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.
Out and about today (very strange weather, one minute blue skies and sunny, the next driving wind and snow), we spotted a wonderful marsh marigold. There will be many more to come, but this one is the first large one seen this year.
Last December, volunteers planted bulbs in the orchard area, including the easily accessible and diggable raised beds. Here is the result.
One criticism often levelled at the amenities in the park is that there is no information about them! Well that is about to change. The first phase is the refresh of the notice board next to the Golf pavillion. Its been a few years since anything new was put there, but take a look at it now!
With events in the world as they are, its good to go out and have at least some cheer. And since its daffodil time, I thought I would try the cheer by showing them.
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.
Perivale park is surrounded by blackthorn and hawthorne bushes/trees. One particular corner on the Gurnell-Greenford greenway along the river Brent is always one of the first to flower. These are also a highly scented varieties and as one walks along the path, both senses detect the arrival of spring.
As it passes through the southern edge of Perivale park, many trees overhang the river Brent. Occasionally one of these is felled by strong winds and there it forms a barrier to all the rubbish that is brought down the river from the Welsh Harp and the tributaries to the Brent.. On this occasion, the rubbish has accumulated to the extent that almost the entire surface of the river has been blocked by the stuff. Caused perhaps in part by the large polystyrene blocks that are also floating on the surface.
The agenda for the AGM will include the Chair’s annual report about what happened in the park in 2021. It contains 30 items, some small some big. To find out what they are, do send the friends an email at email@example.com to request the report and to attend the meeting via a Zoom link.
In addition to Perivale featuring on the Ealing Foundation site as January’s park of the month, GoParks are now featuring the whole borough. If you go to www.goparks.london/boroughs/ealing you will learn that Ealing has 209 parks and blue spaces, of which six have friends groups.
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‡).
If you happen to visit Greenford town centre on a Saturday, do pop in to see if anyone is working at the close by Costons Nature Reserve. There it was that I met Sean today, who showed me some of the new additions that have recently appeared.
There is lots to say about the park this year (mostly good!), the second year in which the park and its surrounds have played an important role in helping people cope with the COVID pandemic.
Since the first post in 2017 four years ago, some 245 stories, often accompanied by lots of photos, have appeared here. I thought it might be fun to show the demographics of how a little park in west London is reaching the world.
Several blogs here cover Horsenden Hill, including its magnificent west meadow. It is an ecologically unique and precious wildlife resource in west London. So the idea of up to 15,000 people entering the meadow to have a music festival does not bear thinking about.
The Bulbs for London project, together with Richard Spencer-Smith, have come up trumps with two large boxes of spring bulbs delivered on Tuesday. At very short notice, I managed to persuade two members of the “Red Green” park group to come along and help us plant some of them on the Wednesday.
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.
At round 07.40 at this time of year, the sun rises. With appropriate cloud cover, the effects can be spectacular. So, for collectors of sunrise as a “visual art form”, here is the one for 2021.
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.
The orchard in the park comprises 34 fruit trees, or it did until a few hours ago! Now some trees needing a new home have been replanted there.
The cosmos this year were self-seeded and they are putting on a nice autumn show for us.
In July this year, Perivale Park was included in the itinerary for the judging of the City category of the London in Bloom competition. Just to clarify, each London borough is considered to be the size of a city. Competition amongst the boroughs is intense! On Wednesday we heard that Ealing has been awarded the Gold category by the judges! So the park played its part in this award! Well done everyone who helped to make Perivale Park such a feature of the London borough of Ealing.
Our second community celebration of the park took place in lovely weather yesterday. We estimate one hundred or so people might have dropped in during the day, either to participate in the dog olympics, to buy cakes from the LAGER can stall, to go on the inspirational nature walk, to learn about Horsenden Hill and Farm, to hunt for treasures in the park, to work it all off with a bit of exercise or to meet our park ranger Mark. Many from the RedGreen group (who exercise on Tuesdays and Thursdays and were the original inspiration for the Friends) turned up, as did the Gurnell-Greenford Greenwayers. Thanks all!
A date for you to reserve in your diaries. The (now annual) Perivale park events day is happening again! The program is still being finalised, but we hope to have: Continue reading “Sunday September 12th, 14.00 – 16.00”
LAGER (Litter Action Group Ealing Residents) visit the park frequently, either as a group or as individuals. Here is one such visitor’s report. Thanks Ian!