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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For all fungus lovers – an autumn abundance.

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.

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Amphibians galore – next year?

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!

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Weeding exercises in the park – and the ponds quickly refilled.

With the recent rains and abundant sun, the beneficiaries have been the “weeds” (which if they did not dominate so quickly can be appreciated for themselves). The four raised beds in the orchard garden area of Perivale Park needed some attention! Three of the beds are planted; one with winter garlic, another with flowering and about to seed winter brassicas and the third with a still germinating  wildflower mix. But we still need gardeners to come along and plant/deplant/replant something there! Vegetables, herbs, flowers, anything you fancy!

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Cuckoo Park, Cuckoo Avenue, Chestnuts and Charlie Chaplin.

Just to the south of Perivale Park is Cuckoo Park, reached by a most magnificent avenue of chestnut trees (Cuckoo Avenue) by branching off south from the Greenford to Gurnell  Greenway. The trees were planted as part of the development of the  Cuckoo estate in the late 1930s. I was at the end of a Greenwayers’ litter picking last year, enjoying the traditional cup of tea and Richard’s biscuits, when a local resident (who was also a thespian and a Churchill impersonator), told me that the newly planted Cuckoo avenue was formally opened by Charlie Chaplin himself. Anyway, if you do need some exercise, go walk along this magnificant avenue; the chestnuts are now in full bloom. Delay and you will miss the flowering.

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