Who are we?
Friends of Farthing Downs & Happy Valley is a local group run by volunteers who work to promote and protect these much loved local open spaces.
The Friends were originally formed in June 2005, under the auspices of the City of London who own and manage Farthing Downs. Beginning life as ‘Friends of Farthing Downs’, we quickly became involved with all aspects of the Downs. We have sponsored archaeological surveys, new information boards and the replanting of a beech tree at the Folly as part of the restoration of this 18th century feature. At the 2017 November Annual General Meeting it was agreed that, after some years of close involvement with and support for Happy Valley (owned by Croydon Council), we change our name from Friends of Farthing Downs to Friends of Farthing Downs and Happy Valley, working with both the City of London and Croydon Council.
What do we do?
We organise an annual programme of walks and talks devised to encourage local people and visitors to experience the rich variety of wildlife and archaeology found on both Farthing Downs and Happy Valley. All walks and talks are led by experienced and knowledgeable specialists. The events culminate in November with an Annual General Meeting to which guest speakers are invited covering a wide range of subjects concerning the future of both local and neighbouring open spaces. We run a stall at the Old Coulsdon Village Fair in July each year promoting information about the Downs and Happy Valley and local walks and activities. We run two annual Quiz Nights jointly with East Coulsdon Residents’ Association.
For a summary of our projects please click here.
About Farthing Downs and Happy Valley
Both Farthing Downs and Happy Valley are premier destinations for woodland, open downland and views of local and distant landmarks. There are many signposted walks and bridleways. As Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), they offer a safe haven to wildlife and endangered species. Their unique chalk grassland provides a home for rare wildflowers including the Greater Yellow Rattle and species of wild orchids. Happy Valley has diverse ancient woodland supporting a wide variety of trees, including oak, beech, ash, cherry, sweet chestnut, field maple and hazel. Sections of the woodland are managed to encourage the population of breeding dormice. There are large numbers of yew trees planted in lines which once defined property and parish boundaries. Farthing Downs also has Ancient Scheduled Monument status to protect the Saxon burial mounds, Celtic field boundaries and Neolithic track-ways.
Why not join us?
You can help protect our heritage and environment, support community projects, support research and conservation projects. Members receive our Newsletters, Events Diary and preferential invitations to our walks, talks and social events. As part of Farthing Downs conservation support, the Friends are closely linked to the New Hill Volunteers (Hillbillies), a conservation group which meets every third Sunday of the month to work on conservation projects and general maintenance tasks.
If you would like to join the Friends or become a New Hill Volunteer please get in touch (see Contacts).