Places to see birds

Foots Cray Meadows, Sidcup

Foots Cray Meadows, Sidcup
Foots Cray Meadows Sandie Wood Bromley RSPB

Foots Cray Meadows

Foots Cray Meadows is a 97-hectare (nearly 250 acres) area of grassland, woodland and wetland. It is the largest public open space in the London Borough of Bexley, with the River Cray forming a central feature of the landscape.

The Meadows have evolved from the estates of Foots Cray Place and North Cray Place which were landscaped by "Capability" Brown in the 1780's. The Five Arch Bridge and Stable Block are, however, all that remain of the eighteenth century Foots Cray Place estate buildings. They are rich in natural history with the river, ancient woodland and wildflower meadows providing valuable pockets of habitat for nature. Much of the site has been designated as a local nature reserve.

The site is controlled and managed by Bexley Council.

The Friends of Foots Cray Meadows is a community group made up of local people who have a passion for the Meadows. Working in partnership with the Council the Group aims to conserve and promote the site to the wider community.


All Year: Mute Swan, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Feral Pigeon, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Ring-necked Parakeet, Tawny Owl, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Magpie, Jay, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Greenfinch, Bullfinch.

Winter visitors: Gadwall, Shoveler, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Water Rail, Black Headed Gull, Common Gull, Green Sandpiper, Redwing, Fieldfare, Redpoll, Siskin.

Summer visitors: Hobby, Swift, Swallow, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat.

Occasional/passage: Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Egyptian Goose, Teal, Wigeon, Pochard, Goosander, Buzzard, Red Kite, Peregrine, Lapwing, Snipe, Jack Snipe, Great Black-backed Gull, Cuckoo, Little Owl, Golden Oriole, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Woodlark, Sand Martin, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Tree Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Waxwing, Redstart, Wheatear, Stonechat, Garden Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Cetti's Warbler, Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler, Firecrest, Rook, Brambling, Hawfinch, Reed Bunting.

Selected other species

Common Toad, Great Crested Newt, Grass Snake, a Terrapin of an unidentified species (2010), various kinds of fish (including Chub).

White-letter Hairstreak Butterfly, Dragonfly and Damselfly

Several new ponds have recently been dug to help build the population of Great Crested Newts.


Address: Foots Cray Meadows, Rectory Lane, Sidcup, Kent DA14 5NG (OS grid reference TQ478715)

Foots Cray Meadows is accessible from North Cray Road (A223) and from Rectory Lane (which runs from Bexley Lane, Sidcup, through to Foots Cray High Street). The nearest railway station is Albany Park. The 492 bus route passes the site on North Cray Road. The London Outer Orbital Footpath (London Loop) passes through the site, following the River Cray.

Sandie Wood, RSPB Bromley Local Group The photo was taken by Sandie on a RSPB Bromley Local Group walk around the Meadows.