The Colne Valley Park is important for biodiversity, especially the string of wetland habitats running down its centre. These provide homes for plentiful wildlife species right on the very edge of London. With regard to official site designations, the Colne Valley Regional Park contains:

  • Part of one Special Protection Area
  • Part of one National Nature Reserve
  • 13 Sites of Special Scientific Interest
  • Seven Local Nature Reserves

There are also many non-statutory county wildlife sites, ancient woodlands and informal nature reserves.

The Colne Valley Park is a favoured place for birdwatchers and conservationists. Popular destinations in the Park include Stockers Lake, Broadwater Lake and Staines Reservoirs.

The Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust has produced a series of factsheets on some of the best sites for observing wildlife in the Colne Valley Park

Bluebells in woodland low

Habitats

The Colne Valley Regional Park features many different types of habitat attracting a large and varied amount of wildlife, making it a hugely valuable resource so close to London.
To the south lie important floodplain grazing marshes and lowland meadow habitat at Staines Moor SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), along with other areas of good quality semi-improved grassland. Further north, the amount of deciduous woodland increases, a change in character in the landscape that supports a different range of wildlife.

The Colne Valley is fed by a number of rivers, including the Colne itself. They provide important habitats and help maintain the floodplain grazing marshes and other riparian habitat across the Park.

Other examples of high priority habitat include an area of ancient woodland at Ruislip Woods, and a mix of woodland and heathland at Black Park country park. Species you may encounter in the Valley include Kingfishers, along with wide variety of waterfowl, grass snakes and Muntjac deer.