Visiting the park just before dawn is an interesting experience. It can be full of joggers and dog walkers and if you visit regularly you get to know most of them! I tend to go out to tidy up the park of litter before the commuters take over and perchance to pick up a spare roll of litter bags from the refuse collectors, who also tend to be out at that time. Today, dawn rose whilst I was passing the ponds and I managed the following snaps.
The last three days have seen near continuous steady rain. So its time to go out and see how the park (and birds) have responded. The ducks and gulls are out in force enjoying their new ponds. Meanwhile, some of the new paths in the Longfield meadows area have become ponds themselves.
Those of us of a certain age remember distant childhood times when everyone so it seemed had access to a local pond with abundant tadpole populations. Such a rain-replenished pond was dug perhaps 10 years ago in Perivale Park. For a fair few of these subsequent years tadpoles were indeed seen. However the pond was fairly shallow and had often dried out just before the tadpoles were due to leave it as frogs. Now its been enlarged!
One of the activities last Sunday involved a nature walk around the park. Here Neil Anderson has kindly sent us summaries of few highlights regarding sightings: Continue reading “Celebrating Perivale Park: Nature walk report”
Rectory park is to the west of Perivale Park and just south of Northala fields. The spring show there was subdued but recent rains have brought out the autumn flowers such as the cosmos wonderfully well.
The weather was perfect for an early september day and we had lots of activities for all happening throughout the two hours of the meeting, organised by the park Friends. Below are some photos of everyone enjoying themselves.
This is a much anticipated annual event in the park, the mole invasion. These little critters are highly organised and select only the finest cricket turf to dig their mounds, in this remarkably neat pattern. A day later and the moles vanish; probably hibernating until next summer.
More developments regarding the tennis courts. The power supply cable laid into a trench a week or so ago is today being connected up to the keypad system controlling entry. When commissioned, entry will be according to the instructions below.
Sunrise at this time of year is around 06.15 and it terms of spectacular display it literally only lasts a few minutes. So you have to be in the right place at the right time to capture these effects. This is what I saw today!
If you have wandered along the Capital ring path in the park recently you may have wondered why a nice new cabin has just appeared there.
The current program of events for the celebration of Perivale Park can be seen below. Do please come along on the day to enjoy the events and of course bring along your ideas and suggestions for enhancing the park.
In April, I wrote about the Cuckoo estate and the associated Cuckoo park, which is just south of Perivale Park.
The park has some very well patronised tennis courts. In March, one of the sturdy doors to the courts was replaced by a new version with a keypad – and then promptly locked so that no-one could use it. Yesterday, two workmen turned up digging a trench to carry an electricity cable from the adjacent cricket pavillion to the entrance to the courts.
The raised beds in the orchard garden, a “pocket park” within Perivale Park, are yielding more and more harvest. Here is a selection.
Today twelve of those fantastic folks at LAGER Can (Litter Action Group Ealing Residents) came over to Perivale park and hunted for litter. After about 90 minutes, around 20 bags of the stuff had been removed from the park and surroundings and placed in litter bags for collection.
London is sweltering at the moment (Greenford, ~34, Algiers a mere 28°C). Visitors to the park do not linger long in the open sun but seek secluded glades for relief. One such glade in Perivale Park was discovered this morning when a few of us gathered informally for some exercise. After half an hour of flexing as many muscles as could be reasonably stressed on a hot day, I noticed a splash of red colour in the background. Colour too is none to abundant at the moment, with the seeded and now parched wild flowers suffering as well.
Earlier this year, I put up a list of areas in the London borough of Ealing that had been seeded with flower mixes. Today a comment on the post alerted us that Trinity way open space in Ealing was looking particularly great at the moment. Curiously it was not part of the original list of sites in Ealing. So I headed in that direction and took some photos, seen below.
With mid-summer approaching, and with the help of a few rain showers, the summer seed-mix planted into the meadow next to the three new park ponds is showing its most colourful diversity.
We are currently starting a big butterfly count in the UK. Suitably inspired and anxious to see some birds as well, we ventured off to Horsenden hill, with the added bonus of Horsenden farm opening its new shop selling vegetables, breads, honey and microbrewed beers. The Gruffalo also always provides interest (to those who have not seen him before, he is rather BIG).
A Friends group for Perivale Park was formed and constituted seven months ago. We will be celebrating the park and its role in helping to cheer us all up during the 2020 pandemic by having an autumn event on Sunday 13 September at 14.00. The program is still being finalised and will be announced here and elsewhere in the next month or so.
Even slightly “formal” gardens or planted beds in parks nowadays are not as common as they used to be; the cost of maintenance (= a lot of weeding) has reduced their number. More likely now are wild flower mixes along borders and meadows. Perivale park however does have one such planted area, in which four square meadows‡ mingle with borders surrounding seating and crab-apple trees adjacent to an orchard area that also has four community raised beds. A sort of informal allotment and garden rolled into one. Here are some photos of the flower meadows and raised beds as of mid-July. The maintenance by the way is done by a combination of Ealing Parks and volunteer weeders and waterers.
Last weekend a group of us gathered to do some weeding in the orchard garden. This is right next to the Capital Ring path and the Nicky Hopkins bench and so there is a fair amount of footfall. One of the visitors on that day was Damian Walker, who is a professional photographer. These are the photos he took for us.
On Sunday July 5th (2020), we had a community weeding in the orchard garden part of the park.
Perivale park has a small “pocket garden”, being the old bowling green converted into an orchard with 34 fruit trees, four raised beds, four seating benches embedded in floral borders and four larger garden quadrants. These latter were prepared with a layer of sand last year and planted with bulbs, of which the allium (ornamental flowering onions) are currently in full glory. But earlier another bulb had its moment of glory, the Eremurus or foxtail lily (desert candles). This was quite an unusual planting, and a bit of an experiment to see if it will survive a winter and flourish.
The original meadow, first sown in profusion in 2017, has now morphed again as encouraged by recent showers. The flowers showing up now have a certain delicacy which requires a little extra attention from passers by. The cosmos about to come will soon balance this with a different more robust perspective. Note the allium in the orchard meadow that is finally starting to show its own colour.
Here are some photos taken around the newly replenished “playground” ponds in the park and sent to me yesterday. The dog is Paula’s and his name is Forrest and the photos are by Joana. Thanks Jo!
News has reached us that Ealing Wildlife Group have reached their funding target to convert some abandoned allotments on the edge of the park into a new Nature Reserve (the allotments were abandoned due to propensity for flooding). Congratulations to them!
In 2017, a large meadow in Perivale Park was transformed with wildflowers. Next, the erstwhile manicured lawn of the old bowling green was similarly transformed last year, after it has to be said a few years of neglect. Now, news reaches me that another pristine and rather more famous lawn, apparently previously manicured and most definitely not neglected for 300 years or so, has imitated Perivale Park and gone all colourful.
Today we undertook a litter-picking exercise walk around the park, taking in the Greenway walk to Gurnell. We armed ourselves at the start with two litter pickers and (optimistically) just ONE collection bag.
Although this forum is about Perivale Park and its surroundings, I could not resist celebrating the partial release from lockdown by allowing visits to other gardens. In this case, RHS Wisley, about 40 miles away from the park.