Seating galore from which to view the wildlife in the ponds.

Are you one of those walkers who likes to see a bench to sit on when you visit a park? Fear not. The meadows to the east of the railway viaduct have lots of seating, in the form of nicely shaped rocks arrayed along the banks of the small stream that flows through the meadow feeding the largest pond. From which you can observe what is happening in the ponds themselves. Such as the marsh marigolds which are making a welcome reappearance; they were planted about four years ago, but last year’s show was very minimal. This year its a bit better, but too soon to say whether they will become permanently establish.

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A new (old) park bench – where did it come from?

A park bench has mysteriously appeared near the “four ponds” area of the park, near the  Cowgate road entrance. Its obviously old, and clearly has come from another home.  But sitting on it, one has a lovely view of the ponds, which in retrospect clearly needed a bench from which to view them. And on a summer evening, it will make a perfect spot from which to observe bats, which we showed last year frequent the area.

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Ice art: the frozen ponds of Chobham Common.

Occasionally other green spaces in London make a guest appearance here, and this one is from Chobham Common, in the south west just beyond the  M25 ring. The last two nights have seen an abrupt drop in temperatures, down to about -4C, and this rapid freeze and perhaps wind have created some wonderful patterns in the Chobham common ponds. Shown below is a selection for you to enjoy.

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The periodic lake festival in the Park

A few times a year, especially at this time, the golf course adjacent to the park transforms into a lake. This area is a flood plane, and when the Welsh Harp reservoir gets too full, its sluice gates are opened and the excess water flows down the river Brent until it reaches the park golf course. IThe water then enters the course and exits further down. This turns the golf course into a temporary lake. Today more like a river, since you can see the flow from the videos below. Meanwhile the placid Coston’s brook transformed into a river, footpaths flooded and the ponds next to the children’s playground overflowed. Very probably more to come!

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Costons Brook improvements – reed and iris plantings.

Today a section of the bed of Costons brook (near the bridge in  Perivale  Park) was planted by five volunteers with Flag Iris, which should flower yellow in the spring. Earlier this month, the Greenwayers had removed vast amounts of Himalayan Balsam from the banks  and overhanging branches have been trimmed to improve the light reaching the brook.

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An exciting new feature for kids in the park (tested by an old kid!)

A few years back, some large rocks (and railway sleepers) were brought to the park, next to the footpath at the cross-paths, close to the Cowgate lane entrance. Kids soon started scrambling on them with great delight, but the rocks were soon enclosed with fences to prevent this. Now they have been moved to their final location, as stepping stones to a little island formed by one of the adjacent ponds.

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Gurnell Leisure Centre: a proposal to relocate to Longfield Meadows?

The Save Gurnell site is reporting two new proposals from Ealing council for the  leisure centre. One of these involves wholesale relocation of the centre to Longfield meadows (a site of importance for nature conservation, or SINC), as shown in the plan below. This follows an earlier proposal to relocate just the BMX track to a portion of this meadow, which was withdrawn last year. Longfield meadows are part of what we call the “Greater Perivale Park”.

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Perivale park summer/autumn event, 2022.

This year the event held on 25 September was bigger than ever.  We had the dog “olympics”, where owners and their dogs participated in various types of races and skills tests.  The team from  Café Berry, whose home is in the nearby Pitshanger park, came with their delicious home-baked cakes and snacks, and gave everyone a chance to sample their special dog vanilla ice creams. The local girl guides painted faces and the weather was perfect. A chance for all the users of the park to meet each other – and  their dogs! And the new Friends badge was distributed to everyone. Those who have all three editions have a collector’s item! The next opportunity to get one will be Tuesday 27th September at the park athletics track. Come and get yours, and join in the exercise whilst you are at it!

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Free five-a-side football training for 8-10 year olds on 26th October – book now!

As part of the grant we obtained from the  Freshwater foundation, we are organising two sessions of free five-a-side football training for 8-10 year olds on  Wednesday October 26, 2022 (half-term). The training will be done using the park MUGA (multi-use games area) by Brentford FC community sports trust, who have many years of experience in running such programs.

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The MUGA (multi-use games area) has lines again – The RedGreen group inaugurate!

About three  years ago, a group of youths attempting to play five-a-side football in the MUGA court in the park, next to the tennis courts, handed me a list of things they would like to see fixed in the park. Top of their list was to have the MUGA lines repainted. This had last been done at the time of the 2012 Olympics, but the lines had faded badly, making competitive games difficult. This was about the time that the Friends of the Park group was being formed, and we added it to our list of projects. Earlier this year, we became aware of the Freshwater Foundation, a charity operating in  Ealing and  Hounslow that gives grants for exactly this sort of project. We put in an application in May and in late August we heard we had been successful. This Monday, contractors from Centurian turned up to revitalise the lines. Rain paused their activities but they came back yesterday and finished the job! You can see the results below.

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Greater London Green Flag Award: Perivale Park

The Green Flag award scheme aspires to Raising the standard of Parks and Green Spaces and is the International mark of quality. Earlier this year its judges visited Perivale Park, and we walked them around, showing the various points of interest. Now the judging is complete and we are delighted to announce that the coveted Green Flag has been awarded to the park. Thanks to everyone who made this possible, but especially to all the folks at  Ealing Parks who pulled out all the stops this year for us!

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