I encountered a licensed drone pilot the other day, and we have just spent a delightful hour taking photos of the park from an angle I have never seen before. Fortunately, recent rains have filled up the ponds and even the sun cooperated by setting nicely.
This event will be taking place on Saturday 28th November, 2021. Please note that the time shown below should actually show a start time of 10.00, not 11.00.
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.
From having just one pond in the park three years ago (the one known as the frog pond) we now have an abundance, big and small. At the last count it was nine in the main park and three on the other side of the railway embankment. Perhaps the most photogenic are the three ponds close to the kids playground, close to Coston’s brook, where the reflections of sunrise can make for some fantastic photos. Now these ponds are being added to. A fourth swale is now being dug on the other side of the little feeder stream, in-between it and the surfaced kids playground.
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.
October is a favourite month for late summer colour. The Cosmos in particular always put on a good show and this year we had a lot of plantings of this flower around the park. In particular, the Gurnell-Greenway route along the Brent and Ruislip road and also the “three ponds” near the kids playground.
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.
Visiting the park just before dawn is an interesting experience. It can be full of joggers and dog walkers and if you visit regularly you get to know most of them! I tend to go out to tidy up the park of litter before the commuters take over and perchance to pick up a spare roll of litter bags from the refuse collectors, who also tend to be out at that time. Today, dawn rose whilst I was passing the ponds and I managed the following snaps.
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”
Rectory park is to the west of Perivale Park and just south of Northala fields. The spring show there was subdued but recent rains have brought out the autumn flowers such as the cosmos wonderfully well.
The weather was perfect for an early september day and we had lots of activities for all happening throughout the two hours of the meeting, organised by the park Friends. Below are some photos of everyone enjoying themselves.
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 current program of events for the celebration of Perivale Park can be seen below. Do please come along on the day to enjoy the events and of course bring along your ideas and suggestions for enhancing the park.
In April, I wrote about the Cuckoo estate and the associated Cuckoo park, which is just south of Perivale Park.
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.
The raised beds in the orchard garden, a “pocket park” within Perivale Park, are yielding more and more harvest. Here is a selection.
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.
London is sweltering at the moment (Greenford, ~34, Algiers a mere 28°C). Visitors to the park do not linger long in the open sun but seek secluded glades for relief. One such glade in Perivale Park was discovered this morning when a few of us gathered informally for some exercise. After half an hour of flexing as many muscles as could be reasonably stressed on a hot day, I noticed a splash of red colour in the background. Colour too is none to abundant at the moment, with the seeded and now parched wild flowers suffering as well.
Earlier this year, I put up a list of areas in the London borough of Ealing that had been seeded with flower mixes. Today a comment on the post alerted us that Trinity way open space in Ealing was looking particularly great at the moment. Curiously it was not part of the original list of sites in Ealing. So I headed in that direction and took some photos, seen below.
With mid-summer approaching, and with the help of a few rain showers, the summer seed-mix planted into the meadow next to the three new park ponds is showing its most colourful diversity.
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).
A Friends group for Perivale Park was formed and constituted seven months ago. We will be celebrating the park and its role in helping to cheer us all up during the 2020 pandemic by having an autumn event on Sunday 13 September at 14.00. The program is still being finalised and will be announced here and elsewhere in the next month or so.
Even slightly “formal” gardens or planted beds in parks nowadays are not as common as they used to be; the cost of maintenance (= a lot of weeding) has reduced their number. More likely now are wild flower mixes along borders and meadows. Perivale park however does have one such planted area, in which four square meadows‡ mingle with borders surrounding seating and crab-apple trees adjacent to an orchard area that also has four community raised beds. A sort of informal allotment and garden rolled into one. Here are some photos of the flower meadows and raised beds as of mid-July. The maintenance by the way is done by a combination of Ealing Parks and volunteer weeders and waterers.
Last weekend a group of us gathered to do some weeding in the orchard garden. This is right next to the Capital Ring path and the Nicky Hopkins bench and so there is a fair amount of footfall. One of the visitors on that day was Damian Walker, who is a professional photographer. These are the photos he took for us.