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Date updated: 13/10/2022

Following the byelaws

Most of the byelaws involve just respecting the Commons and other people using it, and so they're quite easy to follow. As a guide, you should:

  • not damage the Commons and the wildlife within them
  • not have fires or BBQs
  • not annoy other users
  • keep dogs under control at all times
  • cycle responsibly and avoid non-cycling paths
  • follow any other rules you see on signs

Byelaws made by the Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London in pursuance of the Corporation of London (Open Spaces) Act, 1878, for the regulation of the use of Cousldon Commons.

Interpretation

In these byelaws “the Corporation” means the Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London; “the Act”means the Corporation of London (Open Spaces) Act, 1878;“Coulsdon Commons” means the open waste lands known as Riddlesdown, Kenley Common, Farthing Downs, Rydon’s Wood and Coulsdon Common together with all the other lands which heretofore have been or hereafter shall be acquired by the Corporation under the powers and for the purposes of the Act as part of the said open waste lands, and all other lands now or hereafter vested in the Corporation, otherwise than under the Act,which the Corporation shall by Deed declare they hold, from the date of such Deed, for the purposes of the Act as part of the said open wastelands; and “vehicle” includes a waggon, cart, carriage, car, van, lorry,caravan, truck, motor cycle, cycle or other vehicle whether mechanically propelled or not.

Prohibited acts

The doing of or attempting to do any of the following acts on Coulsdon Commons is prohibited and shall be deemed to be an offence against the Act:

Encroaching, building or enclosing 

Enclosing or building or otherwise encroaching upon any part of Coulsdon Commons.

New roads, sewers, Drains etc., without license 

Without making or forming any new roads or footpaths on Coulsdon Commons or digging, laying or constructing any waterway, sewer, drain or other work of the like nature in, under or across the same or any part thereof.

Taking gravel, sand, clay, loam turf, grass etc. without license 

Taking, digging, cutting, damaging or removing gravel, sand, chalk, clay, loam, turf, grass or other substances from Coulsdon Commons except so far as the digging of gravel may be done with the consent and subject to the Regulations of the Corporation contained in the First Schedule hereto.

Cutting, damaging or injuring trees or other growing things 

Cutting, lopping, digging up, felling, burning,or injuring trees breaking, or otherwise doing damage or injury to, or climbing up or upon the timber or other trees, pollards, underwood, shrubs,things. brushwood, grass, gorse, fern or other plants except so far as and so long as any such cutting, lopping or felling may be done by the licence, signified in writing, of the Corporation.

Making fires, or setting fire to underwood, etc.

Making bonfires or other fires or burning or setting fire to any turf, underwood, brushwood, gorse, fern or other substances, whether growing or not.

Placing or throwing fuses or matches on the Coulsdon Commons

Placing, throwing, dropping or leaving on Coulsdon Commons any lighted fusees, matches or other materials to the danger of the vert, trees, underwood, fern or herbage of Coulsdon Commons, whether growing or not.

Vehicles on Coulsdon Commons

Drawing or driving or allowing to be drawn or driven any vehicle on, through or across the turf, woods, copses,shrubberies, underwood or footpaths of Coulsdon Commons or allowing any vehicle to remain on such turf, woods, copses,shrubberies, underwood or footpaths.

Provided always that this byelaw shall not apply to any person drawing or driving or allowing to be drawn or driven any vehicle on, through or across the turf, woods, copses, shrubberies,underwood or footpaths of Coulsdon Commons or allowing any vehicle to remain on such turf, woods, copses, shrubberies, underwood or footpaths not being within any such part of Coulsdon Commons as is subject to the provisions of Paragraph 8 of this byelaw, between one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset for picnic or pleasure purposes, so that no injury or damage is done to Coulsdon Commons or any part thereof and provided the directions of the Keepers or Assistant Keepers are obeyed.

Drawing or driving or allowing to be drawn or driven any vehicle on, through or across the turf, woods, copses,shrubberies, underwood or footpaths of any part of Coulsdon Commons or allowing any vehicle to remain on any turf, woods,copses, shrubberies, underwood or footpaths where the drawing or driving or allowing to be drawn or driven of any vehicle on ,through, across turf, woods, copses, shrubberies, underwood or footpaths of Coulsdon Commons, or the allowing of any vehicle to remain thereon, is prohibited by the Corporation by notice to that effect exhibited in or on such part of Coulsdon Commons.Provided that this byelaw shall not apply to the drawing or driving or allowing to be drawn or driven of any vehicle on, through or across such place or places as may be set aside by the Corporation for the purpose of parking vehicles and at such times as may be indicated in such notice aforesaid.

Turning out uncommonable unmarked animals

Turning out to graze or feed or allowing or suffering to remain on Coulsdon Commons any cattle, horse, mule, pony, pig, sheep, ass, goose, duck, fowl or other animal, except such beasts as may be so turned out, and may remain as of right, and except (as to all the said animals) subject to the Regulations of the Corporation contained in the Second Schedule hereto.

Shooting or hunting game, birds etc., taking birds nests

Carrying any ferret, trap, net or snare, shooting at, catching, hunting, chasing, with or without dogs, ferreting, trapping or laying or placing nets, traps or snares for the taking of game, birds or other kinds of animals, or throwing stones,sticks or other missiles with intent to kill, injure or catch the same,or taking or searching for birds’ eggs or nests.

Injuring or removing buildings or property of the Corporation 

Injuring or removing any of the lodges or buildings or property or other buildings, fountains, statues, monuments, railings, banks or of the Corporation marks or boundaries, earthworks, ditches, fences, seats, barriers, gates, lamp-posts, notice boards or other things on Coulsdon commons, or defacing or disfiguring the same by the posting of bills, placards or notices thereon or otherwise by writing upon or stamping, cutting or marking the same.

Placing rubbish etc., on Coulsdon Commons. Interfering with birds or animals

Placing or leaving on any part of Coulsdon Commons any road sand, refuse, broken glass, rubbish, filth, manure, dead animals or other like things, or interfering with or injuring any birds or animals in or about the same.

Erecting posts, rails, booths etc., without license 

Erecting or placing upon any part of Coulsdon Commons without the licence in writing of the Corporation, or in contravention of the Regulations set forth in the Third Schedule hereto, any post, rail, fence, clothes-line, pole, stick, tent, booth,stand, shooting gallery, show, roundabout, swing or any building or erection whatsoever, either for permanent or temporary purposes.

Drying grounds, carpet beating etc.

Using any portion of Coulsdon Commons as a drying or bleaching ground, by placing clothes or other things on the trees, bushes, turf, grass or ground, or on lines, ropes or other supports, or shaking, beating or brushing carpets or mats.

Plying for hire without a license 

Plying for the hire of, or letting out horses, ponies; mules, asses, goats or other animals, with or without carts or carriages, without the licence in writing of the Corporation, or in contravention of the Regulations set forth in the Fourth Schedule hereto, or not wearing the badge to be supplied by the Corporation on the granting of any such licence, so that the number thereon maybe clearly seen, or otherwise contravening the terms of such licence.

Using unauthorised portions of Coulsdon Commons as standing places 

Using as standing places for saddle horses, ponies, mules, asses, goats or other animals, or for carriages standing for hire, any portions of Coulsdon Commons except those set apart for the purpose by the Corporation, or not fastening such animals to the railing inside such standing places or plying for the hire of any animals or carriages outside such railing.

Riding on or over Coulsdon Commons where prohibited 

Riding a horse or other animal on or over the footpaths of Coulsdon Commons, or any portion of Coulsdon Commons set apart for exercises, sports or games or in which riding is, for the time being, prohibited by the Corporation.

Bringing horses on or over footpaths and land set apart for exercises, sports or games 

Bringing any horse, pony, mule, ass or goat or allowing any horse, pony, mule, ass or goat to be brought or to go on or over the footpaths of Coulsdon Commons or any portion of Coulsdon Commons set apart for exercises, sports or games or in which riding is for the time being prohibited by the Corporation.

Provided that this byelaw shall not apply to any Commoners’ animals duly marked by the Keeper of Coulsdon Commons in accordance with the regulations as to turning out cattle contained in the Second Schedule hereto.

Riding to the danger of the public or injury of commoners' cattle

Exercising or riding a horse or other animal in any part of Coulsdon Commons to the danger of the public or the injury of the commoners’ cattle.

Chasing or molesting any of the commoners' cattle

Volunteers exercising without leave 

Exercising as volunteers or carrying out any military or other exercises on any portion of Coulsdon Commons except with the leave of the Corporation and on such parts as they may set apart for the purpose.

Interfering with volunteers or persons playing lawful games

Interfering with, obstructing or annoying any persons exercising as volunteers or carrying out any military or other exercises, or playing or preparing to play at cricket, football or any other lawful game on any part of Coulsdon Commons set apart for such exercises or games, or any person lawfully and peaceably using Coulsdon Commons.

Causing nuisance or annoyance by playing games

Playing at any game which may be a nuisance or annoyance to the public, or hinder or annoy them in their rights of recreation in and enjoyment of Coulsdon Commons.

Dogs 

Bringing or allowing to be brought or to go upon Coulsdon Commons any dog not kept under effective control, or not wearing a collar bearing the name and address of the owner.

Greyhounds and whippets

Bringing or allowing to be brought or to go upon Coulsdon Commons, or having the charge upon Coulsdon Commons, of any greyhound or whippet which is not effectively muzzled.

Racing or training horses and dogs

Racing or training or causing to be raced or trained any horse or any greyhound, whippet or other dog upon Coulsdon Commons.

Dogs chasing birds or animals

Bringing or allowing to be bought or to go upon Coulsdon Commons any dog which worries chases any birds or animals in or upon Coulsdon Commons.

Public speaking or preaching without permission 

Delivering any public speech, lecture, sermon or address of any kind, except with the written permission of the Corporation first obtained, and upon such portions of Coulsdon Commons and at such times and under such restrictions and regulations as may be specified in such written permission.

Carrying guns, throwing stones or endangering the public

Carrying or firing firearms, except with the permission of the Corporation, or air or other guns or pistols or instruments for the discharge of missiles in Coulsdon Commons, throwing stones or sticks or other missiles, or doing anything which may endanger any person or property, or be a nuisance, obstruction or annoyance to the public, or hinder or annoy them in the exercise of their rights of recreation in Coulsdon Commons.

Gambling. fortune telling or disorderly conduct

Gambling, betting, playing with cards or dice, fortune telling, begging, brawling, quarrelling, fighting, cursing, swearing, being drunk, using indecent, disgusting or improper language, selling indecent books or prints or being otherwise disorderly, committing any nuisance or wilfully or designedly doing any act contrary to public decency, or which comes within the meaning of Section 4 of the Vagrancy Act, 1824 (5 Geo. IV Cap. 83),whether such act shall have been or shall be committed with intent to insult any female or not.

Improperly using or disfiguring Coulsdon Commons

Making any improper or offensive use of any part of Coulsdon Commons, or doing anything tending to the injury or disfigurement thereof, or to the defeat of the general purposes of the Act or these byelaws.

Hawking

Hawking or peddling any article or articles without the licence, in writing, of the Corporation.

Photography 

Importuning any person for the purposes of taking or selling any photograph.

Rescuing animals from keeper or from pound or injuring pound

Rescuing or attempting to rescue any animal which is being led, driven or taken to the pound by a Keeper or Assistant Keeper or any other officer of the Corporation, or taking or attempting to take such animal out of such pound, or injuring any such pound or its lock.

Interfering with or obstructing officers 

Interfering with or obstructing a Keeper or Assistant Keeper or any other officer of the Corporation in the execution of their duty.

A Keeper or Assistant Keeper or any other officer of the Corporation is empowered and directed to exclude and remove from Coulsdon Commons all brawlers, beggars, gamblers, fortune tellers,drunkards and persons committing any nuisance thereon. Provided always, that no such officer shall act under this byelaw unless he be in uniform or, if in plain clothes, be provided with his warrant.

Every person who shall offend against any of these byelaws shall be liable on summary conviction for every such offence to a penalty of £10, and in the case of a continuing offence to a further daily penalty of £5. Provided always that the Court before whom any proceedings may be taken in respect of any such offence, may, if the Court think fit, adjudge the payment as a penalty of any sum less than the full amount of the penalty imposed by this byelaw.

Any person seen or found committing a breach of these byelaws may be stopped any detained by any constable, without warrant, and if his name and address are not known to such constable,and he fails to satisfy the constable respecting them, the constable may,without warrant, apprehend him. (Section 19 of the Corporation of London (open Spaces) Act, 1878, 41 and 42 Vict. Cap. Cxxvii).

Any person who assaults, resists or aids or incites any person to assault or resist any constable, keeper, assistant keeper or other officer of the Corporation or other person in the lawful exercise of authority under any of these byelaws, is for every such offence liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding £5, without prejudice to any other proceeding or remedy against him for the same act. (Section 17 of the Corporation of London (Open Spaces) Act,1878, 41 and 42 Vict. Cap. Cxxvii).

Nothing in these byelaws contained shall take away, abridge or limited any remedy now existing by way of indictment or otherwise,or shall interfere with or prejudice the powers of the County Police or of any authority legally existing for preventing or punishing any offences, whether specified in these byelaws or not.

From and after the coming into operation of these byelaws,the byelaws made by the Corporation on the 1st day of February, 1883,and allow by the First Commissioner of Her then Majesty’s Works and Public Buildings on the 24th day of March, 1883, the additional byelaws made by the Corporation on the 9th day of May, 1940, and allowed by the First Commissioner of His the Majesty’s Works and Public Buildings on the 8th day of July, 1940, and the additional byelaws made by the Corporation on the 16th day of February, 1950,and allowed by the Minister of Works on the 3rd day of May, 1950,shall be and the same are hereby revoked.

 

 

  1. Gravel shall not be dug in Coulsdon Commons for any purpose except the repair of the highways
  2. Every Surveyor of Highways, or body acting by law as such Surveyor, shall give notice in writing to the Town Clerk of the Corporation of his or their intention to dig gravel for the repair of the highways, and shall not commence such digging until the Town Clerk has consented thereto. Such consent shall be in writing, and if it be not obtained within 14 days, the person or body applying for the same may assume that it will not be granted, and may forthwith apply to the Justices in manner provided by the Commons Act, 1876, and Coulsdon Commons shall, for the purposes of that application, be deemed to be a Common within the meaning of the 20th sec. Of that Act.
  3. Every Surveyor digging for gravel shall fill up the hole as the work proceeds, and, if required by the Corporation, leave an even and level surface to the surrounding land, and shall also conform to the conditions imposed by Sec. 55 of the Highways Act, 1835 (5 and 6 Wm. IV. C. 50) so far as the same are applicable.
  1. The Keeper or Assistant Keeper shall mark the cattle of all persons entitled to send their cattle to depasture on Coulsdon Commons
  2.  No animal suffering from any contagious or infectious disease shall be turned on Coulsdon Commons.
  3. There will by five public marking days in the year, viz. :March 25th, May 13th, July 21st, September 15th and November 18th.Should any of such days occur on a Sunday, the marking is to be on the Monday immediately following.
  4. The Keeper shall give written notice on the ParishChurch door or other notice board at the Parish Church two Sundays before the first marking day of the year of the times and places within the Parish at which he will attend to mark cattle during the year.
  5. On the cattle being brought to the Keeper or Assistant Keeper at the time and place so advertised, he shall mark each of them with the mark provided for the purpose, but he is not to mark a greater number of cattle than the commoner is entitled by law to send on to Coulsdon Commons.
  6. The Keeper or Assistant Keeper may attend at the commoner's house between marking times to mark cattle.
  7. The Keeper or Assistant Keeper shall impound every animal found on Coulsdon Commons without the mark.
  8. Goats, if tethered, may by allowed on Coulsdon Commons.
  9. The Keeper or Assistant Keeper shall impound uncommonable animals found on Coulsdon Commons.
  10. The Keeper shall supply the impounded cattle with necessary food whilst in the pound, and on the expiration of 24 hours,if they have not been claimed and all fees and expenses then chargeable duly paid, he shall mark each beast with the letter “S”(strayed), and drive them to the pound belonging to the Corporation.
  11. If the impounded cattle are not claimed within fourteen days from the time of impounding, the Keeper shall cause a notice to be published in one or more local newspapers circulating in the market town of Croydon, stating that certain cattle have been impounded and that unless they are claimed within seven days of the publication of the notice they will by sold by public auction, the proceeds of which sale,after the payment of expenses, will be handed over to the Corporation.
  12. The Keeper shall give notice to the Police of all animals found on Coulsdon Commons suffering from contagious or infectious disease, that they may be dealt with as the law directs, and he shall bury in Coulsdon Commons, at a sufficient depth, all dead animals he may find there.

 

  1. All persons desiring to erect any post, rail, fence, tent, booth,stand, shooting-gallery, show, roundabout or swing, or to affix any sticks or poles for playing any games for which money is taken, shall apply to the Keeper for a licence for the purpose, who, if he is satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person, may grant the licence. Any licence so granted shall not be transferable.
  2. The licence will only be available for the year in which it is granted, and will expire on the 31st December in that year.
  3. The licence will specify the place where the booth, stand or other erection is to be put up, and will be granted on a payment of a fee not exceeding 10s. for the licence, and of a rent not exceeding 2s. a week or part of a week during the time the erection remains.
  4. The licence will be granted only during the pleasure of the Corporation and the Keeper may revoke it at any time if used at any other than the specified place, or in the event of drunkenness, quarrelling, fighting,cheating, swearing, nosy or disorderly dancing or breach of any of the byelaws of Coulsdon Commons on the part of the licencsee.
  1. Every person desirous of letting out for riding any horses,ponies, mules, asses, goats, or other animals, or for driving lets out any such animals with carts or carriages, shall apply to the Keeper for a licence for such purpose, who is he is satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person, may grant the licence. Any licence so granted shall not be transferable.
  2. Such licence will specify the purpose for which it is granted,the position in which the horses, ponies, mules, asses, goats or other animals are to stand, and the number of animals,and will be granted on payment of a fee not exceeding 10s. for the licence and of a charge not exceeding 1s. per week or part of a week for each horse, pony or other animal included in such licence. Provided that no weekly charge shall be made during any week in which the licence is not in use.
  3. The licence will be granted only during the pleasure of the Corporation who may revoke the same at any time upon notice to the licensee and the Keeper may revoke if forthwith in the event of drunkenness,quarrelling, fighting, cheating, swearing, cruelty to the animals by excessive use or otherwise, or breach of any of the byelaws of Coulsdon Commons on the part of the licensee.
  4. The licence will only be available for the year in which it is granted, and will expire on the 31st December in that year.
  5. Every licensee and every person employed by him in Coulsdon Commons will be supplied with a badge which shall be worn on the left arm so that its number may be clearly seen.
  6. Such badge shall not be lent to or used by any other person, and must be returned to the Keeper within 24 hours after the expiration of the licence