View from the top of the Cowsey

What a great view. From the top of the Cowsey on a clear day you can see directly down the glacial valley over to Tilehurst and its stark pale water tower with the wonderful Sulham Woods in the background.

This 40 acres of hilly, scrubby open access woodland is right in the middle of Whitley between Shinfield Road up the hill and Northumberland Avenue with the big green space of Rabsons recreation ground at the bottom.

Woodland at the Cowsey

It has been transformed from a place where cars were burnt out and of tribal violence between Whitley youths and the Shinnies. I remember cigarettes were lit and short cuts sought on the Ashmead School (now the John Madejski Academy) countryside run, and some school lunchtimes were spent turning over abandoned cars, but I have moved on and so has this wonderful green space.

Low winter sun at the Cowsey

There are some lovely spring and summer paths cut by Reading Borough Council, all leading to a view of some variety. There is plenty of wildlife to see especially foxes, bats and songbirds. You can just walk across Rabsons or take the path from Hartland Road for access and exploration.

Matthew Farrall, the author of this article, died on 20 April 2018.
We are grateful to his family for allowing us to continue to display his work online.

  1. Cowsey management plan
  2. The Cowsey