Frays Island and Mabey's Meadow

Mabey's Meadow credit Roger Taylor

Frays Island and Mabey's Meadow

Alder and willow woodland set between the Rivers Colne and Frays in West Drayton, rich in aquatic life.


Thorney Mill Road, West Drayton
A static map of Frays Island and Mabey's Meadow

Know before you go

3 hectares

Parking information

No parking available on site


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.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April 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  

Get involved at Frays Island and Mabey's Meadows  

To find out about volunteering at Frays Island and Mabey's Meadows contact Simon on or 07772 821 134

Record species you've spotted at Frays Island and Mabey's Meadow

Contact us

Simon Hawkins
Contact number: 07772 821 134