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Wildlife and nature

View across Coulsdon Common

​View across Coulsdon Common

Coulsdon Common lies in the North Downs Natural Area and virtually all of it is a Site of Nature Conservation Importance (Site of Metropolitan Interest).  It is a varied site with some veteran trees, ancient woodland, secondary woodland, scrub, wood pasture, heathland and grassland, as well as a woodland pond.

Fungi - fly agaric

​Fungi - fly agaric

The woodland tree species include oak, birch, ash and cherry with an understorey of hawthorn, holly and yew. These areas have a high proportion of standing deadwood. This is a valuable habitat for a variety of invertebrates that help it decay and for hole-nesting birds.  In damp autumn months a wide selection of fungi can be found on the trees or emerging through the leaf litter below.

Bird's foot trefoil

​Bird's foot trefoil

Grassland covers less than a third of the common and consists of chalk, neutral and acidic types. Typical plants of the chalk are rough hawkbit, pyramidal orchid and yellow rattle you can also find the nationally rare greater yellow rattle. 

Neutral areas are abundant with knapweed and bird’s foot trefoil. In the acidic areas tormentil, heath bedstraw and sheep’s sorrel can be found.​

Pond on Coulsdon Common

​Pond on Coulsdon Common

Hidden in the woodland in the centre of the common is a pond. This is a tranquil area where frogs, newts and dragonflies breed.


13 March 2012
Last Modified:
29 September 2017