Welcome to Alexandra Park
in North London

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Friends Tweets

Our normal activities include:

  • Opening the Park Visitor Centre, where you can find leaflets, chat to volunteers and find activities for children. 

Park Visitor Centre in The Grove re-opens

The Park Visitor Centre in The Grove will be open on Sundays and on the first Saturday of the month from 2pm to 4pm. Please wear a face covering while inside the building. Come and ask about our walks, talks and volunteering opportunities.

London Metropolitan Brass in The Grove

Sunday 5th September from 2pm to 3:45pm

The London Metropolitan Brass Community Band will playing for all in The Grove by the Cafe. It will be great to hear a band back in The Grove after a year's absence. 

Expect old favourites and a few surprising numbers. Come and sit on the grass or bring your own fold-up chairs.

The senior band will play for an hour straight later on this month on Sunday, 26th September from 2:30pm to 3:30pm.

Bat Walk

Monday 6th September

We need some dry weather for our autumn bat walk, but all being well.... 

Using bat detectors, we will "listen" to our bats flying around the Boating Lake after sundown. 

Time will be given after booking via AllyparkN10@gmail.com

Conservation Work Party

Thursday 9th September from 10am to 12:30pm

In the Butterfly Meadow again. On our last session, a delicate, but vibrantly coloured waxcap was spotted.

If you don't know the location, please meet at 10am at the finger post at the junction of the Lower Path and path down to the North View Entrance. We will be removing brambles and tree saplings from this area which is haven for butterflies and other wildlife. 
Further date in September... Tuesday, 21st.

Art in the Park Group

Thursday 23rd September from 10:30am to Noon

Our new monthly Art in the Park group continues with local artist Katy Fattuhi on Thursday, 23rd September. Hopefully the weather will be kinder to us for our second meeting!

The sessions are free, but you do need to book a place:
When you have booked we will let you know where we are meeting and can inform you of any last minute changes due to the weather.
Bring your own materials - you may want to draw or paint, or you may like to do some photography or sewing - whatever you fancy! Please bring what you think you will need. (Some basic materials can be provided - please enquire about this when booking if required).
Bring something to sit on - a fold up chair or a mat. If you would like to book a place or find out more please email allyparkn10@gmail.com

Each month we will meet in a different part of the park and notice what is happening in nature at that time of year.

Katy runs an art group for children in the garden at Campsbourne School and also ran a small neighbours art group for adults in the park through the Palace View Mutual Aid group in the Autumn. She is passionate about providing opportunities for people to be creative in a no pressure way and to engage with nature, for all the benefits these bring.


We need your help! We are restarting litter picking in the park. (Some volunteers never stopped.) With the hot weather coming and the lockdown easing, we need some more volunteers to help litter pick in Alexandra Park. 

Last year over a hundred local volunteers joined in the litter clearance effort, enabling the John O’Conner team to keep up with their other grounds maintenance tasks. A big thank you to John O’Conner and all those volunteers (see award won below).

Anyone wishing to join the volunteer litter pickers, should please Email  (AllyParkN10@gmail.com) us.

Heritage in Lockdown Hero Award – Alexandra Palace’s litter picking volunteers win

This award celebrates the local people who rallied to help Alexandra Palace clear its historic parkland of litter during lockdown. The efforts of the volunteers were critical in helping to keep the parkland safe and clean for everyone to enjoy.

Extract from a statement from the Palace

Alexandra Park has served as a haven for millions of people throughout the pandemic, with visitor numbers nearly double what they would be in a normal year. Unfortunately a negative side effect of this has been a huge spike in litter. Overall for the period May-December 2020, 147 tonnes of rubbish were collected in the park, an increase of 45 per cent on the same time in previous years.

The role played by the volunteers in tackling this issue was outstanding. More than 100 people, young and old, helped the effort, all with the common goal to support the environment and their local park.


Wildflowers Walks

Caroline led two further wildflower walks to investigate flowers around in high summer. These walk started from the Gas Hut and passed along the Lower Road (always some interesting flowers on the south side) and passed the cricket club and cricket scrub where enthusiastic birders were looking out for Spotted and Pied Flycatchers.

Among the flowers seen were common fleabane, red bartsia (a partially parasitic plant on grasses) and hedge bedstraw to name a few. She explained some of the ways to tell flowers that reside in the same family.

Stephen led an overflow walk starting from the opposite end of the park with a highlight of a flax flower. His plants seen.

Conservation work in the Butterfly Meadow

Late August

Lucky with the weather, after a poor-ish spell, we had sunshine. We continued work on the west side of the meadow with a special attention to cutting leaders (long straggly bits of bramble) to stop them rooting.

Some tree reduction work took place to reduce shade coming from the Lower Path side took place.

Art in the Park Group

Sprinkles of rain early on tried to put a dampener on the first session of the new Art in the Park Group. A decision was made to transfer to the Park Visitor Centre in The Grove. Good news followed with the rain stopping so the artists moved out by the pair of yew trees in the small copse above Olympic Sculptures. The ridges of the trees proved inspirational for most of the group while a collage of leaves was also a subject to spark imagination. 

A great start to this monthly group session kindly led by Katy Fatui. 

Nature Walk - looking tree pests and diseases

A good turnout helped by lovely evening sunshine for walk down from the Rose Garden. We looked a lot of galls and fungi as well as other problems faced by trees in the park.

Oak processionary nests were observed just below the rose garden on the same oak as were seen knopper and common spangle galls (both caused by wasps).

Mite galls were seen on walnut, sycamore, holm oak and lime (lower picture) trees.

Fungal tar spot was obvious on the leaves of many sycamore.

We took a look at two species of horse chestnut
seeing the traces of horse chestnut leaf miner as well as a fungal blotching.

A few large bracket fungi were seen - Southern Bracket and an Oak Bracket (top picture). In the Blandford Hall area traces of Zigzag Sawfly on elm were spotted.

The last section of the walk took us across the road to see symptoms of Ash dieback and Dutch Elm disease as well an oriental chestnut gall.

Conservation work in the Butterfly Meadow

Early August

After a cool-ish start, quite warm weather for bramble bashing! We made a good job of progress working on some encroaching bramble on the western side of the meadow. We heard parakeets, crows, two types of woodpecker whilst working. Large numbers of butterflies were seen, but they were restricted mainly to Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns. A Jersey Tiger moth also put in an appearance as well as the odd dragonfly.

Family Bug Hunt


Rebecca again led our Family Bug Hunt and inspired the children to search out their favourite invertebrates be it spiders or ladybirds. Among the finds were several species of ladybird, a ground beetle, gatekeeper butterfly, earwig, mirid bug, young green shield bug, crickets and grasshoppers as well as crab spiders. Some large moth caterpillars also drew admiration - a buff-tip and a white ermine.

All bugs captures were released afterwards.

Conservation work in the Butterfly Meadow


This month’s work party was mainly about cutting back bramble leaders to prevent them touching the soil and taking root to form new plants. We worked along the hedgerows surrounding the Butterfly Meadow. It is looking particularly verdant this year, after all the rain we’ve had – such a contrast to last year’s drought conditions. This means that grasses dominate the habitat but wild flowers have managed to keep their heads up, too, with willowherbs dominating. It was a bright, sunny morning, which brought out the butterflies, mainly along the sunny, northern edge: gatekeepers in large numbers, meadow browns, large skippers, green-veined and small whites, peacocks and one red admiral. Also several six-spot burnet moths and a wonderfully striped cinnabar moth caterpillar were seen.

Members' Walk - History of the Racecourse

Wednesday 14th July

On a mild evening we met up at the Fairground Car Park for a walk around the course of the old racecourse. Gordon explained that the course predated the palace opening up in 1868. 

The first race had just one runner..... 

We heard stories of the "character" of the racecourse meetings attracting not the highest grade of punter. One famous race commentator was especially fond of the "pan handle" course, John McCririck, and expressed his wish to have his ashes scattered on the course.

The horse racing finally finished in 1970 after celebrating over 100 years of operation. The main
reason for its demise being the tight bends and adverse camber on the route around the bottom of the park. 

There is a Pathe news clip available online showing the course in action and there was even a comedy called the Galloping Major in the 1950s with large sections shot at the Alexandra Park Racecourse.

The picture on the left shows the view back from the finishing straight.

Butterfly Walk

Saturday 10th July

The weather had us guessing right up to the start of the walk. A few odd spots of rain, but the walk went ahead led by Gerry and Dee. We looked over the meadow areas above the Lower Path and found both Small and Essex Skippers. Gerry explained the difficulty in telling these very small, moth-like butterflies apart and what the difference is between butterflies and moths. In the same meadow we found large numbers of Meadow Browns and the odd Marbled White and Ringlet. Moving into the Butterfly Meadow, we encountered Large Skipper (pictured left), Small White, Marbled White, Ringlet and more Meadow Browns - the most populous butterfly species in the park at present. We kept an eye for the first Gatekeeper of the year, but no luck. We were shown
the haunt of the White-letter Hairstreak which didn't oblige, but we did see a Peacock before finishing the walk.

The Palace has been appealing for donations, because of their almost total loss of income caused by the pandemic, and some of those donations have paid for additional John O’Conner litter clearing staff at the weekends.  Please see the Alexandra Palace site if you'd like to help with a donation.

Some of the Friends normal events

Conservation Work Parties

We have been working in the Butterfly Meadow on an almost weekly basis for the last few months with limited numbers. This open space is covered in anthills of the yellow meadow ant. A great place to spot different butterflies and other wildlife. Other work parties have taken place in The Grove and by the edge of the Redston field and an annual litter pick.


Mostly taking place in the Winter and early Spring the talks focus on Nature (Butterflies, Bees, Birds etc.) with some on history and other subjects that are relevant to the Park.

We have had great talks on Bats, Trees, the New River and the old railway line that used to run up to the Palace.

Coming up when conditions allow, local resident Stuart Little will presenting elements from his film about the Park and Palace....

This will be great opportunity to see some elements of history from the early days up and until the (second) fire in 1980.

Nature Walks
We put on a number of different Nature Walks throughout the year. Normally 2 Bird Walks a year, 2 Bat Walks, 2 Fungi Walks, 3 or 4 Tree Walks plus extra walks on an ad hoc basic such as this year's Moss and Liverwort walk. All these activities are open to all and free.

Members' Walks

There are normally about 10 of these a year focusing on Nature (Wild Flowers, Tree Galls plus plus), History (seeing what was where) or just keeping people informed as to what's going on in the Park - these are our only Members' Only events. 

The next walk (when pandemic restrictions permit) is planned to be:

Beating the Bounds: A brisk walk round the perimeter of the Park and a chance to look at what’s been happening in the Park in recent times. 

Items which originally appeared on this Home page, may have been moved to other pages, such as  Previous Events in the Park. 

Please explore our other pages - scroll up, and see the menu across the top of the page.

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