Restricted access - Isleworth Ait

Isleworth Ait

Isleworth Ait credit Penny Dixie

Restricted access - Isleworth Ait

An undisturbed sanctuary for birds, beetles and rare molluscs on an island in the middle of the River Thames.


Isleworth Ait
A static map of Restricted access - Isleworth Ait

Know before you go

4 hectares


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.


No dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times

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.

Best time to visit

April to July

About the reserve

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.  

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.  

Status of Isleworth Ait

Part of a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation  

Get involved at Isleworth Ait   

Record species you've spotted at Isleworth Ait

Volunteer with Isleworth Ait's team

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Simon Hawkins on 07772 821 134 or email 

Contact us

Simon Hawkins
Contact number: 020 3897 6153