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!
In June, only last year’s plantings are in full colour (being around 2 months ahead of this years seedings). Here are some snaps of one of the Ealing “bee corridors” set out last year and now in full magnificence. This should last a month or so longer. There are also corridors that have been ploughed and re-seeded this year, so together they should offer a spectacular display for many more months.
Close to the Nicky Hopkins bench in the park, on the site of the old bowling green, an orchard garden has started to take place.
From Lucy Shuker, Brent Catchment Partnership Development Manager,Thames21
Many thanks indeed to the Gurnell-Greenford Greenwayers for keeping up the fantastic clean-up work and for keeping us in the loop.
I am so excited to have the eel pass and monitoring station being installed by ZSL on the Costons gauging weir and to find out how many make it up to the pass when monitoring begins.
Meanwhile, the invertebrate / riverfly monitoring is revealing more variety than expected, even downstream of the Costons Brook confluence and associated inflows of periodically polluted waters.
It’s really good to see how activities by the GGGs and Thames21 are coordinating. Hopefully Ealing Parks Team will soon have the container in place for you to store your own equipment. I hope the Gurnell-Greenford Greenwayers will enjoy getting involved in putting in the river enhancements too when those events happen. The habitat improvements will be really beneficial for the eels and fish helped over the weir by the ZSL pass and EA baffles, which will hopefully be in place soon too.
This is what the GGGs had to contend with at the river clean-up event behind Gurnell Leisure Centre on Sunday 9th June: Continue reading “Gurnell-Greenford Greenwayers June Event”
The Secret Rivers exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands is on now and will be continuing till October. It’s very much worth a visit for those interested in the many rivers that have been wholly or partially lost. Our own River Brent running through Perivale Park appears on the large map at the entrance but the focus of the exhibition is those rivers that became sewers and were then filled in and built over. It’s just a pity that Costons Brook doesn’t feature on the map! The nearest station to the Museum is Westferry on the DLR.
Many thanks to the 12 wonderful volunteers who assiduously cleared an area of dry riverbed next to Perivale Park Golf Course last Sunday 12th May.