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Date updated: 18/10/2022

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

Interpretation

In these Bye-laws “West Wickham Common” means the open waste lands situate in the parish of West Wickham, in the County of Kent, containing 25 acres, or thereabouts, conveyed to the Corporation by Indenture dated the 28th day of October, 1892, made between Sir John Farnaby Lennard, Bart., and Henry Arthur Hallam Farnaby Lennard of the first part, the Right Honourable Arthur Fitzgerald, Baron Kinnaird, Samuel Bourne Bevington, George Buchanan, and Gustave Melling of the second part, and the Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London of the third part. And “the Corporation” means Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London

Prohibited acts

The doing of or attempting to do any of the following acts on West Wickham 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 West Wickham Commons.

New roads, sewers, Drains etc., without license

Without making or forming any new roads or footpaths on West Wickham 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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham Commons

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

Vehicles on West Wickham 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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham Commons or allowing any vehicle to remain on such turf, woods, copses, shrubberies, underwood or footpaths not being within any such part of West Wickham 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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham Commons any cattle, horse, mule, pony, pig, sheep, ass, goose, duck, fowl or other animal.

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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham Commons. Interfering with birds or animals

Placing or leaving on any part of West Wickham 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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham.

Riding on or over West Wickham Commons where prohibited

Riding a horse or other animal on or over the footpaths of West Wickham Commons, or any portion of West Wickham 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 West Wickham Commons or any portion of West Wickham 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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham Commons set apart for such exercises or games, or any person lawfully and peaceably using West Wickham 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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham Commons

Making any improper or offensive use of any part of West Wickham 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 West Wickham 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 West Wickham Common for any purpose except at the times and in the places and manner previously approved of and consented to by the Corporation in writing.
  2. Every person so authorised to dig for gravel shall fill up the hole as the work proceeds, and leave an even and level surface to the surrounding land, and shall also conform to the conditions imposed by Sec. 55 of the Highway Act (5 and 6 W.IV., c.50), so far as the same are applicable.