Frays Farm Meadows
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Frays River in Frays Farm Meadows.jpg
Frays River in Frays Farm Meadows
LocationGreater London
Grid referenceTQ057861
Area28.2 hectares
Location mapMagic Map
Horses in western field
Horses in western field

Frays Farm Meadows is a 28.2-hectare (70-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest near Denham in the London Borough of Hillingdon. It was notified as an SSSI in 1981,[1][2] and has been managed by the London Wildlife Trust on behalf of Hillingdon Council since 1999.[3] It is part of the Colne Valley Regional Park.[4]

Frays Farm Meadows are a set of fields bounded on the south by the A40 road and on the west by the Grand Union Canal. The Frays River goes north through the site before turning west toward an old railway embankment that runs north from the A40, dividing the site into three parts: the western fields, the area between the embankment and the river, and the fields east and north of the river. The site is accessible to the public apart from fields on both sides of the embankment. Access to the western fields is by a stile on the eastern bank of the canal at Denham Lock. From there a path through Denham Lock Wood (another SSSI run by London Wildlife Trust, north-west of the Meadows) gives access to the northern and eastern fields.

Frays Farm Meadows provide a window on the medieval world, never having been intensively farmed.[3] They are one of the few remaining examples of unimproved wet alluvial grassland in Greater London and the Colne Valley. The linear features, river, embankment, ditches and hedges, contribute to the rich diversity of plants and animals.[1] Cows and horses graze in order to improve conditions by churning up the ground and encouraging pooling of water. Mammals on site include the nationally endangered water vole, and there are birds such as snipe, cuckoos, and a barn owl. Plants include marsh horsetail, ragged robin and arrowhead.[3]

Frays Valley Local Nature Reserve partly covers the same area as the SSSI.[2][5][6]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Frays Farm Meadows citation" (PDF). Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Map of Frays Farm Meadows". Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Natural England. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Natural England, Cows MOOve in to rescue West London Meadow, Press release 22 May 2010 Archived June 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Colne Valley Regional Park map". Archived from the original on 10 October 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Frays Valley". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Map of Frays Valley". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 22 January 2014.

Coordinates: 51°33′50″N 0°28′35″W / 51.5639°N 0.4765°W / 51.5639; -0.4765