Frays Island and Mabey's Meadow
Know before you go
Parking informationParking available in surrounding streets.
Enter the reserve by the footpath on Thorney Mill Road and the footbridge near Wren Drive.
There are footpaths leading to and from the footbridge but they can often be uneven.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitApril to July
About the reserve
The willow woodland of Frays Island provides a perfect spot to see the beautiful River Colne and perhaps catch a glimpse of a kingfisher. Alive with insect life, flower-filled Mabey's Meadow is astonishingly colourful in the summer, and orchids thrive in an adjoining area outside the reserve. A footbridge from Mabey's Meadow provides the only access on to Frays Island.
History of Frays Island and Mabey's Meadow
Frays River is a semi-canalised waterway diverted from the River Colne to feed watermills around Uxbridge. The name originates from John Fray who owned Cowley Hall beside the river in the 15th century. Mabey's Meadow is named after London Wildlife Trust's first president Richard Mabey because it was one of his favourite haunts, described in his 1974 book The Unofficial Countryside. The Trust began managing the sites in 1995.
Status of Frays Island and Mabey's Meadow
Part of a Site of Metropolitan Importance, Metropolitan Green Belt