An Ealing Greenspace at the start of its new life as a Park.

Last Friday was the last day of the Perivale Park golf course being open – and now it awaits its new life as an Ealing park.  We strolled around the park and here are a few photos to give a flavour of what it looks like now. The next thing to happen will be the installation of four benches and four litter bins – the locations of which are already being discussed. As things  happen,  I hope to record them here.

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The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) in Perivale Park.

The TCV group organises events around the country and today they came to Perivale Park on a corporate volunteering day with a group of about twenty very enthusiastic people from PwC – and one volunteer dog accompanying  Ben!.  An area of ground on the banks of Costons Brook near to its exit from the culvert in the park had recently been cleared by GEL using an impressive robotic cutting system and it was now ready for replanting.

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Listening to birds.

I am certainly no expert on birdsong, and so have come to rely on technology (and any accompanying expert) to identify birds. Occasionally I will “listen” using the wonderful Merlin Bird ID app. Switched on today sitting on a bench near the largest lake in the Longfield meadows, eight different birds were identified after listening for around four minutes. A little further along the river Brent headed to Greenford another one was identified, making nine in all.

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Diversity in the Park orchard: A 2024 update.

Back in June 2021, a biodiversity survey of the park orchard meadows was carried out for us by Neil Anderson. Since then the meadows have largely been left alone, with no added nutrients and only a minimum of “weeding”. Time I thought to see what changes of three years of being left mostly to their own devices might have induced. Neil very kindly agree to repeat his survey for us and the results are included below.

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2024 – A good year for Daffodils.

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that each new season seems to especially favour some species of flower? This year, it seems to be magnolias, cherries and daffodils that are particularly splendid. Perivale park does not have any magnolias or cherries, but it certainly has a nice display of daffodils in the orchard area – thanks to volunteers who planted them last year.

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The Ealing Beaver sanctuary revisited.

Time we thought to revisit the Beaver sanctuary, in Paradise fields. It has been raining a lot and so Coston’s Brook, which feeds the pond where the beavers are established should be and indeed was flowing well. The beavers themselves, which are largely nocturnal, are not expected to be out and about. So that they can be observed, there are a number of remote cameras, which capture their activities. There is a dam across the brook, but whether a “helping hand” from humans has contributed, or whether it is fully the work of the beavers themselves I am not certain.

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News for February, 2024 – every little helps!

A stroll around the park has revealed interesting  new features for this year.

  1. A new rubbish bin in the Longfield meadows, next to the bench where you can admire the lakes. Every little helps – but hey Ealing parks, don’t stop there. Put a few more in!
  2. Two  large swathes in the north Londfield meadow appear to have been seeded. I will try to find out what the mix is (two years ago they put yellow rattle in, but it did not germinate).
  3. The bulbs in the raised beds in the orchard  are showing.  It’s quite a selection we put in last year, so do pop by when the flowers start in a few weeks time.
  4. I could not resist showing the mahonia next to the storage container in the orchard. It’s been there for years, having been planted when the area was a bowling green. It is starting to look very nice this year.

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Costons Brook – as you may never have seen it before.

The water course that flows through the park, Costons Brook, is a tributary of the river Brent. Its source is difficult to identify since the development of Greenford these last 100 years or so have resulted in most of it running in underground culverts. The map I talked about here can help identify its original course, which appears to show one arm of the brook running close to Paradise fields, just west of Horsenden Hill.

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Places of interest in Google Maps for the park.

Google maps depends on crowd sourcing for items of interest on its maps (as indeed does the other map I often use, openstreetmap.org). I have been updating the entries for Perivale Park, the results of which you can see below. All you need is to have a Google account to do so, and although the entries are reviewed by Google, all of mine have thus far been accepted and released into the public version of the maps.

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The River Brent and (some of) its tributaries.

The river Brent flows along the southern edge of Perivale Park, on its way to joining the river Thames at Brentford. I thought here I would trace its route from (some) of its sources. The main route of the river starts in the London Borough of Barnet at Moat Mount, where it is called Dollis Brook. Much but not all of this route is walkable as the Dollis Valley Greenwalk.

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A corner of the park is now restored!

Over the last few years,  one corner of the main playing field area of the park had become something of a storage depot.  Much of the accumulation was because of the loss of other storage spaces in the borough,  and also whilst awaiting for completion of the new park at Glade lane.  Gradually since June this year, the  Perivale “depot” has been depleted and the contents moved to the new park.  Finally the last items have gone and we now await for the grass to grow back to complete the recovery.  So thanks Ealing Parks for doing this – it is much appreciated.

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Unveiled: the new plans for Gurnell Leisure centre

Leisure centers apparently have life expectancies of ~40 years and the one named Gurnell, located in what we like to call the greater Perivale park in the late 1970s, had reached the end of its life. The original redevelopment plans, the “Gurnell redevelopment”, were rejected a year or so ago by the council planning committee and after a rethink a new team at Ealing Council has put forward what they call a very different set of proposals. A public meeting was held on 30th November to announce these plans to the public. Here I show a few of the posters and slides on show.

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