The Crane Valley Partnership

Upper Crane

Yeading Brook

The Yeading Brook drains the upper section of the catchment and turns into the River Crane south of the Grand Union Canal.

The brook rises from a spring in Pinner Park (North Harrow) and flows south east into the moat at Headstone Manor.  From there it flows south west and is joined by a number of tributaries: the Smarts Brook, the Ickenham Stream and the Yeading Brook East.

Headstone Manor. Photo provided by Denis Vickers, Harrow Borough Council

The watercourse has been artificially straightened in many places and suffers from heavily modified banks. A large part of the upper brook is also forced into an underground culvert, designed to divert flood waters away from housing developments and North Harrow underground station.

Notable sites for wildlife conservation along the river’s reach include Ickenham Marsh , Roxbourne Park , Roxbourne Rough , Cutthroat Wood and Gutteridge Wood and Meadows . The river receives water from the Smarts Brook at Roxbourne Park, a now lost tributary of the Yeading Brook which is culverted in its entirety and a source of poor quality water.

The Yeading Brook East, locally known as the River Roxbourne, also rises in Harrow and can be first sighted at Newton Park Ecology Farm . It comprises 6.7km of river channel but for a notable length the river is culverted and cannot be followed above ground. It converges with its westerly neighbour in Ruislip on the southern side of A40 Western Avenue.

After the two arms of the river merge in North Hillingdon, the Yeading Brook enters Ealing before returning to Hillingdon, passing through the wildlife havens of Ten Acre Wood, Michael Frost Park, Yeading Brook Fields, Yeading Brook Meadows and Minet Country Park . All these sites are publicly accessible. Ten Acre Wood and Gutteridge Wood are managed by London Wildlife Trust on behalf of the London Borough of Hillingdon. The other sites are managed by the London Boroughs of Hillingdon and Ealing.

Upper Crane

WFD Status


2009 Ecological Potential

2012 Ecological Potential

Yeading Brook West Moderate Moderate
Yeading Brook East Moderate Moderate
Grand Union Canal Good Moderate

The Grand Union Canal

The Grand Union spans 220km and is a historical transport link between London and Birmingham. The canal crosses over the Crane in Hayes. It splits into two arms just to the east of the crossing point, serving Paddington and Brentford.