Visit the dedicated website to see the full exhibition and find out more about conservation grazing in Croydon.

Roaming cattle, charming meadows, an abundance of rare wildflowers… poetic scenes like this aren’t usually what come to mind when “Croydon” is mentioned. And yet, these are all part of Croydon’s truth.

In this borough, much of the land is chalk grassland, a type of species-rich land prominent in the south of England in which you’ll find some of the rarest habitats in the UK – and it’s fast disappearing, with almost 80% of these grasslands lost since the 1940s.

Conservation grazing is a centuries-old land management technique that primarily uses sheep along with cattle and goats to graze the land, and in recent decades this technique has seen a return as several organisations and charities work towards restoring the deep biodiversity and abundance of wildlife unique to our landscape here.

This is a part of the borough not often seen, and never shown in the media. But these wilder sides of Croydon are beautiful to behold.

Rural Croydon was shown in exhibition at Thornton Heath Library alongside John Constable’s The Cornfield, as part of the National Gallery’s Constable Visits programme.

Commissioned by #ThisIsCroydon, London Borough of Culture 2023-24 in partnership with the National Gallery as part of Constable Visits