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.
The water to create the ponds will be from a diverted ditch/stream running from the Stockdove estate, which currently empties into the Brent. The ponds are pretty large and deep, and it is always amazing to me how they can be filled using even a very small source of water. Let’s hope the ditch (which has no name I am aware of) does not start to run dry!
One of the models for this redevelopment are the PinkHill meadow ponds, just to the west of the city of Oxford.† You can read about this project as it approaches 30 years of maturing. Fresh Water Habitats Trust, along with Thames Valley water, are resposible for the site and now claim “it’s the best monitored pond complex in the UK (indeed, perhaps anywhere)” It is on a much larger scale than the Greenford Greenway project, with around 40 ponds. You can chart the evolution of the habitat and its plants over 30 years on the link above, and hence what we might expect here in Perivale.
Meanwhile work on another set of ponds, now located directly in Perivale park has started. Here is a sketch of the area sent to me by Richard (thanks!). To help orientation, the children’s playground is at the top left, and the new orchard-meadow is shown with a red cross. The Nicky Hopkins bench is at the top right, the grey path is in fact the Capital Ring and Coston’s brook is shown in blue on the bottom left. This project too will divert a ditch, which we know from experience runs about 9 months of the year and which either has no name, or according to some locals is known as Perivale brook. I might add that local knowledge goes back to the late 1940s, perhaps even earlier.
† This site is not open to the public, but they do appear to have one or two visiting days a year, which would require booking. The date of the next one is not yet known, but will probably be in 2020.