Jon has sent me this fantastic link for exploring georeferenced maps with historical overlays. Click on the map below or use this link.
On Jubilee day, June 2, 2022, we capture the park with the new Walnut tree planted by Ealing May Councillor Munir Ahmed in March as a contribution to the Queen’s Green Canopy. It is looking very healthy indeed!
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.
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.
We have received two absolutely delightful emails from Caroline, who recollects her childhood spent growing up in Perivale Park. I quote her emails (with her permission) here for everyone to relish. Caroline now lives in Canada, and has not visited the park since the late 1980s.
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.
We are lucky that our bedroom window faces south, which means that in the mornings we can see the sun rise in the east and in the evening we can see it set in the west. Sometimes it can feel like a display of modern art, and a few times I have here shown the morning artwork. Today the atmospherics have led to an interesting alternative evening display.
Sometimes, when going for a walk in green areas in Ealing, one can come across football or cricket pitches that do not seem abundantly used. Not so in Perivale Park, when during the winter months, the football pitches have freshly painted lines, teams young and old and even a good smattering of spectators. Below you can see these in the park today.
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: www.ealingparks.foundation/park-of-the-month-january. 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‡).
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.
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.
The autumn colours this year are delayed by perhaps a month due to the combination of temperatures and rain. The effect of course also depends on the time of day and whether a late sun is shining from a low angle making the leaves on the trees translucent.
We had a wonderful turnout today for the orchard gardening. Here are some of the helpers (not all present at the same time)
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!
A freely accessible Wiki guide to the London National Park City is now available. The idea is for those of us with local knowledge of interesting areas and activities in London can add to the collective nuggets of information about London city. Some of the topics are shown below:
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.
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!”
Its late February, the snows have gone and the sun has come out. These are photos were taken on a circular walk which encompassed Perivale park and the blossom at the exit via Ruislip Road, on to the Cuckoo estate avenue and Hanwell community centre and park, then entering the Hanwell Big Local project and the discovery of a delightful small wood in the centre of the housing estates.
A few weeks ago, I noted that the Capital Ring path often includes a water feature, and made a plea for maintenance of the drain from which the water was pouring. Well, Thames Water have responded! Thanks to them!!
Five years ago, Perivale park and the adjacent Longfield meadows had only one pond, known to locals as the frog pond – and even that was only about 15 years old. Now – there are lots! Most are currently frozen and its going to get colder and they are going to freeze more! Here are some of them.
A few days ago, the park rangers responded to feedback that the route of the Capital Ring through the park was confusing some walkers, by putting up a number of new signs directing them in the correct direction (which is apparently a clockwise circuit of the ring).
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.
This entrance is much used by local residents, many of whom are pushing kids buggies and whose progress has been hampered in the past by the puddles, verging on mini-ponds, that invariably form there when it rains. Some large ones have been seen with the recent rainy october.
A combination of constant rain and showers coupled with very mild weather has produced one of the best displays of fungi in the park for a little while. A particularly rich location is next to the large pond in the centre of the park (first photo, now gradually filling up with water) which was surrounded by trees in December 2018 by a Trees For Cities volunteering event. Each of the young trees were mulched with bark chippings, but a large mound was left over at the end and it is there‡ that you are guaranteed to find fungi at this time of year.
The 29km long river Brent, named after the goddess Briguntia (bringer of poetry, springtime and love) runs through the southern edge of Perivale Park on its way to Hanwell and the river Thames.
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”