Dorney History
Dorney History 

The Natural History and Archaeology of Dorney

We are very fortunate in Dorney to have residents who are deeply interested in, and knowledgeable about, the natural history of our beautiful parish. In addition, due to the creation of Dorney Lake and the Jubilee River, a number of institutions have carefully studied, and reported on, the archaeology and history of our area in recent years.


The first publication on this subject – The Natural History of Dorney Parish - was written by Peter Tyler, a long-time resident, in 2000. In 2018 he wrote an update to this publication which addresses the many changes occurring in the past eighteen years together with some of the challenges to come.


Peter kindly permitted the Dorney History Group to publish both of these papers online (below) so that they are available to many more people in perpetuity.


The institutions that have contributed to the archaeological knowledge of our area from the Stone Age (approx. 8000 BC) to today are Eton College, the Environment Agency and Historic England. Their interest stemmed from the archaeological studies they supported prior to the creation of the Jubilee River and Dorney Lake. Two books – “Gathering the people, settling the land” and “Opening the wood, making the land” – bring together a wealth of information about those who lived in and around Dorney over the past 10,000 years!


These books are available on Amazon and the links to them are below.


The selection of Dorney Lake for the 2012 Olympic Rowing and Canoe Sprint events and Paralympic Rowing events resulted in the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) preparing an Ecological Survey Report in October 2010 regarding the potential ecological impact of these events on the locality. This was required to support the associated planning applications. This Report provides a comprehensive ecological assessment of the geography around Dorney Lake. The full report has been sourced by the Dorney History Group and is available to all.


For bird-watchers, Dorney Lake and the Jubilee River have created new, interesting habitats. In the past ten years Dorney Lake has become the largest water body in South Bucks (excluding the River Thames) and consequently is attractive to wildfowl and waterside birds. The surrounding area is also attractive to a variety of birds and of particular note is an area within the Lake specifically designated as a conservation area. The Bucks Bird Club maintains a regular record of birds identified at Dorney Lake. The East Berks Local Group of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has also taken Dorney Lake under their wing and conducts annual walks to Dorney Wetlands. They have published a report and/or a photo gallery after each walk since 2009, and we thank them for these.


Bill Dax


Books available on Amazon - click on link.

(Summaries below in PDF format)





The Natural History of Dorney Parish March 2000 - Peter Tyler
The Natural History of Dorney Parish - P[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [7.8 MB]
Update on The Natural History of Dorney August 2018 - Peter Tyler
Update on The Natural History of Dorney [...]
Adobe Acrobat document [143.1 KB]
Summaries - "Opening the wood, making the land" and "Gathering the people, settling the land"
Summaries of the books - Opening and Gat[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [248.0 KB]
Gathering the people, settling the land - Complete Report
Gathering the People Settling the Land T[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [12.3 MB]
Ecological Survey Report of the Dorney Lake Area 2010
Ecological_Survey_Report Dorney Lake Are[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [884.1 KB]
Dorney Birds 2000 – 2018 (Peter Tyler, Bucks Bird Club and RSPB East Berks Local Group)
Dorney Birds 2000 Dorney Lake Dorney Wet[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [177.5 KB]