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Date updated: 25/01/2023

Managing Kenley Common

Kenley Common is a 56-hectare area of public open space owned and managed by the City of London Corporation. It is a historic downland, home to chalk and acid grassland habitat and oak woodland. Its natural and cultural heritage are of national importance, the legacy of centuries of interaction between people and the environment. Kenley Common is a designated National Nature Reserve owing to its community of wildflowers and rare invertebrates associated with semi-natural downland habitats.

Kenley airfield and the surrounding Common played a unique and important role in Britain’s history. As the UK’s most complete surviving Battle of Britain fighter airfield, it gives us a direct and tangible link to our aviation past. There are two Scheduled Monuments on Kenley Common consisting of 11 WWII fighter pens (2 on adjacent private land). 

As we progress through the 2020's and beyond, the challenge of protecting this valuable resource will increase as pressures from environmental and human factors mount. To meet this challenge we have adopted a 10-year Plan to explain how we will manage Kenley Common to protect and enhance it for wildlife, people and landscape.

The Plan covers everything from the management of nationally important chalk grasslands and specialist species, to improving our conservation and interpretation of the reserves heritage features, how we wish to work with our local community, partner organisations and volunteer groups, provide educational opportunities, improve our visitor provision and much more. You can read more about how we hope to achieve this in the Plan below.

Cover image for the Kenley Common Management Plan showing a red sunset over an open airfield with trees
Kenley Common Management Plan 2021-2031
Date submitted: 25/01/23