council who also provide the group with support, to protect and enhance the native wildlife and the important wildlife habitats of Lesnes Abbey Wood. Lesnes Abbey Conservation Volunteers objectives include: To conserve and maintain for the public benefit Lesnes Abbey Wood and its local environment. To advance public education in the principles and practices of nature conservation, and the archaeological and geological interest of Lesnes Abbey Wood and its environments. LACV is a community group which is open to all ages and abilities and works on a varied range of practical conservation tasks throughout the year. The group's conservation tasks include hedge laying, coppicing, fence repair, pond restoration, glade creation, tree planting and heath land restoration. The group also does various wildlife surveys in order to monitor the local native wildlife. Lesnes Abbey Woods is a Local Nature Reserve and includes the Abbey Wood geological Site of Special Scientific Interest, an important site for early Tertiary fossils. Members of the public can dig for fossils in a small area called the Fossil Bank with the permission of the Lesnes Abbey ranger.

Leyton Marshes Marsh

Leyton Marsh is located in Leyton in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

London Fields 12

Overview [ edit ] London Fields sports a cricket pitch, a heated 50m lido and lido cafe, grass areas, designated barbecue area, a small BMX track, tennis courts, a table tennis table, toilet blocks and two children's play areas. In 2013 the Council turned a sandy, gritty area of London Fields into a pictorial meadow the size of a football pitch. London Fields received a Green Flag award in July 2008. A much-used cycle path runs from the Pub on the Park to Broadway Market. London Fields also has a railway station linking it to Hackney Downs and to Liverpool Street in the City. The Pub on the Park is the starting point for the annual Dunwich Dynamo night cycle ride. Every Saturday, a wide variety of producers from around the country take part in the market, selling hot foods, hand-made jewellery, gifts, childrenswear and vintage clothing. Every Sunday, the local London Fields Primary School now hosts the London Fields Farmers' Market and there is a crafts market adjacent to the building next door. A document in Hackney library records a game of cricket to have been played on the park as early as 1802, and the cricket square on London Fields continues to host competitive games throughout the summer (late April — mid September). Several teams from the North East London Cricket League regard the park as their home pitch, most notably London Fields CC, based from the Pub on the Park. During the summer the park can be extremely busy with many people combining an afternoon's picnic with watching the cricket. The Turley End of the ground is a popular vantage point for those watching the cricket. The area has been connected with some notable instances of gun crime in recent years. Members of the London Fields gang which operates in and around the area were convicted on 12 April 2011 for the shooting of 16-year-old Agnes Sina-Inakoju at a chicken shop in Hoxton in April 2010. In May 2010 an innocent 27-year-old man was shot by mistake in London Fields by feuding gang members.

Mitcham Common Neglected

Mitcham Common is 182 hectares (460 acres) of common land situated in south London. It is predominantly in the London borough of Merton, with parts straddling the borders of Croydon and Sutton. It is designated a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. It is part of the Wandle Valley Country Park

Monken Hadley Common 72

Monken Hadley Common lies within the Monken Hadley Conservation Area, and is listed as a “ Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation, Grade I,” by the London Borough of Barnet. It is registered common land, and it is owned by the Trustees of Monken Hadley Common. The common is a large area of about 72 hectares between Monken Hadley and Cockfosters ; it is 1.5 miles long and wedge shaped, half a mile wide at the Monken Hadley end tapering to a point at the Cockfosters end. It is a remnant of the former Royal Forest of Enfield Chase, which was enclosed by an Act of Parliament of 1777. A small part was allotted to the village of Monken Hadley, and this is the only land which has remained as a common. Until the 1950s, the commoners exercised their rights to use the land for grazing. The common is bisected by the East Coast Main Railway Line. The common is mostly wooded, dominated by pedunculate oak, with some hornbeam, beech and field maples. Holly forms a dense understorey in some places, while elsewhere a more diverse shrub layer includes Midland hawthorn and hazel. Several ground flora species are ancient woodland indicators, suggesting that fragments have survived from before the time when the common was managed as wood-pasture. Butterflies include white-letter and purple hairstreaks, and there are breeding birds such as sparrowhawk and tawny owl. Beech Hill Lake (or Jack's Lake) was formed by damming Pymme's Brook. It is managed for angling but supports common waterfowl and Daubenton's bats use it for feeding, foraging low over the water. Two smaller ponds have a much richer flora and abundant amphibians, which attract grass snakes. The London Loop and Pymmes Brook Trail pass through the common. There is access from Camlet Way, Parkgate Crescent, Covert Way, Games Road, Northfield Road, Baring Road (via Pymmes Brook Trail), Bakers Hill, and Hadley Common.

Old Park Wood 16

Old Park Wood is a 16.7-hectare (41-acre) Site of Special Scientific Interest in Harefield in the London Borough of Hillingdon. The south-east part is an 8-hectare (20-acre) nature reserve owned and managed by the Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. The site is ancient woodland which dates back to the Domesday Book. It was part of Harefield Park, which had an eighteenth-century house which later became the site of Harefield Hospital. The hilly site is almost wholly wooded, and one of the floristically richest ancient woods in the London area. Its highlight is the abundance of flowers in spring, with a carpet of bluebells together with yellow archangel, lesser celandine, wood anemone and the rare coral root bittercress ( cardamina bulbifera). The site is dissected by small valleys and has a variety of types of soil and plants. The trees are mainly oak, birch, hornbeam and ash. Golden saxifrage and marsh marigolds grow along small streams and there is a pond which is important for dragonflies and invertebrates. There is a good variety of birds, including nuthatch and all three British species of woodpecker. The site lies behind Harefield Hospital. There is no access from the hospital, but a footpath along its border fence from Hill End Road leads to the Herts & Middlesex nature reserve. This may be closed as a developer disputes the right of way. Another footpath between Summerhouse Lane and Hill End Road goes through the SSSI, skirting the northern boundary of the nature reserve. The London Loop goes along this footpath.

Oxleas Wood 72

Oxleas Wood is one of the few remaining areas of ancient deciduous forest in the Royal Borough of Greenwich (with a small amount passing over the boundary into the London Borough of Bexley ), in southeast London. Some parts date back over 8,000 years to the end of the last Ice Age, the Younger Dryas. It is part of a larger continuous area of woodland and parkland on the south side of Shooter's Hill : other parts are Jack Wood, Castle Wood, Oxleas Meadows, Falconwood Field, Eltham Common and Eltham Park North (the latter being divided by the A2 main road from its southern section). Eltham Park North includes the ancient Shepherdleas Wood.

Parkland Walk Disused railway line

The Parkland Walk is a 4.5-mile (7.2 km) linear green walkway in London, which follows the course of the railway line that used to run between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace, through Stroud Green, Crouch End, Highgate and Muswell Hill. The route follows the bridges and cuttings of the line, but avoids the closed surface section of Highgate station and its adjoining tunnels, which are closed to walkers for safety reasons. The walk is almost all in Haringey, but a short stretch between Crouch Hill and Crouch End Hill is in Islington, and this section incorporates Crouch Hill Park. The walk is a local nature reserve and a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. It was declared a local nature reserve in 1990 and is London's longest such reserve. Between Finsbury Park and Highgate, the path forms part of the Capital Ring strategic walking route.

Petts Wood 36

Petts Wood is a suburb of south east London, England and is a part of the London Borough of Bromley. It lies north west of Orpington.

Plumstead Common

Plumstead Common is a common in Plumstead, (SE18) in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, south-east London. It is bound to the north by Old Mill Road and to the south by Plumstead Common Road. To the east lies Winn or Winn's Common. Substantial remains of the Old Mill still stand and have been incorporated into the public house of the same name. The common contains deposits of puddingstone, a conglomerate rock formed during a period of global warming 60 million years ago. The rock is more usually found north of the River Thames in Hertfordshire, see Hertfordshire puddingstone. In the 1800s the people of Plumstead protested that they had the right to graze their livestock on the land of Plumstead Common and to use it for sports and recreation. In June 1876 these protests attracted the Irish activist John De Morgan who on 1 July led protestors up from Woolwich Arsenal to Edwin Hughes (leader of the conservative party) house tearing down illegally erected fences on their way. John De Morgan was arrested and sent to prison for seventeen days. The riots resulted in the 1878 Plumstead Common Act ensuring that one hundred acres of land remained as public open space forever. Edwin Cross was the last known commoner to exercise the right of letting small cattle (goats) graze on Plumstead Common and neighbouring Woolwich Common in the 1970s [ citation needed ]. It is an area of diverse religions including Christianity and Islam. Plumstead Common is the venue for the Plumstead Make Merry which is the longest-running community festival in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and is run on an voluntary basis by a group of people who are passionate about the local area. Plumstead Common is also the venue for the popular Asian Mela, which has been described as the 'Asian Notting Hill Carnival ’

Queen's Wood 21

Queen's Wood is a 52 acre (21 hectare) area of ancient woodland in the London Borough of Haringey, abutting Highgate Wood and lying between East Finchley, Highgate Village, Muswell Hill and Crouch End. It was originally part of the ancient Forest of Middlesex which covered much of London, Hertfordshire and Essex and was mentioned in the Domesday Book and is now one of three Local Nature Reserves in the London Borough of Haringey. It is situated a few minutes' walk away from Highgate tube station. Haringey contains four distinct ancient woods. These are Highgate Wood, Queen's Wood, Coldfall Wood and Bluebell Wood. All are shown on John Rocque 's 1754 Map of Middlesex. Queen's Wood was once called Churchyard Bottom Wood, and was originally part of the Great Forest of Middlesex. It was said to be the site of a plague pit. In 1898 it was purchased from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners by Hornsey Urban District Council, and renamed Queen's Wood in honour of Queen Victoria. The wood is an ancient oak - hornbeam woodland, which features English oak and occasional beech which provide a canopy above cherry, field maple, hazel, holly, hornbeam, midland hawthorn, mountain ash and both species of lowland birch. The scarce Wild Service Tree (which is evidence of the Woods's ancient origin) is scattered throughout the wood. The Wood has a small adventure playground, but no park or playing fields, and has never been subjected to intensive management of the type practised at Highgate Wood and accordingly there is greater diversity of flora and fauna - Bantock (1984) found a significantly greater number of ground feeding birds present in the Wood when compared to Highgate Wood, which he attributed to the greater structural diversity and denser shrub layer present. Queen's Wood is a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. The ground flora is particularly rich given its proximity to central London (the wood is within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross railway station ). It includes a large population of wood anemone, goldilocks buttercup and wood sorrel, yellow pimpernel and square-stemmed St John's wort. A survey conducted in 1984 noted 39 distinct herbaceous species and 15 different grasses native to the wood, in addition to some 23 species of tree and shrub. Despite fairly high levels of disturbance, the bird life is diverse and includes three species of woodpecker. Over one hundred species of spiders have been spotted and a nationally rare jewel beetle is widespread.

Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve 479 Marsh RSPB

Rainham Marshes is an RSPB nature reserve to the east of London, adjacent to the Thames Estuary in Purfleet, Thurrock and the London Borough of Havering. In 2000, the area of land was bought from the Ministry of Defence, who used it as a test firing range. With no activity for several years, the nature reserve was officially opened to the public in 2006. It has maintained much of its Medieval landscape, and is the largest area of wetland on the upper parts of the Thames Estuary. The reserve is home to a diverse range of bird species, wetland plants and insects. It also has one of the most dense water vole populations in the country. In December 2005, the site was visited by a sociable lapwing ; over 1,700 people visited the reserve to see this bird. Late in the bird's stay, four penduline tits were also found at the site. Entrance to the site is free to residents of Thurrock and the London Borough of Havering. The site is home to an environmentally friendly visitor centre which features solar panels, rainwater harvesting, natural light and ventilation and a ground heat exchange system. This visitor centre, completed in 2006 at a cost £2 million, was designed by van Heyningen and Haward Architects The building won six awards for its BREEAM sustainable design, including a Green Apple Award, Regeneration and Renewal Award and a Royal Institute of British Architects National Award. The site has been designated by Natural England as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) called Inner Thames Marshes, and the part which is in the London Borough of Havering has been designated by the council as a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation called Wennington, Aveley and Rainham Marshes. The area west of a drain running south from Brookway is a Local Nature Reserve (LNR), as well as being part of the SSSI. South of the A13 road the LNR is part of the RSPB reserve, while the northern part is managed by Havering Council.

Riddlesdown Common 32

Riddlesdown Common or Riddlesdown is a 43 hectare area of green space located towards the northern end of the North Downs in the London Borough of Croydon. It is owned and maintained by the City of London Corporation, apart from two small areas, one of which is operated by the London Wildlife Trust and the other by Croydon Council. Most of it is a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest. The name Riddlesdown also applies to the local district of residential housing.

Ruislip Woods 305

Ruislip Woods is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and national nature reserve covering 726 acres (294 ha) in the London Borough of Hillingdon. The woods became the first national nature reserve in an urban area of England in May 1997, receiving the Green Flag Award in 2006. Ruislip Local Nature Reserve at TQ 090 899 is part of the national nature reserve. Evidence of Bronze Age settlements has been found within the woods during archaeological excavations. Timber from the woods has been used in the building of several nationally significant buildings, as well as locally; the Great Barn at Manor Farm was built from oak from the woods. Ownership of the woods passed with the manor from Ernulf de Hesdin to Bec Abbey and on to King's College, Cambridge over the years, until Park Wood was sold to the local authority. The remaining woods were purchased from other owners and Ruislip Woods was formed.

Saltbox Hill 22

Saltbox Hill is a 22.2 biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in three separate areas in Biggin Hill in the London Borough of Bromley. One area of 6.9 hectares is owned and managed by the London Wildlife Trust. It is also a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Metropolitan Importance. It is a steeply sloping 55 acre biological site, which is close to Charles Darwin 's home, Down House, and inspired him and provided him with a picnic place. Much of it is chalk grassland which is rich in plants which are rare in Greater London, and it is one of only two sites in London which has the Dark Green Fritillary butterfly. Ten species of orchid and over thirty of butterflies have been recorded. The site also has an area of woodland. The site was notified to Natural England in 1985, but by 1999 it was in danger of being lost through neglect, and the London Wildlife Trust launched an appeal to save it. The Trust aimed to buy the whole site, but only succeeded in purchasing part of it amounting to seventeen acres. There is access from Hanbury Drive and the road Saltbox Hill.

Stanmore Common 49

Stanmore Common is a 49.2 hectare public park, Local Nature Reserve and Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation in Stanmore in the London Borough of Harrow. It is owned by Harrow Council and managed by the Council together with a local group. It was formerly a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest, but was de-notified in the early 1990s.

Sydenham Hill Wood

Sydenham Hill Wood is a nine- hectare wood on the northern slopes of the Norwood Ridge in the London Borough of Southwark, and is an important wildlife site. With the adjacent Dulwich Wood, Sydenham Hill Wood is the largest extant tract of the ancient Great North Wood. The two woods were separated after the relocation of The Crystal Palace in 1854 and the creation of the high level line in 1865. The land is owned by the Dulwich Estate, leased to Southwark Council and managed by London Wildlife Trust. Sydenham Hill Wood and Fern Bank are a Local Nature Reserve. In 1997 Sydenham Hill Wood was given the UK-MAB Urban Wildlife Award for Excellence. There are conservation workdays and wildlife events.

Tottenham Marshes 247 Marsh

The Tottenham Marshes are located at Tottenham in the London Borough of Haringey. The marshes cover over 100 acres (0.40 km 2 ) and became part of the Lee Valley Park in 1972. The marsh is made up of three main areas; Clendish Marsh, Wild Marsh West and Wild Marsh East. The latter two are separated by the River Lea.

Walthamstow Marshes 36 Marsh

Walthamstow Marshes, located in the London Borough of Waltham Forest, is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. It was once an area of lammas land — common land used for growing crops and grazing cattle.

Wimbledon Common 346 Cafe

Wimbledon Common is a large open space in Wimbledon, south-west London, totalling 460 hectares (1,140 acres). There are three named areas: Wimbledon Common, Putney Heath, and Putney Lower Common, which together are managed under the name Wimbledon and Putney Commons. Putney Lower Common is separated from the rest of the Common by about 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometres) of built-up area of southwest Putney.

Wormwood Scrubs 494

Wormwood Scrubs, known locally as The Scrubs, or simply just " Scrubs ", is an open space located in the north-eastern corner of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in west London. It is the largest open space in the Borough, at 80 ha (200 acres), and one of the largest areas of common land in London. The eastern part, known as Little Wormwood Scrubs, is cut off by Scrubs Lane and the West London Line railway. It has been an open public space since the Wormwood Scrubs Act of 1879. The southern edge of the Scrubs is the site of two locally important buildings. At the western end is HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs, built between 1875 and 1891 by convict labour. To the east of the prison is the Hammersmith Hospital campus, which includes the relocated Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital. Within the area are several sports facilities, including the Linford Christie stadium, tens of football pitches and a pony centre. Queens Park Rangers Football Club played on The Scrubs between 1893 and 1896.