An undisturbed sanctuary for birds, beetles and rare molluscs on an island in the middle of the River Thames
This small island, or ‘ait’, is one of the Trust's more unusual reserves - and benefits from its isolation from people.
It is remarkable for its tall canopy of mixed woodland, rooted on a bank of ground that is regularly inundated by high tides, and supports one of the only remaining areas of natural tidal marginal habitat still not developed or canalised on the Thames.
The Ait also provides an undisturbed sanctuary for a variety of birds, and supports several rare mollusc populations.
Species you can see at Isleworth Ait
Invertebrates: German hairy snail, two-lipped door snail
History of Isleworth Ait
Isleworth Ait was historically part of the Syon Park Estate, owned by the Duke of Northumberland, and was once a centre for the production of osier, a type of willow used to weave baskets. Five neighbouring islands have now disappeared. Today Thames Water owns the Ait, after the Metropolitan Water Board bought the island from the Duke of Northumberland in the 1930s. It has been managed by London Wildlife Trust as a nature reserve since 1995.
Facilities at Isleworth Ait
There is a landing jetty for boats but you cannot access the Ait without prior arrangement.
How to get to Isleworth Ait
The best views of the island are from Church Street in Isleworth and two pubs - London Apprentice and Town Wharf - that are both on the Thames Footpath. The H37 bus stops in nearby South Street, as well as Twickenham Road, where the 267 and 481 also stop. The nearest station is Isleworth, a 15-minute walk away.
Opening times for Isleworth Ait
Because of Isleworth Ait’s location on the River Thames, access is limited. The best opportunities to get on to the island are to join one of the regular workdays.
Accessibility at Isleworth Ait
Only accessible by boat via a floating jetty. There are informal footpaths.
Status of Isleworth Ait
Part of a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation
Get involved at Isleworth Ait