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Welcome to Alexandra Park 

 
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The Friends of Alexandra Park work to promote and protect Alexandra Park - the
grounds around Alexandra Palace in North London.


Alexandr
a Park was originally designed by Alexander McKenzie, in 1863, as a park and pleasure ground. 


The 196 acres of park now consists of a delightful mixture of informal woodland, open grassland, formal gardens and attractions such as the boating lake, cafes and the pitch-and-putt course.


Please not that from this Sunday, 26th May, the Park Information Centre will be on Summer Times. The centre will be open from 2pm to 4pm Sundays plus the first Saturday of the month.

Friends Tweets



  • The Friends programme for 2017 includes walks and talks about trees, bats, fungi, moths, insects, birds and the history of Alexandra Park. Also, opportunities to join our work parties in the park.



What's happening

Premises Licence Application for Events in Alexandra Park

Alexandra Palace management has now submitted their application to Haringey Council for a premises licence to permit a range of music, theatre, dance, and film and other commercial events in Alexandra Park. The application lists the maximum number of days of events for different audience capacities. In total this would mean 42 days per year of events in the park, plus the days required to set up and break down the event facilities. 

We have accepted that some increase in events in the park is desirable, both to raise income for the Trust and to offer a variety of entertainment suited to the setting. However many members have objected to the maximum number and scale of events which would be allowed if the application is accepted as is.

We have therefore registered a ‘representation’ with the licensing authority, seeking a reduction to 30 for the maximum number of days on which events in the park would be allowed. (30 is the limit the Trustees have set as a temporary measure). Unfortunately the Licensing Act restricts the grounds for objection to premises licences, and so the environmental impact of events in the park are not considered. We have had to focus our case on issues of public nuisance and safety. 

We believe the Trust management has been making considerable efforts to manage events in the park so that adverse impacts are minimised, and there are plans for management procedures and monitoring to ensure this remains the case with more events. Our concern is that certain impacts on the park and surrounding residential areas could not be avoided at the maximum levels of event activity contained in the application.

Our submission to the licensing authority can be seen here. The period for commenting on the Palace’s licence application has closed, but there will be a hearing before the licensing sub-committee and expressions of support for our position would be very helpful.



Want to hear about future Park and Alexandra Palace Way closures?

Natalie Layton of the Alexandra Park and Palace Trust has clarified that anyone wishing to receive future notifications of closures of Alexandra Palace Way (W3 etc.) or parts of the Park (not marketing emails) should send a request to: Natalie.Layton@alexandrapalace.com




New events



Members' Walk: Spring Trees

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Meet at Park Information Centre at 11am on Saturday, 22nd April

Spring is now well advanced with some trees long ago finished flowering, some flowering now and some still yet to flower.... Leaves coming out are often a lighter green colour and brighten us up after Winter bare branches. Which trees are hysteranthous? (That's a good word - just found it!)

We will take an hours walk looking at what flowers can be seen on our large tree collection in the Park.

NO BOOKING REQUIRED

Not a Member yet? Follow this link to join online or you can join on the day. Cost? Only £5/household or £20 for 5 years.


Spring Fungi Walk

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Sunday, 23rd April 11am

On St George's Day 2017, we hope to find some St George's Mushroom! If not we might have to settle for the fungi named after another Englishman - King Alfred and his rather less attractive cakes - the burnt cakes are pictured.... 

Andy Overall will point out and identify what is found. There are not so many fungi around in Spring, but given a little dampness, our searching should be rewarded. Some fungi fruiting bodies are present all year like the bracket fungi on trees so there is always something to be seen.

BOOKING REQUIRED - please email allyparkn10@gmail.com and we will let you know the meeting place.


Friends Conservation Work in the Park

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Thursday, 18th April 10am to 12:30pm

Come and join us in our successful battle pushing back the brambles and encouraging the insects and birds.

Work Party in the Butterfly Meadow. Come and join in the improvement by clearing more bramble and saplings. Meet by the Finger Post junction of the Lower Road and the path to North View Road entrance.




Past events

Details of many of our previous events can be found here


These are the most recent events:

Talk: Introduction to Bats

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Lisa Worledge of the Bat Conservation Trust gave us an entertaining talk on Bats covering many aspects of their psychology with examples of the thousands of bat species around the world.

She then concentrated on our own native species with lots information on the species that we are most likely to encounter including the pipestrelles. She encouraged the audience to make bat noises......

The small size of our bats (easily fitting in palm of a hand) when compared to the 2 metre wingspan of the largest bats in the world is quite an eye opener.

For anyone who want to pursue bats further, please join The London Bat Group only £7.50 at www.londonbats.org.uk


March Members Walk

On the hunt for wild flowers by the Bedford Road entrance.... Too late for crocuses and snowdrops (still to be seen in The Grove).

What did we see then? Lesser Celandine coming to its peak. Colts Foot, Shepherds Purse and a great favourite the Primrose. To add to flowers on flowers, we also saw flowers on trees Ash Tree, Wych Elm and male and female Goat Willow flowers.

Photo shows people studying the white Sweet Violet flowers.


March Conservation Work Party

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A dozen enthusiastic volunteers gathered in the Butterfly Meadow to continue our project to rid the area of brambles and allow grass and wild flowers to dominate this South facing slope.

Brambles were snipped and then dug out with mattocks. Had quite a bit of sunshine for first half of our work....

At our break for juice and home made cake (thanks Jane), a nursery web spider (pictured) decided to try out our picnic blanket.






Spring Litter Clear-Up in Alexandra Park

Thanks to an enthusiastic group of volunteers more litter was evicted from the Park after our first session last month.

The weather was sunny to aid our work.

This was all part of the National "Great British Spring Clean".



  


A Wild Place: the ecology of London in place names

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Thirty people packed into the Park Information Centre on a Wednesday evening to hear Mathew Frith of the London Wildlife Trust. He gave us a great exposé of how many of our well known London suburbs have names with nature connections.

He also revealed how some road names reflect local natural features while others are merely names to improve the sound of the area.

Take back one fact. Penge is the only London area with a Celtic name origin......



Winter Tree Walk 2017

With Winter still keeping a heavy grip on the Park, the Friends took a walk to discover how to identify Trees in their bare state and to look for any early signs of Spring.

Just below the Terrace it was a pleasure to see the Cornelian Cherries (actually not Cherries, but Dogwoods) starting to come out in their yellow-flowered finery. (pictured left)

We took a walk down past the Pitch and Putt and through the Butterfly Meadow. On the way we learnt that the buds of a tree can come out either opposite each other on a branch or alternating providing a valuable method for identifying the tree.

While on the walk we spotted a nice couple of patches of snowdrops on the Old Racecourse before seeing traces of the Elm Bark beetle larvae on the dead elm trees.

On a lighter note there were also Hazel catkins to be seen as well as the minute red female flowers.

Another little identification clue given is when a deciduous tree still clings to its dead leaves. Often this happens when the branch or tree is dead. Otherwise it is likely that the tree is either a Beech, Hornbeam or Oak. This tendency is especially prevalent in younger trees.

Looking across the Nature Pond, we could see the first Pussy Willow coming out.

Our walk finished by going up through the Blandford Hall area where a forest of Silver Birch trees is evident after the Hall burnt down in 1971.

We finished at the top of the Rose Garden before adjourning for a cuppa in the Lakeside Cafe.



Friends February Members Walk 2017

“A surprisingly large group braved the very cold weather on February 11th for the members’ walk during which Gordon pointed out the layout of the racecourse, the position of its various starts and finish line, and of the grandstand and paddock (not surprisingly where the Paddock car park now stands). 

Unfortunately no physical evidence remains of any of these features but amusing quotes from the newspapers of the time provided some insights into the nature of the crowds that attended the races: this was no Epsom or Ascot. The management of the racecourse did not help matters with a small misprint on their adverts: “N.B. The company reserve the right of refusing admission to any person they think proper.”



Litter Clean Up - February


“Winter is a good time to get out into the park and search out the litter which has blown into the undergrowth. A gallant band of members of the Friends did just this on February 4th, unearthing not only the usual haul of cans, bottles, plastic bags and crisp packets, but also a vacuum cleaner, children’s toys and a set of outdoor children’s furniture. However the prize for the most surprising find went to a life size inflatable doll (not inflated).

This was the first of two litter clean-ups we have planned for the park. The next coincides with “The Great British Spring Clean” weekend. We will meet at the Bedford Road entrance to the park at 10.30am on March 4th. Do join us.”



Rapturous about raptors

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We were thoroughly entertained and informed by David Darrell-Lambert when he gave a talk about identifying raptors at the Park Information Centre on the 26th of January. He showed us straightforward ways to identify theses fascinating birds, which can be a real challenge when all you catch is the occasional glimpse far up in the sky.

Using images of pairs of similar sized birds, such as kestrel and sparrow hawk he pointed out simple distinguishing features like the black wind tips of the kestrel versus plain brown wings of the sparrow hawk, or different flight patterns: the kestrel frequently hovers with rapid wing-beats while the sparrow hawk flies with a ‘flap-flap-glide’ pattern.


As a point of interest, the word ‘raptor’ comes from the Victorian scientific name for birds of prey, which in turn derives from the Latin word meaning ‘plunderer’, or someone who seizes and carries away. That is pretty much what birds of prey or 'raptors' do - they seize, or grab their prey and carry it away.


January Conservation Work Party

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We continued to beat back the brambles to restore the habitat of the Butterfly Meadow. Winter is a good time to see and remove the brambles and it’s rewarding to see the difference we are making in this corner of the Park.

(Bramble picture from the Autumn.)








Friends January Members Walk

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The weather forecast was terrible on Saturday.  The weather forecast was terrible on Sunday. The actual weather itself was similar so a very small, elite and determined group set off from the Park Information to see what was in flower this time of year and to get an update on the Park. 

It was good to see snowdrops poking their heads above the soil by the Park Information Centre so flowering will be soon.

Our walk took us towards the Palace where we saw the newly re-branded Phoenix-Bar and Kitchen then via the Rose Garden to the Boating Lake. Here we looked at some the ducks and geese etc. before adjourning to the cafe where two thirds of the company enjoyed a warming drink. 

We saw in flower: Garya elliptica, Skimmia, Hazel, Yarrow, Daisy (both native and garden varieties), honeysuckle (pictured), several types of Viburnum and Witch Hazel.

In the cafe we were lucky to bump into our Bird Walk leader, Gareth, who updated us on birds seen recently in the park including a large flock of redwings.









On-going events

Free Health Walks

Health walks, starting in Priory Road and walking into Alexandra Park, take place every Monday at 10:15 am.

Everyone welcome, whatever level of fitness. Lasts 45 minutes.  More details.


Park Run in Alexandra Park


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The Ally Pally Park Run is a 5km timed run, jog or walk, which takes place in Alexandra Park every
Saturday at 9am.

Recently the Park Run has topped 180 runners!

Park Run is organised by volunteers and is free to anyone wishing to take part, but prior registration is needed. See http://www.parkrun.org.uk/allypally.


For an interview with the founder and director of Park Run in  Alexandra Park,  Catherine Edeam, see Interviews.


The Conservation Volunteers


April 2017

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Hot, hot, hot. With April temperatures soaring up to about 25 degrees for the volunteers. Can't complain, but it was a little distracting as were the sound of cheers and shouts from the football pitch nearby.

The team attacked the brambles with mattocks and forks in the Butterfly Meadow helping to stop them from re-establishing.

Some Oak Apples were spotted nearby (picture on Oak Trees) also butterflies came through including Speckled Wood, Orange Tip and Holly Blues.

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We made some good progress on this treasured corner and we are looking forward to the wild flowers that will soon be filling the area.

Make a note in your diary to join us on Sunday, 14th May








The Conservation Volunteers work in the grounds of Alexandra Park usually on the second Sunday of every month. 
 
They carry out various conservation tasks such as pond clearance, building foot bridges, planting trees, and opening glades to increase bio-diversity.



Junior Go-Ape Course opened on 18th March


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The Junior Go-Ape Course opened to the public on 18th March. T
he adult course will be built later in the year opening this Summer. You can find more details about the operating times and the environmental mitigation which GoApe will undertake in a letter which Louise Stewart, the Alexandra Park and Palace Chief Executive, has sent to residents adjacent to that part of the Park, which can be found here

Work has been done on the old Deer Building for Go-Ape use.



Prices

Tree Top Junior: £20 per Tarzan




Work on the Lower Path


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Part of the Lower Road has been resurfaced. Hopefully when more funds become available the improvements will be continued.








Work by the Alexandra Park Road entrance



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Due to the construction work starting at Anderton Court, the wall bordering the Park entrance has been demolished to aid the building of the new housing units. 

It is a condition of the planning approval that the wall is rebuilt with the reclaimed bricks at the end of the construction period.

The end of the works is programmed for "early" 2017.

The buildings closest to the entrance are nearly finished.






If you are fascinated by the Trees in the Park you may wish to try out our  new and growing "Tree App".

Follow this link for details.




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

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