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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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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Cricket in the park: deep SHAME on this weekend’s teams.

The park has two wonderful cricket pitches and for the summer season there are always matches being played on them. So it is no surprise that after the match, some of the teams have a picnic and refreshment. The trouble is that all the detritus that accompanies food and drink is sometimes simply left scattered, as the photos below show for yesterday’s match. For someone else to pick up.

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Perivale Park resident heron.

Herons come in a wide variety of tameness and approachability. The most approachable we have seen was sat on a canal boat moored on the grand union canal near Stocker’s lake, who hardly stirred as we walked along the tow path and got to perhaps two metres of him. In contrast, the canal near Horsenden hill often has herons who fly away when you are still perhaps 100m away.

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Tadpoles this year?

The locals know the original park pond for its tadpoles. For a few years in the recent past they have been abundant in what was actually quite a small pond. Unfortunately, the tadpoles have become less abundant, and last year (2021) we think there were none that could be seen. In an effort to prevent premature drying out of the relatively small pond, it was enlarged about 18 months ago in an effort to allow water to be retained past the peak tadpole time to allow frogs to emerge and survive. After about a year where the clay stirred up by the enlargement was still in suspension, the ponds are finally starting to look more settled. Now with recent rains, the three separate ponds have joined up to make a single stretch of water.

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Perivale is Ealing Park of the Month for January.

The newly formed Ealing Parks foundation has started a park of the month project.  Over the coming months and years, many of Ealing’s parks and green spaces will no doubt be highlighted.  So it is a great honour for Perivale Park to be chosen to be the inaugural Ealing park to be so featured: There you can see some recent photos taken in the depths of winter, along with an interesting short history of Perivale (which started life in fact as Little Greenford).

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Dog water fountains in Perivale Park!

Meeting four dog walkers in the park a few weeks ago, I stopped and asked them what amenities in the park they would like to see. One of the responses was dog water fountains for thirsty dogs. Providing this could be non trivial, since laying down a water pipe from the mains could be costly. Fortunately, a watering hole is already available for dogs, but the location might not be widely known. So here is a picture, along with its location in the park.

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Animals galore! A guest appearance by Staines Moor.

Occasionally, one of the other green areas in west London makes an appearance here. Unlike Perivale Park, this one has lots of grazing animals to be seen. It is one of the delights of the UK that animals and ramblers can  be allowed to mix together in  some locations without being separated by fences. Common sense mostly prevails and the two can get on together famously. So here are some photos taken during a 3km walk around Staines Moor.

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Perivale Park kids playground. The litterers have surpassed themselves in their disgrace.

The photo below shows the state of the kids playground in the park this morning. The litter had appeared by yesterday morning (Friday), with the playground having been cleared of all rubbish not much more than a day earlier. So this is a single day’s littering and the photo shows the area of only one of the bins there, with much more deposited around the rest of the playground. It does not look like fox-spill, since nothing has been chewed and the pizza and luxury chocolate boxes had not been folded to insert into the bin. This is human activity!

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Perivale Wood: Bluebells and Celandine in April.

Perivale park is blessed with no less than three local nature reserves within walking distance. Of these, Perivale wood is the oldest and largest and is famed for its display of English bluebells. Normally only open one day a year to protect the plants, this year the Selborne Society, who look after the wood, have opened it on four “socially distanced” days in April.

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A Deep Clean of the park!

Litter picking is an increasing activity. When we are out on a pick, more and more frequently we get asked questions by passers-by such as “where do I get those collection bags from?” or “how do I get a litter picking stick?”. Also, we sometimes go out on a pick only to find an almost pristine park; other litter pickers have clearly got there before us! Sadly, that is mostly not the case though. So what are my favourite bugbears? Continue reading “A Deep Clean of the park!”

Early dawn ponds – and soft exercise areas.

Just before lockdown in February, six new exercise areas on the path of the “5km” run around the park were created. But the lockdown delayed the surfacing with a soft compound (which health and safety presumably nowadays demands of such places). They have now been lined and appear to be ready for use.  They are aimed very much at runners who want to address the upper parts of their bodies for some exercise.   The last photo shows the large area recently lined and with anchoring points for six “full body” machines that will be installed at some point.

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