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”
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 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.
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.
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).
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!
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.
Well, Greenford is newly on the map. It now (i.e. 29 May, 2020) has the least used station in London! Well, let’s try to lose that record by saying why you would want to come to South Greenford, the station with this unenviable (and hopefully temporary) record. Continue reading “South Greenford – Least Used Station in London”
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!
Greenford Birch Wood is one of the smaller green areas northwest of Perivale Park, running alongside the A40 and where most of the drivers there have no idea it exists.
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.
More history, this time east of Perivale Park, towards Perivale and then to Pitshanger. The ancient parish church of Perivale is located along Perivale lane. One can almost imagine how it all looked 885 years ago!