Back to reserve map

Frays Island and Mabey's Meadow

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

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.


Species you can see at Frays Island and Mabey's Meadow

Amphibians: Common frog

Birds: Kingfisher

Invertebrates: Banded demoiselle, stag beetle

Mammals: Pipistrelle bat

Plants: Stream water-crowfoot, mistletoe, bee orchid, purple loosestrife


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.


Facilities at Frays Island and Mabey's Meadow

There are no facilities at the reserve.


How to get to Frays Island and Mabey's Meadow

Enter the reserve by the footpath on Thorney Mill Road and the footbridge near Wren Drive.

Frays Island and Mabey's Meadows



Opening times for Frays Island and Mabey's Meadow

Open at all times.


Accessibility at Frays Island and Mabey's Meadow

There are footpaths leading to and from the footbridge but they can often be uneven.


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


Nearby nature reserves

Uxbridge Grove
2 miles - London Wildlife Trust
Park Road Pond
3 miles - London Wildlife Trust
Huckerby's Meadows
4 miles - London Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Thorney Mill Road, West Drayton
Greater London
Map reference
Great for...
Best time to visit
Apr - Jul
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
2.50 hectares
Living Landscape schemes
Colne Valley Living Landscape
Parking available in surrounding streets.
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Roger Taylor
Tel: 01895 448 028