An open evening was held last Thursday 24th January 2019 to announce the Ealing Parks Foundation. Thanks to Ros Bryar for kindly sending this report of the meeting.
Perivale Park is blessed with two rivers. To the south runs the river Brent and in the south-west its tributary Costons Brook. Today I learnt about two recent events involving cleaning up these waterways. Richard Spencer-Smith sent me the following descriptions of the activities of the Gurnell-Greenford Greenwayers.
The Greenford to Gurnell Greenway is well under way in the park. A new path is starting construction, heading off to a brand new bridge across the river Brent. This will help complete a circular pathway around the entire park, and no doubt encourage those quarter marathon runners (two circuits?).
LIDAR (light and RADAR map) is a 3D mapping technique that detects surface features which are not otherwise discernible from the ground. One of the Ealing park rangers (thanks James!) pointed me to this site; https://houseprices.io/lab/lidar/map?ref=TQ15148280 which provides a postcode based map of UK LIDAR data. Here it is for Perivale Park.
Trees for Cities is a charity which mobilizes armies of volunteers to go plant trees. Today, it was the turn of Perivale Park, part of the new Greenford to Gurnell Greenway project.
You obviously have to be up fairly early to see this aspect of the Park. Here is sunrise on the morning of November 14, 2018 at ~07.10 am.
I have previously mentioned this flagship plan by Ealing council for enhancing the Perivale Park area. Today the plan was published, along with an invitation for people to comment. I do urge anyone reading this to do so!
Next year the London National Park City launches in July. As a prelude, the first forum, or get together of some of the many organisations in London that promote it with the ethos of a national park took place on November 7th. Perivale Park was represented on this occasion by the RedGreen Group, a small local residents group which, with the participation of Ealing council, is in the process of enhancing the park with spring bulb and summer fruit plantings as an adjunct to the major Greenford to Gurnell Greenway scheme which is helping to transforming the area.
You can now plan your visit to Perivale Park by browsing the newly re-launched London National Park City station walks map. There are currently four walks starting from South Greenford (SG) station radiating out in the four compass directions.
Over the last week, a short stretch of Coston’s brook as it runs through Perivale Park has been transformed. The brook rises in the industrial estates north of the A40 in west Greenford and for its short course it emerges from culverts and then openly runs through the park before joining the river Brent close to Greenford Bridge. For much of the last 30 years or so, its course through the park has been lined with impenetrable blackthorn. Although these produce delightful blossom in the spring, the blackthorn was effectively blocking access to the brook.
About 4500 bulbs‡ were planted in the north-west corner of the park yesterday. We were blessed with glorious sun, but rather foot-numbing temperatures. Despite this unanticipated coldness, we enjoyed delicious home-made lemonade provide by Jack, who also provided a fish&chip lunch for some of us.
One of the (several) projects under way in the park this autumn is the preparation of an orchard area, replacing the old bowling green.
The Greenford to Gurnell Greenway is a project to transform underused and disconnected green space along the river Brent in West London connecting Greenford town centre to Gurnell Leisure centre. It is one of six initiatives to improve green spaces as part of the London National Park City project.
As part of the Greenford to Gurnell (swimming pool) project, a new Perivale Park woodland is to be planted running alongside a recently constructed path. You can vote for the trees and make other suggestions here or view the location and design. There will be a community planting on Sunday December 2nd.
Join us on Saturday 27th October, 2018 in planting four thousand bulbs near the entrance to Perivale Park. Funded by a community grant, we now need YOUR help to plant the bulbs!
As part of the “re-wilding” of the park, the ground has been cleared and prepared for a new wetlands area. It will be watered naturally and during the expected wet winter months, the new pond – which has a shallow terrace and a deeper centre – will hopefully fill up with rainwater. The flora and hopefully fauna will then slowly follow.
The opening of the Nicky Hopkins memorial bench took place in Perivale Park at noon today. Here are a few photos of the occasion (click on any image for higher resolution).
On September 8th at 12.00, a memorial will be unveiled in Perivale Park to Nicky Hopkins (“Rock’s Greatest Session Man“) He was a famous session musician who played with many of the greats of the 1960s onwards such as the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, Ella Fitzgerald, Art Garfunkel and many others.
The Capital Ring walk is a 126 km circumambulation around London passing through Perivale Park (section 8). In a southerly direction, you can get to another park in south-east London, Crystal Palace park (sections 3 and 4), which is a rather more famous cousin of Perivale.
There was finally some rain last week, and the cosmos in particular have picked themselves up.
A dead tree seems even more petrified, nay ghostly, than usual!
A bridge across Coston’s brook always has a hop plant growing on it, and this year’s harvest looks particularly enticing!
Meanwhile, the main wildflower planting area never did get going this year, apart from a small patch in the centre, which although stunted, has some colour.
After two months of no rain, several people I know performed rain dances last night. The result was much thunder and a great deal of heavy rain – everywhere except Perivale Park! Despite that, the spring wild flower plantings are still looking great – I guess they must all be pretty draught tolerant. Here are some photos taken this morning.
There was a small shower of rain last night and the parched flowers seemed to appreciate it. Some of the brambles shown below are already tasty, but they will need a lot more rain for most of them to ripen. This photo was taken along the Brent river valley, walking from Perivale Park to Hanwell.
Close to Perivale Park is St Mary’s Perivale, a 12th century church now used as a music venue.
Groundwork UK is a charity that aims to re-connect people with nature and transform whole neighbourhoods. They provide grants under an “Our Space” awards scheme for small-scale community projects. A group of locals meet in Perivale Park every week under the “everyone active” scheme (https://www.everyoneactive.com/centre/perivale-park-athletics-track/ ) to take gentle exercise in the athletics track there. During the summer, when the track is often used for schools sports days, we decamp to the park proper. Last year from this viewpoint we watched as the wild flower meadows blossomed. This is of course so much more in the park, including a wide variety of trees and shrubs. We also noticed that an old bowling green had become neglected these last few years and the Our Space award seemed a wonderful chance for us to do something about it and provide a new amenity in the neighbourhood.
March and April this year was heavy on rain. As a result, the 2018 wild flower plantings only got under way on May 8th, when a tractor came along, prepared the soil and planted the wild flower seeds.
Since then there has been little rain, and so only the very hardy thistles have flourished. But one or two areas have managed to produce an early profusion of colour – mainly the poppies.
The border above is new this year, being adjacent to the oak copse planted about 10 years ago and now with nicely maturing trees.
You can see how dry it is from the photo below (the oak copse is to the left).
Regular updates following the flowers this year will appear here, along with notes on rain (or lack of it!).
London is about to become a national park city, with the aim of encouraging Londoners and visitors to London to get out and explore its many green features. One way of doing this is to go on a StationWalk, where you start and end at a station.
The banks of the river Brent close to Perivale Park in London are about to be enhanced with reed beds, wetlands, meadows, woodland and orchards. This is a fantastic new local resource for the area! Photographs of the existing fields will appear here shortly and as the development proceeds more will be added to illustrate how the transformation is proceeding.