Back to reserve map

Frays Farm Meadows

One of the finest examples of rare wet grazing meadows in London and part-designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

The wildlife-rich Frays River in west London's Colne Valley meanders through Frays Farm Meadows SSSI, an area of rich habitat for birds, flowers and invertebrates.

Together with the adjacent Denham Lock Wood SSSI, with its wonderful wet woodland and fen, Frays Farm Meadows provide a rare wildlife haven for some of London’s most threatened species.


High Speed Two

A proposed HS2 haulage road that would slice through Hillingdon’s Frays Farm Meadows could devastate local wildlife - read more here.


Species you can see at Frays Farm Meadows

Birds: Snipe, lapwing, teal, shoveler

Invertebrates: Banded demoiselle

Mammals: Water vole, harvest mouse

Plants: Kingcup, ragged robin, purple loosestrife, skullcap, marsh marigold, lady's smock

Reptiles: Slow worm, grass snake


History of Frays Farm Meadows

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. In 1999, the large expanse of meadows that share the river's name was taken under the Trust's management on a lease from Hillingdon Council.


Management of Frays Farm Meadows

We carry out meadow restoration works, conservation grazing using cattle to enhance the diversity of the meadow, and ditch-side habitat maintenance for water voles


Facilities at Frays Farm Meadows

There are no facilities available at Frays Farm Meadows. However, Fran’s Team Room stands by Denham Lock and Denham Country Park's visitor centre, with toilets and café, is a 15-minute walk away and is open daily 10.30am-5pm (summer) 10.30am-3.30pm (winter).


How to get to Frays Farm Meadows

Walking access via Grand Union Canal Towpath, Denham Country Park, Denham Quarry Trail or Uxbridge Golf Course, although the towpath is easiest. Over the lock gates the nearby stile gets you into Denham Lock Field, from where the meadows are accessible. There is no access directly from the A40 road. The nearest station is Denham, a 25-minute walk from the canal lock via Denham Country Park.

Frays Farm Meadows


Opening times for Frays Farm Meadows

Open at all times.


Accessibility at Frays Farm Meadows

Parking is usually available at Uxbridge Golf Course and Denham Country Park but wheelchair access is not practicable because of slopes on the golf course track and the canal crossing. The terrain of the meadows can be difficult, particularly in wet weather.


Status of Frays Farm Meadows

Mostly a Site of Special Scientific Interest, partly a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation, part of Frays Valley Local Nature Reserve, Metropolitan Green Belt


Get involved at Frays Farm Meadows 


Nearby nature reserves

Denham Lock Wood
0 miles - London Wildlife Trust
Uxbridge Alderglade
1 miles - Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust
Park Road Pond
1 miles - London Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

North Uxbridge
Greater London
Map reference
TQ 058 860
Great for...
getting away from it all
Best time to visit
Apr - Aug
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
29.00 hectares
Living Landscape schemes
Colne Valley Living Landscape
Available at Denham Country Park, can be reached by Denham Quarry trail
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Simon Hawkins
Tel: 020 3897 6153