The Colne Valley Viaduct taking shape

What, you might ask is the connection between Perivale Park and the Colne Valley viaduct?The viaduct is part of the HS2 rail link from London to Birmingham – and possibly beyond – and will be 3.4 km long, the longest railway viaduct in the UK. East of the viaduct a tunnel is being bored by TBMs Caroline and Sushila from Northolt to Greenford, ending just up the road from the park at Green Park way. Two more TBMs will head towards Greenford from Old Oak common, a new interchange station expected to be one of the busiest in the UK.

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Creation of a regional park – Some detail. And reference to a lido proposal?

This proposal certainly has caused much discussion and excitement. I managed to find some more detail, whilst we wait for more of the facts surrounding this proposal  to emerge. This is the link and I only pull out a few snippets from that. Perhaps someone well versed in this sort of speak can identify other important aspects? Continue reading “Creation of a regional park – Some detail. And reference to a lido proposal?”

Council Proposing to Close Perivale Park Golf Course – and create a new regional park.

As you can see from the map below, Perivale park abuts a golf course. Ealing council are proposing that this course be converted into a new regional park. Quoting Peter Mason, leading of the council “the Elizabeth II Park has transformed the east of London and this new regional park has the potential to have similar positive effect on the borough and West London” This is apparently part of the promise to “residents (of Ealing) 10 new parks and 50,000 more trees”.

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Treading the grapes in Greenford.

Horsenden Grape and Honey farm first planted their vines on a south facing sunny slope in Greenford about six years ago. This year the harvest of Solaris grapes was expected to be large enough to hold their first ever grape treading ceremony. As a “townie”, it’s not the sort of thing I would have done in my youth and I suspect a fair few readers here have never trodden grapes either!

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A wonderful blush of blue in the park – and its only going to get better.

As I noted before on July 9th, a seed mix containing Flax was planted in the meadow along the Capital ring path. Now, a mere two months later, its produced a fantastic display – and I think the best is yet to come. Do go visit this part of the park and have a look for yourself (its alongside the Capital Ring path).

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A new (industrial-sized) find in the park.

A few years ago, a walk in the park would often reveal small discarded nitrous oxide gas canisters; my record find was 52 of them. Then their incidence started to decrease and they became a less common sight. Today however whilst on my early morning litter round, I came across 19 much larger canisters – each weighing 1.1 kg. Since 21 kg of “litter” was rather too much for me to remove, I left them there.

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Repairs/by-passes to the Gurnell to Greenford path.

As you can see from the map below, a footpath known as the Gurnell to Greenford greenway runs parallel to Ruislip Road,  and adjacent to the river  Brent. At the spot marked with a red arrow, the footpath is very close to the near-vertical bank of the river, which flows perhaps 3-5m below the level of the path. This bank has become increasingly unstable over the years, possibly because of the occasional flood waters that roar down the Brent when the sluice gates are released from the  Welsh Harp reservoir at times of heavy rains.

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Yellow slime mold.

Occasionally, I spot something in the park that  I have never seen below. The photos below were snapped in the orchard area, next to the wood chipping mulch pile. iNaturalist tells me it is from the Genus Fuligo, and is probably the delightfully named “Dog Vomit Slime Mold”. With the frequent recent showers, I expect to see a lot more of this sort of thing in the next month or so.

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The 2023 meadow seed mix goes in – Sunflowers and Flax!

A dazzling variety of high-tech machines were used to prepare this year’s large park meadow for seeding. July is an unusual time to put seeds in, so quite what will happen over the next few months will be interesting to discover. The mix is for birds, and not neccessarily ornamental for humans to enjoy. But this years mix includes sunflowers (Helianthus annum) and cultivated flax (Linum Usitatissimum). The sunflower and flax seeds are 60% of the whole, so in about two years time we might expect a spectacular display of wonderful blue flax, as we saw two years ago in the orchard meadows.

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Is the park playground embarrassed?

When you take family to a park playground, you hope the kids will be safe and can run around happily without concern. We in fact visited Perivale park playground yesterday  (Friday) at around 14.00 with an infant grand-daughter. We did (sadly) have to check for broken glass and syringes (both of which have been seen there in the past), but at that time it was looking more or less tidy. I decided to visit the area again this morning, and you can see what I found from the photos below.

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General nature walk, July 8th, 2023 at 10.00 led by Neil Anderson.

Each year, we normally have a nature walk close to or in the park. Recently these have been organised by the the Ealing Wildlife Group and this year,  there will be walk on Saturday July 8th. The meeting place will be on the bridge over the Brent, just past Coston’s nature reserve at 10.00, led by Neil Anderson. He tells me that “provided the weather is fine, the emphasis will most likely  be on flora & flying insects such as butterflies & dragonflies. Suspect it will be quiet for birds but I won’t ignore any we come across (Grey Wagtails successfully bred along the Costons Brook in the park).”

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The orchard meadows in June – Achillia and Viper’s bugloss.

When the orchard garden project was being planned five years ago, four meadows were created with nutrient-poor soil to encourage a different diversity of flowers to adopt the area. The nutrient-free aspect was achieved by putting down a thick bed of sand into each of the meadows. These were then sown with a perennial seed-mix and planted with bulbs. Of the latter, the gladioli and some dwarf narcissus made a come back this year. So, now in June, what is happening?

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A new river bridge in the park.

Depending on how you define the park boundaries, we have four bridges – two crossing the Brent and two crossing Coston’s brook. A fifth is now taking shape, crossing what might be called Perivale Brook. This latter feeds the ponds in the area next to the children’s playground and previously crossed the path there in a pipe. A pipe that proved too small in diameter and was constantly blocking with leaves from the trees there. Now the pipe is being replaced by a custom built bridge.

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Seating galore from which to view the wildlife in the ponds.

Are you one of those walkers who likes to see a bench to sit on when you visit a park? Fear not. The meadows to the east of the railway viaduct have lots of seating, in the form of nicely shaped rocks arrayed along the banks of the small stream that flows through the meadow feeding the largest pond. From which you can observe what is happening in the ponds themselves. Such as the marsh marigolds which are making a welcome reappearance; they were planted about four years ago, but last year’s show was very minimal. This year its a bit better, but too soon to say whether they will become permanently establish.

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