New Cross Gate Cutting – A Hidden Gem

“If you go down to the woods today your’re sure for a big surprise”, the song says. Tucked away on Vest Road is a lovely nature reserve called the New Cross Gate Cutting. It is a hidden gem which stretches along part of the railway line that runs between New Cross Gate and Brockley stations. It is part of the London Wildlife Trust, and is run by a group of fantastic volunteers, who hold open days, and have monthly work days. It contains neutral and acid grassland, as well as areas of reeds. It supports over 170 different species of flowering plants, and is a small oasis of green in this urban area.


The New Cross Cutting was once part of the Great North Wood, which once stretched south of the river through into Deptford, Forest Hill, Gypsy Hill, Norwood and Penge. One of the volunteers Judy was really pleased that the Great North Wood had been recognised and received Heritage Lottery Fund, which would not only help raise awareness of the Great North Wood, but will also allow New Cross Cutting to have a member of staff. This will allow the nature reserve to be open more often.


The day I visited was a lovely sunny day so I was able to see the nature reserve in it’s glory. It had been a few years since I last visited, so it was great to see so many young families and children exploring. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and it is worthwhile joining their mailing list to obtain updates and information on their open days.

New Cross Cutting Nature Reserve is located on:

Vesta Road (near the railway bridge – Shardeloes Road end)

To find out when the next open will be, volunteer or join the mailing list contact the Nature Reserve manager Tom Hayward on  020 7261 0447 or email

To find out more about the New Cross Cutting nature reserve click here

To find out more about the Great North Wood click here


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