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Huckerby's Meadows

Above Huckerby's Meadows planes start their descent to Heathrow Airport, but wildlife still flourishes in this pastoral site

The reserve sits on the western banks of the River Crane and provides a home for invertebrates and other animals that thrive in its mixed terrain of old pastures, remnant orchard, scrub, river and wet woodland, as well as grassland that has established on the site of an old airport car park.

Huckerby's Meadows opened to the public in August 2017, having previously been known as Crane Meadows. The Trust-owned reserve's location at the end of Heathrow Airport’s first runway provides a stunning juxtaposition of London; urban life and wildlife, side by side.

 

Species you can see at Huckerby's Meadows

Birds: Buzzarddunnock, grey heron, green woodpecker, kingfisher

Invertebrates: Small heath butterfly, cinnabar moth, emperor dragonfly

Mammals: Muntjac deer, water vole

Plants: Bugle, water-pepper, ragged-robin, shadow-flowered rush, weld, water figwort

 

Management of Huckerby's Meadows

A regular meadow management regime is maintained, in line with the requirements of Heathrow’s bird-strike team which aims to prevent the gathering of birds that could cause problems for incoming aircraft. Periodic cattle grazing helps to encourage a greater diversity of meadow flora and fauna and prevent encroachment of scrub and coarse grasses.

 

History of Huckerby's Meadows

Part of the site was once farmland owned by the Huckerby family, and Mrs Huckerby grazed horses here for half-a-century. The northern end of the reserve was restored from a car park for Heathrow Airport in 2009. The Trust first began managing Huckerby's Meadows in 1999, when it was called Crane Meadows, while also taking over the restored meadow of the old car park in 2010. After several years of restoration work and habitat improvements, including reconnecting four meanders of the River Crane, the reserve was finally opened to the public in August 2017.

 

Facilities at Huckerby's Meadows

There are no public facilities at the reserve.

 

How to get to Huckerby's Meadows

The nearest station is Hatton Cross on the Piccadilly line, a 15-minute walk away. Buses 203, 423 and 482 stop in the Great South-West Road, adjacent to the reserve. There is an entrance from the north via Crane Bank Park in Waye Avenue, and from the south via Earhart Way. The London Outer Orbital Path passes by the southern entrance and runs through Crane Bank on the eastern banks of the River Crane towards the Bath Road.

 

Crane Meadows

 

 

Opening times for Huckerby's Meadows

The reserve opens to public starting on 12th August 2017, from when there will be 24/7 access.

 

Accessibility at Huckerby's Meadows

The site currently has informal footpaths of a natural surface, and while mainly flat it largely comprises uneven and occassionally boggy terrain.

 

Status of Huckerby's Meadows

Part of a Site of Metropolitan Importance, Metropolitan Green Belt

 

Get involved at Huckerby's Meadows 

 

Nearby nature reserves

Crane Park Island
3 miles - London Wildlife Trust
Frays Island and Mabey's Meadow
4 miles - London Wildlife Trust
Yeading Brook Meadows
4 miles - London Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Earhart Way
Cranford
London
TW4 6JR
Map reference
TQ102760
Great for...
Insect spotting
Best time to visit
Apr - Jul
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Public access starts from 12th August 2017
Dogs
No dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Cattle
Reserve manager
Simon Hawkins
Tel: 020 3897 6153
shawkins@wildlondon.org.uk