An attractive permanent pasture in two fields either side of the A4094 road; this is an ancient common originally gated but now fenced. It is very much in the flood plain of the River Thames and there are many pollarded willow trees here.
The area is grazed by cattle in the summer months. Widbrook is best accessed on foot as there is no adequate parking nearby.
The name is believed to derive from its usage as winter pasture for livestock when more low lying areas became unusable. It rises from river level to a height of 280 feet and consists of a mixture of open grassland encompassed by blocks of scrub.
Today it is not managed by grazing but by the National Trust Ranger team. There is a large car park which affords panoramic views over the River Thames into Buckinghamshire. The car park also gives the best point of access to Cockmarsh to the east, and is also on the route of the national cycleway.
Pinkneys Green as we know it today would have come about by the gradual clearance of Maidenhead Thicket. Although originally a gated common, it is now completely unfenced and allows the visitor the chance to roam over a very large area. There are now no livestock on the Common.
Although parts are mown for hay, the National Trust has kept other parts as wildflower meadows where cowslips, kidney vetch, birds foot trefoil and oxeye daisies may be seen in season.
The best car parking is to be found at Pinkneys Drive with a small additional area between the Rangers workshop and the cricket pitch. The Green in also crossed by a national cycleway
Brick and Tile Works
The kilns of the Maidenhead Brick and Tile company were still in use until the middle of the 20th century and the extraction of clay from the adjacent pits would, at one time, brought in a useful income for the Commons. After closure the pits that were not already part of the Commons came into the ownership of the National Trust.
The pits to the east of Winter Hill road contain a rich wildlife habitat and the pathways that have been laid out are suitable for wheelchair users via a radar entrance. There is limited car parking adjacent in Malders Lane.
The Thicket is perhaps the best known of the Commons and was at one time notorious as the haunt of Highwaymen. It is a good example of what would happen if the more open commons were allowed to revert back to nature. Today the Thicket contains a wide variety of trees and shrubs all at different stages of development. There is a great range of trees at all different stages of age, height and thickness which allows a variety of birds and wildlife to become resident.
The National Trust has cleared a series of rides through the area and there are numerous footpaths. Hidden in the Thicket is Robins Hoods Arbour, an old ditched enclosure.
North Town Moor
This small remnant of the Maidenhead and Cookham Commons reminds us that before the Victorian development of Maidenhead, common land existed on the very borders of the community. Regulations existed to prevent pigs wandering the streets of the town.
North Town Moor is managed by the National Trust with support from the council and Make Space for Life, a volunteer group of local people who meet once a month to carry out conservation work. New plans for the site include the planting of a community orchard thanks to funding from Copella.
Cookham Dean Common
Cookham Dean Common, the Cricket Common, Bigfrith, Hardings Green and Tugwood Common all go to make up the Commons of Cookham Dean. They are mostly small in size but collectively they do much to maintain the open aspect of the community.
All of these are maintained by the National Trust. Some are cut for hay while the rest are managed as wildflower meadows and cutting is left until late summer. This gives more provision for wildlife and as well as a splash of summer colour to the area.
Cockmarsh has a long history of human activity and contains tumuli from the Bronze Age period. It is a most attractive area with two distinct habitats which are rarely found so close together - flat marshy meadows and steep chalk slope. For this reason it has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The Common is gated and is grazed by cattle in the Summer.