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Welcome to Alexandra Park
in North London

Alexandra Park is a delightful mixture of informal woodland, open grassland, formal gardens and attractions such as the boating lake, cafés and the pitch-and-putt course. It covers 196 acres around Alexandra Palace in North London.

The Friends of Alexandra Park is a voluntary group that promotes the use of the Park, encourages the conservation of its wildlife and protects the Park from unwanted development.

Become a Friend here - buy our book "A History Of Alexandra Park" in our shop


Friends Tweets


Our normal activities include:



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


Conservation work in the Butterfly Meadow

Tuesday 22nd June 10am to 12:30pm

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We return to the old format now that more than six people can work together outdoors. Meet at the finger post on the Lower Road or in the Butterfly Meadow itself. Bring gardening gloves and secateurs if you have them, but we have spares to lend. No special skills required.








Wild Flower Walks

Saturday 26th June at 11:30am and 2:30pm

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Join Caroline for a look at the wild flowers appearing in the park. At this time of year there is always plenty to see. To facilitate social distancing, we are restricting each walk to 8 people.

Email AllyparkN10@gmail.com to book a place(s) saying whether you prefer the 11:30 or 2:30 start. We will reply giving the starting location for the walk.








Litter

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.


Bank Holiday Family Activities

Monday 31st May

The weather was perfect, and we were delighted to be interacting face to face with families once again. A number of children enjoyed scavenger hunts, making nature pictures and the Xplorer course.


History Walk

Thursday 27th May

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On what could almost be described as a warm evening, Gordon led a group around the park, pointing out significant events and individuals in its history. As always the group was surprised to hear that destruction by fire was not confined to the palace – the football pavilion, the Banqueting (aka Blandford) Hall, two cricket pavilions, and more... The likely function of the ‘bomb’ (which it definitely was not), provoked debate – anchor weight for hot air balloons or for barrage balloons? One of the group claimed it was definitely the former. She had researched Ally Pally’s famous balloonist/parachutist Dolly Shepherd, on the way to writing a children’s book on Dolly’s life, and Dolly’s daughter had confirmed that. After a quick look at the racecourse, the circuit of the park was completed in the Grove at the spot where the rather lovely Edwardian bandstand once stood.


AGM

Tuesday May 11, 2021 7pm (via Zoom)

The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Alexandra Park was held on Tuesday, May 11th, 2021 using Zoom virtual meeting software. All members are eligible and have been invited to attend via email including the link to join. 

The meeting will include reports from the Chair and Treasurer and the election of officers. You can find a copy of the agenda by following this link. 


Wild Flower Walks - April

In fine weather, but with a cool wind, Caroline led two wild flower walks to give two small groups of people insight into some of the spring flowers found in the park. 

Another perfect day for the wildflower walks. We saw a good range of bluebells – native, Spanish, and hybrids that were rather more native or rather more Spanish. There was lots of lesser celandine and chickweed, but only one coltsfoot and just a few common dog-violets. A sharp-eyed person spotted the flowering part of lords-and-ladies, which looks like a crayon and was in fact what she had used it for as a child. And we compared various leaves – dock with wild garlic, meadow buttercup with creeping buttercup, and nettle with red deadnettle, white deadnettle and black horehound (the latter has a curious smell when pressed).

These walks were so popular that an extra walk was led by Stephen at the other end of the park in the Nature Conservation Area. A list of wild flowers and trees flowering on that walk. Seen at the end of the walk was a young oak apple..... (a type of gall)


Tree Walks - April 

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With the end of lockdown, our first "fun" activity were two tree walks led by Adrian Thomas.

Meeting at the Rose Garden, the paired layout of the trees below was pointed out with cedars of Lebanon, walnuts and various trees of the horse-chestnut family.

At the bottom of the hill, a sycamore and a line of silver maples were discussed.

Adrian led the group into the Blandford Hall Area where many trees have grown up since the hall burned down in 1971. The group walked through the woodland and out at the bottom. Walking back up the horse-chestnut lined path, they discovered a host of mining bee nests.

The group stopped to look at old oaks planted before the park was created and ended the stroll at the top of this path.


Tree Planting - 8 new trees


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The scheduled tree planting by TCV was postponed due to the new COVID restrictions and TCV have suspended volunteer work at present. Park contractors, John O'Conner will have now done the planting.

8 large-ish trees provided via the Mayor's Greener City Fund. What are they, I hear you ask.... 2 Small-leaved Limes (Tl), a Japanese Red Cedar (Cj), an English Oak (Qr), an Atlas Cedar (Ca), a Persian Ironwood (Pp), a Liquidambar (Ls) and a Tulip Tree (Lt). This map shows precisely where they were planted. The abbreviations are the latin names for the trees....

Picture is the new Persian Ironwood being planted (the Japanese Red Cedar is on the trailer). More pictures here.




More Awards for the Park!



The Park has recently won a London in Bloom Award and Green Flag and Green Heritage Awards.



To celebrate the latest awards the BBC Tower was illuminated by green light.





Friends Events in the Park to come
All our events at present require pre-booking via email Allyparkn10@gmail.com

Walks


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We have started up limited walks again, but at present we are publicising them only by email to members as well not able to cope with large numbers.
















Conservation Work


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We have re-started volunteer conservation work in the Butterfly Meadow, but at present we are just contacting previous participants in order not to have too many people disappointed.

Picture shows volunteers working at the beginning of this month (April) clearing brambles and new saplings from the Butterfly Meadow.







What's different, December 2020

Farmers' Market

Alexandra Palace Farmers’ Market is open at its Campsbourne School location. NHS staff and vulnerable people will have priority between 10am-11am. Strict social distancing will be in place. Only two people per household to allow faster access for others too.






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.




Friends' Past Events in the Park

History walks

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Saturday 12
th December

Chapter 8 - ponds, pools and reservoirs was the theme for the fully subscribed History Walks.  The weather held and the small group could be shown locations important in the past.... A few extra historical facts about the watery part of the park, not included in A History of Alexandra Park.

Picture shows a corner of the old Swimming Pool by the reservoir.






Nature walks

Saturday 12th December

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This nature walk went mostly along the Lower Path finding about 20 flowering wild flowers. , together with various fungi and a "Big Bud Hazel Gall" (pictured). Link to what was seen - the exception being the birds who did not perform as requested.

It is always impressive to find out what can be seen even in the depths of Winter.
















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The Friends are still continuing the removal of grass from the western end of the Butterfly Meadow, but also tackling bramble and sapling removal.

This session we spotted some fungi including Fragile Brittle Gill and False Chanterelle.









Work in the Butterfly Meadow started in August with booked places limited to six people. For more information please email AllyParkN10@gmail.com. 


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In spite of the inclement weather, Gordon led two history walks based on Chapter 7 of the new book. We found out about the Blandford (Banqueting) Hall history and how fire put an end to it in 1971. 

Other topics included the building of airships and their test flying from the park during the early part of the 20th Century. 

Much more information to be found in our new history book....




Some of the Friends normal events

Conservation Work Parties

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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.






Talks

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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
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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. 

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