Our local oasis - Ham lands











Our beautiful local nature reserve is  72-hectare big and it lies in the bend of the River Thames between Richmond and Kingston. The site is a mix of habitats, mainly woodland, scrub, grassland and wetlands that contain a diversity of plants and animals, including numerous rare species that are hard to find in London. There are meadow wildflowers that attract bees and butterflies and the reserve is teaming with bird life.


All this was the unplanned but fortunate result of filling in the old gravel pits and topping them off with subsoil and topsoil brought in from all corners London and the South East England– carrying with it samples of the local seeds, pre-packed with the kind of soil they prefer. The result was a sort of spontaneous botanical garden, a microcosm of the native wild plants of England. It is now something over 60 years old, and well matured.


Ham lands is designated as ‘Metropolitan Open Land’ which gives it the same protection as land in the Green Belt. It is also a ‘Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation’ and has been declared a Local Nature Reserve by Richmond Borough Council. The Council’s Parks Department is responsible for managing the longer-term development and sustainability of the site."


It’s also a wonderful oasis for people too, a place to relax and rejuvenate!


Friends of Ham Lands (FoHL)





Left to itself, as a wilderness, it would soon deteriorate – as rampant and invasive species crowd out the more sensitive plants, block pathways, and colonise the more open scrub and grassland. 


We are a group of volunteers that work with local naturalists and the Council’s ecology officer. We seek to preserve and enhance the natural habitats of Ham Lands and inform about the area so that more people can understand and appreciate this Local Nature Reserve. We create habitats for wildlife and arrange walking tours to show the wide variety of flora and fauna.



  • To improve habitats for wildlife.
  • To raise the quality of the whole green space.
  • To meet and work with other people in your neighbourhood.
  • If there is an issue or concern that needs action.
  • To work with the Council to improve area, create benefits for all users, engaging the interest for education for both adult and children about nature.
  •  Promote the health benefits of walking in our tranquil area. 

To get here

The nearest train stations are Richmond and Kingston, and the area is also served by the bus routes 65 and 371.

Or take buss R68 from Twickenham and walk over the bridge at Teddington Lock.

 Click here to see a map over the area 


 Click here to join our mailing list.


 To contact us please email friendsofhamlands@hamunitedgroup.org.uk

 And follow us on facebook www.facebook.com/friendsofhamlands/

 If you like to learn more what can be seen on Ham lands, the naturlist has this app and website  you can login see what other people have seen, or upload you own pictures.

This app allows you to easily and quickly record all of your bird observations as well as several other taxonomic groups (mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies, dragonflies, etc...)

You can also follow our own local naturlist on twitter https://twitter.com/Wild_Ham_and_P