Haymill Valley Nature Reserve is a beautiful nature reserve, with its own stream, here in Slough. It is so peaceful – you can spot birds and butterflies, get lost in the field of reeds and genuinely forget you are in Slough. There’s even a spot at the end where you can see trains whizzing by, as well as find some large kingfisher sculptures.
Haymill Valley Nature Reserve
These are the details for the Haymill Valley Nature Reserve in Slough.
Address: Whittaker Road \ Marescroft Road \ Littlebrook Road, Slough, Berkshire SL2 2NN
Parking: There is free on-street parking along Littlebrook Road (except between 10-11am on weekdays as it is permit parking in that hour).
Food: Nearest shops are at Kennedy Park. I recommend having a picnic there after a walk in the nature reserve. Kennedy Park is a short drive away, or a 20 minute walk if you fancy walking there.
Pushchair-friendly: Yes, apart from getting through the kissing gates – that might be tricky.
Playground: Yes – at the Marescroft Road side.
You can print one of these off to give to the kids, if you want to turn it into a trail. The walk is quite self-explanatory that you won’t get lost if you don’t have a map. You simply follow the footpath. I have added the street labels to the map, so you can work out where you are.
You can also print off one of the many general outdoor scavenger hunts you can find online, or even do a Pokemon Go trail like we did – there are quite a few Pokestops here.
Haymill Valley was once the site of a pond serving the busy medieval ‘Ay Mill’. After WWII when the mill fell into disuse, the millpond silted up and developed into a beautiful reedbed. The mill was demolished in the 1960s but the site is still fondly referred to as ‘The Millie’. [Source: BBOWT]
I normally park on Littlebrook Road near to one of the entrances to the reserve, before the housing estate begins. This brings us into the middle of the trail (see the red arrow on the left side of the map). Then we turn right and start walking. We first found out about this place from a local, back in April, and we have been back a few times. This Monday, it being July, there was colour too from the wildflowers. It’s such a beautiful walk.
What is impressive is that this was a neglected piece of land that was actually transformed by volunteers.
“In 2006, a band of BBOWT volunteers began transforming this community nature reserve situated in the heart of urban Slough. Through hard work and dedication, including clearing paths, repairing fences and digging ponds, the Friends of Haymill Valley have created a peaceful wildlife haven with reedbeds and woodland for local people to enjoy.” [Extract from BBOWT]
There is a Coppice area on the map and if you walk into that area, you’ll find a bridge to walk over the stream, and then you will come into a field of tall reeds that you can walk through.
It is so amazing, you will feel like you are lost (but it’s easy to find your way out, don’t worry). I stood here and was quite amazed this is in Slough – it really doesn’t feel like it!
Children will love wandering through this area, mine had so much fun.
Come out of the reeds area and keep walking to the right (walking towards the bottom end of the map). Keep walking along the path, and you will come across this open area where you can see trains – this is the Paddington line and Burnham train station is just to the right.
In this area, you will find the ‘Millie Fishers’ – two giant kingfisher sculptures that local schoolchildren helped an artist to create.
And at the end of the footpath is the end of the trail and a little dam.
The route is not circular so you have to turn around here. Now it’s time to explore the other end of the nature reserve. The path is very clear and in the summer you’ll see berries ripening up at the sides. There are more reedbeds, and large trees including hazel, oak, alder and willow trees. We spotted many butterflies too.
The trails curves at the top end, and you walk over a little bridge to get to the other side of the stream.
On this side you can see the water very clearly and you will be nearing the end of the trail. All in all, it’s about a half-hour to an hour’s walk (it depends who you can walking with and how long you stop to look at things, or catch Pokemon hehe).
The end is at Marescroft Road, where my kids stop to sit on the grass to have a rest. There is a small playground there too.
So that is Haymill Valley Nature Reserve in Slough. I hope we’ve inspired you to try it. It is nice to have something like this in the local area.