Barnes Common is a quiet area of grassland, trees and forests, historically known as ‘The Waste’ and used as a common ground for hundreds of years. In 1992 it was legally designated as a Local Nature Reserve on the grounds of vital importance to local people, visitors and its biodiversity, and as a result of the commitment made by the local community to help to preserve as far as possible and to manage the area, Friends of Barnes Common (FoBC) was born.

The Common is located in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

Until recently the local authority has sought to maintain and manage the Common via a management plan and with the support of FoBC.

As of 2104 the Friends took over the management of the Common under license.

The two distinct objectives of this action plan are: the protection of the environment and the integration of quality services to the local community.

The two distinct objectives of this action plan are: the protection of the Regarding the first objective, it is noteworthy that the ecology of the Common is quite rich and diverse, as it has several areas of mixed hardwood forest that provide habitat for different bird species (green and spotted woodpeckers, song and mistle thrushes, long-tailed tits, nuthatch, summer visits from chiffchaff, blackcap and willow warbler and visits by raptors); areas of heathland scrub, mainly gorse, broom and bramble; three acres of ferns; and some small areas of invasive plants. The most characteristic habitat is dry acid grassland plants such as sheep’s sorrel, cats-ear and lemon-yellow mouse-ear, among others. Finally, note the presence in this area of a fascinating plant which is the burnett rose (known as well as Rosa pimpinellifolia). It cannot be found anywhere else in London, even in England

FoBC has much to do to continue to maintain the Common healthily. In recent months they have been working on the restoration of Tadpole Pond and the reaping of major meadows. But there is still work to do, so last Sunday October 12th we joined the workday to share some of our time to do something productive for the environment. Our main task was to start more clearing and thinning of the scrub and woodland either side of Common Road, to give the Burnett Rose more chance, and continue to expand the potential for acid grassland recovery over time. In the pictures you can see how hard we worked! The experience was fantastic, not only for the satisfaction that we are helping more generations to enjoy this park, but the fact of working closely with such great people.


If you would like to take part in a conservation work day with the Friends of Barnes Common, please contact Mike Hildesley via email at See you there!

By Victoria Dominguez, Biodiversity Communications Officer