Colne Valley regional park

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The Colne Valley regional park is a 27,500 acre (43 square mile) area of parks, green spaces and reservoirs alongside the often multi-channel River Colne and parallel Grand Union Canal, mainly in Buckinghamshire, with parts in the London Borough of Hillingdon, Berkshire and Hertfordshire, and a small area in Surrey.[1]

Geography[edit]

Much of the landscape is relatively flat – the lower reach of the Colne forming the centre of the park. Almost all the land is only 16 to 42 m (52 to 138 ft) AOD,[2] with a mixture of soils, including occasionally wet, loamy soils and clayey soils, and a small amount of naturally slightly acid heath.[3] Passing through the park is the Colne Valley Trail or Colne Valley Way, which forms a major section of the London Loop and connects to the Hertfordshire Way north of Watford.

East of the village of Denham, and west of the villages of Cowley and Harefield, and the town of Uxbridge, the Colne Valley regional park contains a mixture of farmland, woodland and water, 50 miles (80 km) of river and canal and over forty lakes, which help to regulate the flow of the major Thames tributary and provide fish for angling. The park is a regionally important place of recreation and is internationally important for wildlife. Large areas are open to the public or accessible through a network of paths.[4]

Paths stretch from Staines in the south to Rickmansworth in the north through the alluvial meadows in the valley of the River Colne. Popular attractions include Black Park, Chiltern Open Air Museum and the conservation area of Little Britain by the Grand Union Canal, Cowley.[4]

Elevations nearby range from 90 metres (300 ft) AOD on steep hillsides in Harefield, Denham and Rickmansworth, to 16 metres (52 ft) at Staines Moor.[5]

In the south, the area includes Staines Moor, the Staines Reservoirs and the King George VI Reservoir. The reservoirs support nationally important wintering populations of tufted ducks, pochard, goosander and goldeneye.[4]

The park includes Denham Country Park, which is a Local Nature Reserve, and Frays Farm Meadows and Denham Lock Wood, which are Sites of Special Scientific Interest managed as nature reserves by the London Wildlife Trust.

Colne Valley Park
Colne Valley Park Visitor Centre, Denham, the park's headquarters
Colne Valley Park Visitor Centre, Denham 
Cowley Lock
Cowley Lock in Autumn mist, one of two conservation areas in Cowley[n 1]
Grand Union Canal
Grand Union Canal by Denham and South Harefield

Coordinates: 51°32′20″N 0°31′44″W / 51.539°N 0.529°W / 51.539; -0.529


Notes and References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Under creative commons licence by Julian Osley
References