The Crane splits into two, one section is known as the Mill Stream and the other the River Crane. The Mill Stream runs to the east of the Crane as they enter the proposed Crane Riverside Park from the west through Feltham Marshalling Yard and joins the main river just to the west of Crane Park Island LNR.
From Pevensey Road LNR in the west the river flows through riverine woodland, neutral hay meadows and formal parkland to Twickenham Station in the east. The woodlands north and south of the Hanworth Road hold a series of veteran oaks, willows and alder pollards, a number of which are hundreds of years in age.
The river also has several silted up ponds adjacent to it the remnants of old watercress beds. Important breeding species on the Crane throughout this section include Water Voles, Kingfisher’s and Grey Wagtails. The river north of Hanworth road is very natural with scrapes and riffles, deeper pools and in stream islands, Once past Crane Park Island the river becomes more uniform although work has been undertaken to install in stream barriers to add variety to the rivers flow and depth.
The River holds good populations of fish such as Chub, Roach, Perch and Carp the fry of which create food for hunting Grey Heron’s and Kingfishers.
The shot tower on Crane Park Island is only a very small fraction of the huge gunpowder works that used to exist during the 18th and 19th centuries north of the river, with mills and jetties on the river and the island which used to supply the power and raw materials for gunpowder production.
The River Crane has an established friends group, Friends of the River Crane Environment (FORCE). For details or go to www.force.org.uk for more information. To view all all "Friends Of" groups details please click here
The Crane Valley Project was originally set up in 2004 and set to integrate ecological and recreational management throughout the River Crane catchment area to include the River Crane, Yeading Brook, The Duke of Northumberland River and the Longford River.
It was created to try and deal with cross borough issues such as invasive species problems, habitat management, and strategic issues such as The London Loop Walkway.
The Group now comprises the boroughs of Hounslow, Hillingdon, Ealing, Richmond and Harrow, EA, Thames Water, London Wildlife Trust, FORCE and large landowners such as BAA and Walks for London.
The Crane Valley project has applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a 600K grant to fund two project officers to work on three sites one of which is Crane Riverside Park. The group have been successful is securing a £140,000 grant from Biffa to fund habitat and practical works on these sites.
For more information about the Crane Valley Project click here
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