Newyears Green

Newyears Green, Hillingdon

A scattered collection of small farms and civic amenities situated north of Ickenham and west of Ruislip, and surrounded on all sides by green-belt farmland

a rural property, possibly a farmhouse

The ori­gin of the Newyears Green name, which is also spelt as three sep­a­rate words, is uncer­tain. It is either a cor­rup­tion of a landowner’s name or it may have been con­nect­ed with annu­al fes­tiv­i­ties held on Lady Day (25 March), which was reck­oned as the begin­ning of the year in Eng­land from the Mid­dle Ages until 1752.

Drawn in 1754, Rocque’s map of Mid­dle­sex shows a small group of dwellings here. The sharp bend in Newyears Green Lane marks the point where anoth­er road used to fork off to Ick­en­ham but this was closed after the enclo­sure of the fields in 1813. The route is still a pub­lic bri­dle­way (which looks very much like a road on Google’s satel­lite map, below).

Though much of the sur­round­ing area con­sists of undu­lat­ing farm­land, Newyears Green Lane is besmirched by a rub­bish dump and recy­cling cen­tre, a scrap met­al yard and the largest com­post­ing facil­i­ty of its kind in Europe (extend­ing above and below the ‘Newyears Green’ place name on the map below), where kitchen, gar­den and farm waste from all over Lon­don and beyond is con­vert­ed into a vari­ety of soil con­di­tion­ers for agri­cul­tur­al and com­mer­cial uses. There’s also a 16-acre dogs’ rehom­ing cen­tre on Harvil Road oppo­site the junc­tion with Dews Lane, which leads to Hilling­don Out­door Activ­i­ties Cen­tre.

Man­aged by the Lon­don Wildlife Trust, Dews Farm Sand­pits are sit­u­at­ed on the west side of Harvil Road, just north of the junc­tion with Newyears Green Lane. There is wood­land and scrub around var­ied grass­land rich in flow­ers and insects.

On high­er ground to the south, Newyears Green Covert is believed to have been plant­ed in the mid-19th cen­tu­ry to meet a demand for hunt­ing and shoot­ing. The wood­land canopy is dom­i­nat­ed by pedun­cu­late oak, ash, horn­beam, Eng­lish elm, black­thorn, hawthorn and hazel. The covert is des­ig­nat­ed a Site of Impor­tance for Nature Con­ser­va­tion and has recent­ly been extend­ed with a young plan­ta­tion to the west.

Hidden London: Colne Valley viaduct concept image

Enabling works for the con­struc­tion of the HS2 rail link from Lon­don to Birm­ing­ham have result­ed in the clear­ance of trees and oth­er veg­e­ta­tion from Newyears Green Covert. A 2¼ mile viaduct will curve north-west­wards from here, car­ry­ing the rail­way line over Newyears Green Bourne and the Colne Val­ley into Buck­ing­hamshire, as shown in the con­cept image above. How­ev­er, assur­ances have been giv­en that no dam­age will be done to the north­ern­most sec­tion of the covert, which is des­ig­nat­ed as ancient wood­land. The first HS2 ser­vices are expect­ed to run on the line in 2026.

Postcode area: Uxbridge, UB9