Hutchinson's Bank

Daniel Greenwood

Hutchinson's Bank, Chapel Bank & Threecorner Grove

A large area of secluded chalk grassland and woodland in Croydon. Supporting many rare plants and insects, which has benefited from the return of traditional grazing.

Location

Featherbed Lane
Croydon
CR0 0JT
A static map of Hutchinson's Bank, Chapel Bank & Threecorner Grove

Know before you go

Size
33 hectares

Grazing animals

Cattle, sheep and ponies

Access

Entrances off North Downs Road at Thorpe Close, Featherbed Lane, and Farleigh Dean Crescent. The North Downs Road footpath is a short walk from New Addington Tramlink stop. Follow the footpath to the left of the recycling centre, and turn left on to the woodland path. There is a metal kissing gate at the reserve entrance. Further along there are kissing gates and steps into paddocks to reach other parts of the reserve. From Featherbed Lane turn off on to Farleigh Dean Crescent and at the far end continue through the gate into the reserve.

Footpaths are sometimes steep and stepped. Access to the cutting from Farleigh Dean Crescent is level and suitable for wheelchairs if the gates are unlocked by arrangement. There are occasional benches. The route from Threecorner Grove to Chapel Bank is across a narrow winding road with busy traffic. Street parking is available in Farleigh Dean Crescent, North Downs Road and Thorpe Close.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April to July

About the reserve

This dry chalk valley in New Addington is a butterfly spotter’s paradise and a great place to find orchids, rare plants, and blankets of bluebells. Hutchinson’s Bank is a steep grassland valley-side, while Chapel Bank features enchanting ancient woodland, scrub and rolling chalk grassland. Between them, Threecorner Grove is a spectacular stand of ancient woodland. 

History

Chalk grassland develops on shallow lime-rich chalky soils that are nutrient-poor and free-draining, and in London this internationally important habitat is predominantly found in the southern parts of the boroughs of Bromley, Croydon and Sutton.

This part of the North Downs was traditionally grazed by sheep until the 1950s, but changes occurred as new settlements such as New Addington and Forestdale developed. London Wildlife Trust began managing Chapel Bank in 1984 and Hutchinson’s Bank in 1987. Grazing was re-introduced to Hutchinson’s in 1995, and Chapel Bank in 2011, for the first time in half-a-century. Threecorner Grove was included into the reserves’ management in 1997, as was the verge alongside Featherbed Lane north of Hutchinson’s Bank.  

Management

Short turf is essential for species unable to compete with coarse grasses and scrub, grazing now helps manage this. Other species need the mosaic of taller grasses, scrub and woodland. Ongoing management of scrubby vegetation is a key aim, and we encourage the growth of specific food plants for butterflies.

Status

Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation; Local Nature Reserve, Metropolitan Green Belt  

Get involved

Record species you've spotted 

Volunteer

We hold volunteering days on Tuesdays and Fridays each week. Please note this is subject to change in the autumn. Call Shaun Marriott on 07710 194 268 or email smarriott@wildlondon.org.uk for more information.

Contact us

Shaun Marriott
Contact number: 07710 194 268

Wild cherries of Threecorner Grove

Threecorner Grove is a tiny pocket of ancient woodland, nestled between Hutchinson’s Bank and Chapel Bank. Cherries are more familiar as small trees, usually found in parks, gardens or woodland edges, but the wild cherries of Threecorner Grove in Croydon stand over 23 metres high. In spring they make a magnificent sight, covered with bright white blossom. In summer their fruits are eagerly devoured by thrushes and woodpigeons.  
 

Wild Cherry Threecorner Grove credit Mathew Frith

Wild Cherry Threecorner Grove credit Mathew Frith