Diversity in the Park orchard: A newsletter.

First, a bit of history. For many years, a bowling green was maintained in the park, just adjacent to the Cowgate road entrance. From personal memory, about 20 years ago there were regular Sunday bowls matches but one day some youngsters decided to play a game of football on the green. The cost of bringing the grass back up to playing quality was probably the final straw, since the bowling club left and went elsewhere for their matches. It lay fallow for years, until the dredging spoil from work on the nearby Coston’s brook was taken there around five years ago and some landscaping was done, as well as providing a small concrete seat in the middle.

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Perivale Park kids playground. The litterers have surpassed themselves in their disgrace.

The photo below shows the state of the kids playground in the park this morning. The litter had appeared by yesterday morning (Friday), with the playground having been cleared of all rubbish not much more than a day earlier. So this is a single day’s littering and the photo shows the area of only one of the bins there, with much more deposited around the rest of the playground. It does not look like fox-spill, since nothing has been chewed and the pizza and luxury chocolate boxes had not been folded to insert into the bin. This is human activity!

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June is the month of colours!

The wet  May and lots of recent sun and heat has brought the colour of June to us. The yellows, blues and whites of spring have now been joined by the likes of the blues of the cornflowers, the reds, orange and pinks of poppies, the red white and pinks of campion and the related and the wonderfully delicate ragged-robin which has sprung up near the spring in the Longfield meadows.

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Perivale park orchard: its flower meadows and some gardening exercise.

The weather held dry between 11.00 and 14.00 today (but rained earlier and later) so our small but select group of volunteers were able to really dress up one of the four flower beds around the orchard garden benches and free two of the adjacent flower meadows of the large dock plants that had become established. The new garden tools were put to very good use and the large thermos flasks provided much needed hot tea.

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Flaxen meadows.

The four wild flower meadows in the orchard area of the park were planted with a variety of exotic plants about 18 months ago. One of those was flax, which made a brief appearance last autumn but has now come into its own. It has not yet reached its peak, and should last throughout the summer. As is often the case, (my) photos do not do it justice, you really should visit in person.

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Bluebells, Cowslip and Stitchwort in Gutteridge and Ten-acre Woods.

The bluebell season is lasting a bit longer than usual, due to warm weather early in April and then cold spells. A lesser-known local bluebell wood is Gutteridge. As with Perivale wood, where the glory was stolen to some extent by the Celandine, in Gutteridge wood its the white Greater Stitchwort that takes your breath away (and the bluebells as well of course).

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Perivale Wood: Bluebells and Celandine in April.

Perivale park is blessed with no less than three local nature reserves within walking distance. Of these, Perivale wood is the oldest and largest and is famed for its display of English bluebells. Normally only open one day a year to protect the plants, this year the Selborne Society, who look after the wood, have opened it on four “socially distanced” days in April.

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The Greenway project nears completion.

Two years ago, work started on the Greenford  Greenway project, which aimed to create a variety of green corridors in the area between the  Gurnell leisure centre and Greenford town centre. This area of course includes all of  Perivale Park itself, and the eastern extension into Longfield meadows where the wetlands were part of the project.  Now that it is nearing completion, Richard has kindly sent me a list of the remaining things still to be done as part of this project.  The COVID pandemic has of course delayed some aspects of this, but Ealing parks are still hoping to complete this.

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Magnificence of Marsh Marigolds

The Perivale wetlands, which increasingly feature here, have a little stream feeding the ponds. In December 2019, a group of volunteers planted the edge of the stream with aquatic plants. Of these the Marsh  Marigolds took a year or so to settle down and now there are lots of them along the stream and surrounding the ponds. Many of them look very healthy and we might expect this spring display to only get better with the passage of time.

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A Deep Clean of the park!

Litter picking is an increasing activity. When we are out on a pick, more and more frequently we get asked questions by passers-by such as “where do I get those collection bags from?” or “how do I get a litter picking stick?”. Also, we sometimes go out on a pick only to find an almost pristine park; other litter pickers have clearly got there before us! Sadly, that is mostly not the case though. So what are my favourite bugbears? Continue reading “A Deep Clean of the park!”