Home

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. 





Summer Creativity Camps




Monday 2nd August to Friday 27th August

The Alexandra Park and Palace Trust Creative Learning Team is running four weekly Break Out Creativity Camps for 8 to 14 year olds.

Week 1: Outdoor Theatre
Week 2: Junk Orchestra
Week 3: Outdoor Sculpture
Week 4: Breakdancing

Each week costs £100 (£85 concessions) 





Family Bug Hunt

Sunday 1st August 1:30pm to 2:30pm

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/51266552447/in/album-72157684736243393/
SORRY, NOW FULLY BOOKED

A chance for children (and their grown-ups) to take a closer look at the butterflies, beetles and bugs that live in the park. Please email us to book, stating the number of places you’d like.











Conservation work in the Butterfly Meadow


Tuesday 10th August 10am to 12:30pm

The sunshine and rain combination has really pushed the growth of brambles and saplings in the Butterfly Meadow so this will the first of two sessions this month. (The other on the 24th). With a bit of warmth, there should plenty of butterflies and bees again. 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.












Members' Walk: Nature with a look at galls and diseases

Thursday 12 August 6:30pm to 7:30pm

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/50153912946/in/album-72157658653407605/
A stroll to see what nature has to offer in the park at high summer. We will take a special look at some of the galls (left) and pests and diseases affecting trees in the park.













Conservation work in the Butterfly Meadow


Tuesday 24th August 10am to 12:30pm

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/51348543942/in/album-72157672944736546/
This will the second of two sessions this month. Hopefully there should be lots to see while we work. A flying patch of red seen in the meadow recently picture left is Jersey Tiger. When it settles normally all you see is black and white and a bit of yellow (click on picture). 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.






Wildflower Walks

Saturday 28th August and 11:30am and 2:30pm

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/51334347075/in/album-72157627011931672/
Continuing our series of seasonal wild flower walks, we will be running two sessions at the end of the month looking at what is flowering in the park in late summer. Details to follow.



















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.


PAST ACTIVITIES


Conservation work in the Butterfly Meadow

July

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/51349769059/in/album-72157641758286363/
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


https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/51322059116/in/album-72157659889253620/
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
https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/51323053780/in/album-72157659889253620/
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
https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/51311370865/in/album-72157719549771672/
the haunt of the White-letter Hairstreak which didn't oblige, but we did see a Peacock before finishing the walk.











Wildflower walk: 26th June. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/51276995094/in/album-72157627011931672/
It’s amazing how many plants you can find if you look closely at a stretch of grass or the roadside verges in a park. Caroline and Stephen led three walks and between them found 70-odd species, which included several grasses, and flowers from the cabbage, daisy, dock, mint, rose, and pea families.








Work in the Butterfly Meadow: 22nd June. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/51273492713/in/album-72157672896321815/
The Butterfly Meadow is blooming with vetches, stitchworts and clover, and knapweed and willowherb just beginning to open. Working there last week was a delight. A few yellow rattle flowers continue and seed heads are developing nicely. There are a variety of grasses, too. At this stage in the year we are tinkering around the edges, removing bramble leaders and self-seeded, small saplings, so as not to damage the sward. Several butterflies were seen, including a marbled white and purple hairstreak, both firsts for this summer in Herts and Middlesex. An anthill was disturbed, unfortunately, but it was interesting to see the yellow field ants busy relocating their pupae (pictured).










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

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/37796604651/in/album-72157641758286363/
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

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/13359648493/in/album-72157626887387565/
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
https://sites.google.com/a/dreamcountry.org/foapk/home/49046985293_90452ecb48_w.jpg
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.

 
                                                                                                            back to top
 
 
 
joomla analytics