We now have details of how the four meadows in the orchard garden will be planted for next year. Each of the meadows now has a mound of soil, which will be mixed shortly with sand and evened out as soon as the rains and rather soggy ground conditions allow!
As the name indicates, the Greenwayers normally work along the river from Gurnell to Greenford but on Sunday 10th November, in the spirit of friendship, we went slumming it in Pitshanger Park to relieve them of a bit of their rubbish before it reaches us!
Carmel Cahill sent me these photos; she is one of the new Friends of Perivale Park, which was formed on Monday 4th November, 2019. The photos come with the comments:
South West London Environment Network (SWLEN) & Ealing Council are looking to form a Friends of Perivale Park group to help maintain and enhance this precious green space. The inaugural meeting is on Monday, 4 November, 19:00-21:00 GMT in the Conference Room of Brentside High School.
This is the orchard’s first year, and so it is still far from its final maturing outlook. But even at this stage the Malus fruits, of which there are in fact just a few, have acquired their brilliant red colour.
The new Greenford to Gurnell Greenway is now open for walkers. Here I start at the new bridge, which connects Perivale Park to Ruislip road (East).
Here comes the first striking autumn colour (location 1 on map)
The Perivale Park orchard garden now has four raised beds installed, with soil already delivered and ready to be poured into them in the next few days.
Even more rains have now fully matured the three ponds in the park itself. With the help of more “shallowing”, pond 3 now has its own island!
To the east of the railway line connecting Greenford and West Ealing stations, a new wetlands is taking shape.
Last october, Trees-for-Cities volunteers planted the new park woodland. Large mounds of bark chippings were brought in as mulch. After all the trees had been planted, a lot of these chippings were left over. Now, some 11 months later, the fungi have come!
The past month has brought frequent and sometimes flash rains.‡ The cumulative effect of which has been to fill up the three new ponds in the park to (literally) overflowing, just a week or two after their excavation.
The normal time for seeding the flower meadows is late March/April, but this year a later planting in June was made in the orchard area. With the help of a fair bit of rain this summer, together with hosepipe watering of the fruit trees in the orchard, this late meadow is now starting to show its colour. Currently, its best viewed close-up.
One of the two meadows just the other side of the railway viaduct that runs along one side of Perivale Park has had a lot of earth moved recently. Here are some photos of its current appearance and some information about what it might shortly become.
In mid August, the brambles are frutifying and we went out collecting. The result was rather more colourful than we anticipated!
The park is blessed with some large and presumably old (if not ancient) oak trees. Most look healthy, but today I found out that some are infested with the oak processionary moth.
Early August, and the sunflowers are in residence, but the shallow pond is now dry despite recent rains and the yellow grasses are now seeding.
Whilst this forum is mostly about Perivale Park, there are many other fantastic green spaces in London to explore. One of my favourites is the nature reserve in Tower Hamlets in east London, the cemetery park.
The trees for the orchard garden were planted about four weeks ago, and some of the apple trees already have fruits!
If you have visited the park recently you might have noticed progress with the orchard. The trees are in and are being watered, four sturdy benches made from recycled tropic hardwood for seating are now complete and very soon raised beds will appear for planting with herbs.
An extremely successful river clean-up took place on Sunday 14th July thanks to the hugely dedicated efforts of 12 volunteers, supported by Billy Coburn from Thames21. With 3 land-army pickers and 9 merfolk, we managed to collect 57 bags of mainly plastic litter, a large table leg, a sizeable laminate floor underlay and 4 pallets. The latter will remain on site above the floodline to provide a skyscraper for bugs.
With all these flower meadows and bee corridors being planted around Ealing (and Brent) and especially Perivale Park, are the bees happy? To find out I visited Ealing Beekeepers, who run hives within the foraging range of the park (typically 2-3 km, but can be up to ~6 km or further).
When flower plantings started in our area in 2016, we were never sure quite what to expect. It depended on rain and the type of seed set down. Now in mid-July we are starting to get some answers for 2019.
You are as likely to meet a contractor in many London parks now as you are a park ranger. So it was yesterday that we ran in Andrew, one of the Perivale Park contractors for Ealing council, talking to local residents about the developing orchard garden “pocket-park”. Since these contractors visit many sites, I asked what the most spectacular local park was in early July. He suggested we visit Northolt park, about 4 km north-west from Perivale park.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Perivale ward of Ealing council, we now have three colourful and informative signs in the park next to three floral meadows. Thanks to Jan and Brad for their fantastic designs!