Bonnersfield Lane is a quiet, unmetalled, ancient country lane - right in the centre of suburban Harrow. What a delightful surprise!
I hope I lose interest in Open Street Maps soon, because mapping my local area is proving to be quite an absorbing distraction. Yesterday, I was examining the satellite photographs, looking for footpaths that might be missing from the map. I saw a likely looking line of trees and hedges in the Greenhill area of Harrow, so I set off on my bike to see what I could find.
It was about 300m of country lane, running between the backs of the houses. I could hardly believe it. The unmetalled surface ran between ancient hedges and mature trees. My bicycle tyres slipped and slid in the muddy ruts, but I managed to make it through without tumbling off. Occasionally a householder had cleared away the hedge and constructed a garage or shed backing onto the lane, but for the most part it was completely unspoiled. Inevitably, there were a couple of spots where fly-tippers had taken advantage of the quiet to dump their rubbish.
I wonder why this lane has been left in such an aboriginal state? All of the other country lanes have been adopted, and there's little to tell them from the newer roads - except perhaps their winding courses.
I've read around, and discovered surprisingly little about this hidden treasure. It's a conservation area. The (ill-maintained) London Wildweb site has a short piece about it.