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Environment

Braywick Nature Reserve

Braywick Nature Reserve is an park in Maidenhead which combines woodland, wetland and grassland. It is managed to promote and protect a diverse array of wildlife. For a relatively small area there is an incredible amount to see, and the reserve demonstrates the positive impact on biodiversity of letting habitats grow and establish themselves.

The Cut, with wetland habitats either side. Credit: R. Tessier

The formal park is on the site of a former mansion, whose grounds were preserved, and the wider reserve is formed of a reclaimed landfill site, woodland and a waterway. The area is bisected by a walking route called The Green Way, which runs through sections of woodland, and is bordered on one side by a man-made river called The Cut, an early-nineteenth century diversion to provide flood relief. Standing at the waters edge, where trees overhang and connect the woodland to the water, you can see ducks, moorhens and occasionally a heron.

River’s edge, Braywick. Credit: R. Tessier

In an area called the Dell there is a magnificent pond, teeming with plant and animal life. The pond itself is protected by a fence but you can look closely at the plants and water from a foot bridge across the centre. In and around the pond is a rich variety of plants, from lily pads and grasses to trees such as a Coast Redwood. At different times of year you can see frogspawn and dragonflies; rabbits can sometimes be seen darting through the shrubs around the edges.

View of the pond from a bridge, Braywick Nature Reserve. Credit: R. Tessier

Throughout the reserve protected and managed habitats are balanced with footpaths and walkways which enable visitors to experience and explore the diverse wildlife. At Wild Maidenhead you can access an interesting and helpful Park Trail and a Tree Trail which reveals some of the many trees you can see in the formal park and Dell.

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