Welcome to Alexandra Park 


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

Alexandra 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.

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.

Go Ape Adult Course Opening

The Go Ape Adult Course is due to open on 7th October. £35 for adults and £27 for 10 to 15 year olds.

Taken from their website:

"Pre - book now for opening 7th October 2017, Tree Top Adventure at Alexandra Palace is an unforgettable outdoor adventure. The 2-3 hour course features renowned Go Ape crossings such as the Zig Zag Bridge and Chantermerle's Crossing as well as a brand new obstacle...the quick fall!"

Fireworks Festival

Back this year on Friday, 3rd November and Saturday, 4th November.

Early Bird Tickets still available for Friday at £8. Saturday entry £11. (This does not include entry to the Bier Festival (extra £13 Friday, £16 Saturday))

All info and tickets here.

New Friends Events

Conservation Work Party

Thursday, 19th October, 10am to 12:30pm

Join our successful effort.....

No special skills required; we will be cutting back and uprooting the remaining brambles in the meadow. Enjoy exercise, plenty of fresh air and good conversation. Bring gardening gloves and secateurs if you have them, but if not we have spares to loan.

We usually work from 10 am to 12.30 pm, but come for as long as you want. Meet at the Butterfly Meadow, if you know it, or at the finger post where the path from North View Road meets the (newly surfaced) Lower Road.

October Members Walk

Saturday, 21st October, 2pm to 3pm

Birds of the Boating Lake is the theme for this month's walk. There are quite a few difference ducks and other wild fowl on the Lake. Tufted Ducks, Mallards and Pochards will be seen, but which is which? Sometimes it is easy to tell the more colourful males apart, but the females can be more of a problem.

Do you know your Moorhen from your Coot?

Other birds that may be seen include Pied Wagtail, Grey Heron or maybe Egyptian Geese.

Meet by the Boating Cafe. 

Autumn Tree Walk


Saturday, 28th October, 2pm to 3:23pm

Our Autumn Tree Walk will start in The Grove and look at how the trees are adjusting to this season of leaf fall. Which trees have already coloured and which are still waiting. Why do some trees lose there leaves in Winter and others don't?

Meet at the Park Information Centre in The Grove.

Past events

Details of many of our previous events can be found here

These are the most recent events:

September Conservation Work Party


Yet more sunshine for our work in the Butterfly Meadow. The brambles have been further pushed back.

Instead of a picture of hard working volunteers, here is one the two Small Copper butterflies seen while we were enjoying the space. The only other butterflies seen this time were Speckled Woods and some type of White...

Autumn Bat Walk

Another fully booked Bat walk were told
 stories of Vampires and Giant Fruit Bats. 

We usually keep a look out for Britain's largest bat - the Noctule. This bat usually flies quite high and is not often seen at the lake. So we were especially pleased to see one make an early appearance. It flew over the lake for 5 to 10 minutes.

A little later the Soprano and Common Pipistrelles were out and flying just over our heads.

We had great views and heard a lot via the bat detectors.......  

London Metropolitan Brass

It is a little complicated. London Metropolitan Brass now have an Intermediate Band and a real Beginners Band.... On a dodgy Sunday (the weather), we were treated to music from both of these groups of players. 

Of special note it was a pleasure to welcome Beginners to their inaugural concert. In order to quell the nerves and make sure everything was perfect for their performance they did a quick run through in the Park Information Centre (picture left) while the main band were entertaining the people in The Grove.

When the Intermediate Band went on a break, in stepped the
newbies who have only been playing together for 8 months.

They gave a well disciplined and entertaining performance cheered on by their fellow musicians - a great show and they were not put off by the very light drizzle.

Later back came the Intermediate Band fortified by wedding cake to resume their set with rousing music of all styles. The quality of this band continues to improve and a great experience for all in The Grove on our last Band performance of the year in the Park. They finished with a great rendition of Baggy Trousers.

September Members Walk

A welcome big turnout for this month's walk with 15 Members gathering in The Grove.

The theme for this month's Members Walk was Boundary Oaks. Meeting up at the Park Information Centre, where many old maps are kept, we inspected them for traces of old field lines where we might find oaks predating the set up of the Park.

We started looking in The Grove where there are probably the oldest trees in the Park including the fenced off oak familiar to many visitors. (pictured)

We then moved to look at trees by the edge of the allotments which may be old enough to have been there before the Park as well as a line on the edge of the road leading into the Garden

Crossing the road there is another old oak a candidate for being prior to the park.

We walked around the Palace, ending up below the Rose Garden and seeing another line of oaks. These are probably old enough to have been present before the Park was set up. Some of these oaks have been fenced off as they have recently been
dropping some limbs. 

A final line of trees was in fact the most certain to be examples of trees present before the park. This line extends from the woodland near where the old Blandford Hall was across Alexandra Palace Way and to below the Lower Road. One of these trees fell down in February 2014 and its rings were counted. The number added up to just over 200 meaning that the tree was over 200 years old and was already 50 years old when the Park was founded.

The last tree in the line and on the walk was within the Nature Conservation Area. (pictured left)

Friends Conservation Work Party - August


Warm weather greeted the Friends for their August Work Party. The Butterfly Meadow is starting to slow down its bramble encroachment so we are really making progress.

Lots of mini mattock work.....

During the time there, we saw quite a lot of Meadow Brown butterflies together with the odd Common Blue and Gatekeeper.

A highlight for me was this Violet Ground Beetle which we disturbed before replacing it.

Members August Nature Walk

Armed with nets, books and a trolley, we met at the Newland Road entrance.

At the entrance we saw one of the Oak trees infested with Oak Processionary Moth. The nest and stripped leaves (with midribs left) were pointed out. The offending creatures will be removed by August 15th.

We saw a few butterflies including a Gatekeeper that was temporarily netted.

The highlight of this part of the walk was definitely the Wasp Spider sitting in her web. (pictured left)

These spiders have spread into the country from the continent.

Then in a Grey Willow we found a large group of Buff tip moth caterpillars much more brightly coloured than their adult form.

A theme then developed of pointing out galls; we had previously spotted a thistle gall and then we came across several examples of Robin's Pin Cushion on a Rose near the reservoir. On willow there were Willow Red Galls.

On Oak Trees we saw Knopper, Marble, Artichoke, Spangle, Silk Button and Ram's Horn galls showing the diversity of wildlife that depends on our native oaks.

It was fruiting season for many trees and shrubs and we looked at the "berries" of Dogwood, Rose, Blackthorn (sloe), Hawthorn and Guelder Rose.

The second picture (left) shows us searching in the long grass....

A nice stroll up towards to the Bedford Road entrance giving a nice indication of the flora and fauna that the Park has to offer.

Family Bug Hunt

We welcomed Bex back to lead our Family Bug Hunt in August. 

Luckily summery, sunny weather was the order of the day. Youngsters and Oldsters were quick to grab nets and trays and set out to see what beasties could be found. Mirid bugs and Harvestmen (spider relatives) were brought in a good quantity. 

On the ladybird front several Harlequin were found together with four or five 16 spots - this small species pictured. 

Ashy Mining Bee was admired as was a Grasshopper and several Earwigs. Butterflies eluded the nets, but Gatekeeper, Common Blue and some unidentified Whites were seen.

Probably one of the more impressive finds was a large Ichneumon Wasp (link shows it being released, as were all our finds).

Summer Festival 2017

The weather gods were capricious for this year's Summer Festival. The morning and early afternoon saw sunshine, but later rain held sway.

The Friends stall in The Grove had two main attractions; for the young children there was a chance to create a "Butterfly Crown" this proved very popular and extra chairs had to be brought to satisfy demand. Many great designs were seen going off on top of happy heads...

For the adults, there was something a bit less hands-on. The photo competition this year consisted of a Map of the Park with 12
locations marked with 24 photos (2 each) to be matched. The calibre of the entries was impressive with over half a dozen of the 20 entries getting 21 or more correct. Only three people, however, were complete masters. Mark Evison, the Park Manager, and Michael Conway, the leader of the John O'Conner maintenance team, both got full marks. The prize of a pair of Segway Tickets (kindly donated by the Palace), however, went to Beatrice Murray (an amateur!)

To try the competition for yourself: follow this link.

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

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

August 2017

A different job in a different area of the Park this month..... In hot Summer weather we were happy to work mostly in the shade.

Our job was to clear some of the saplings of mostly Robinia and Elder underneath the large Black Locust tree below the Rose Garden.

They were cut up and then placed around a nearby dead Oak Tree to discourage people from approaching too closely. This should achieve its purpose when combined with the bramble growing around the old tree's base.

Next date: 15th October (postponed by a week)

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.

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

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. 

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

joomla analytics