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Farthing Downs and New Hill is a 95 hectare (235 acre) area of chalk grassland lying within the London green belt.

Farthing Downs was designated in 1975 as part of the Farthing Downs and Happy Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for having the 'most extensive area of semi-natural downland habitats remaining in Greater London [...] in particular the species-rich chalk and neutral grasslands'.

A long history of human activity has been recorded on the site with archaeological finds and features dating from the Neolithic, Iron Age and Roman periods. Farthing Downs was cultivated up to the 2nd century, and used afterwards as pasture for grazing animals. Due to the national importance of its archaeological features, parts of Farthing Downs are designated as Scheduled Monument. The monument includes a regular-aggregate field system, associated trackway and Anglo-Saxon barrow field surviving as earthworks and below-ground remains.

Apart from grassland, the site contains a diversity of other habitats including scrub, old hedgerows and pockets of ancient woodland which support a wide variety of species of plants and animals.

Registered charity no. 232989​​

You may not realise that Farthing Downs and New Hill is a Registered Charity. We value every penny of your generous donations to help us protect these green spaces for recreation and health for future generations to enjoy. To contribute, however small, please contact us.


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