Corporate report

London's National Nature Reserves

Updated 12 November 2021

Applies to England

Richmond Park

Richmond Park is London’s largest NNR. It is notable for its rare beetles which feed on dead and decaying wood.

Main habitats: woodland, lowland grassland

Managment: the reserve is owned and managed by The Royal Parks.

Further information about the NNR, its wildlife and how to visit can be found on the Royal Parks’ Richmond Park web page.


Tel: 0300 061 2200

Ruislip Woods

Ruislip Woods NNR consists of 4 principal areas: Mad Bess Wood, Bayhurst Wood, Park Wood and Copse Wood.

Main habitats: woodland, open water, lowland grassland

Management: the reserve is owned and managed by the London Borough of Hillingdon.

Further information about the NNR, its wildlife and how to visit can be found on the London Borough of Hillingdon’s Ruislip Woods web page.


Telephone: (01895) 556000

South London Downs

The South London Downs NNR, the newest in London, comprises the most extensive area chalk downland habitat in Greater London.

Main habitats: chalk grassland, neutral grassland, ancient woodland

Area: 431.50 hectares

Features of interest

The site supports a range of habitats including:

  • calcareous grassland
  • scrub mosaic
  • broadleaved woodland
  • mixed woodland
  • yew woodland
  • neutral grassland

The chalk and neutral grasslands hold on to an extensive array of wildflowers which can be seen throughout the spring and summer including:

  • greater yellow rattle
  • round-headed rampion
  • marjoram
  • orchid species - bee orchid, early purple orchid and pyramidal orchid

The reserve is a good place to encounter the speckled wood, small blue and silver-wash fritillary butterflies.

The site is also of geological and historical interest including World War 2 fighter pens.


The City Commons team:
Telephone: 01372 279083

Croydon parks:
Telephone: 020 8726 6900

Website: South London Downs.