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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. 


Friends Tweets

  • We organise walks and talks about trees, bats, fungi, moths, insects, birds and the history of Alexandra Park. You can also join our work parties.

 

 

  • We run the Park Information Centre, where you can find out more about the park; there are also activities for children. We open every Sunday 2–4 pm and at the same time on the first Saturday of the month.




More Awards for the Park....

We are very pleased to hear that Alexandra Park has retained not only its Green Flag and Heritage Awards for 2018, but has received silver gilt awards in the Large Park (over 25 acres), Large Conservation Area and Heritage Garden categories from London in Bloom. This is due to the effort of the Park Manager, Mark Evison, the Trust's staff and volunteers, the Park Contractors, John O'Conner and ourselves! Picture courtesy the Park and Palace Trust.




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Fireworks Festival

Friday, 2nd and Saturday, 3rd November



Tickets are on sale for the Fireworks Festival in the Park with further events in the Palace itself. For more details see the dedicated website.

The whole of the Park with the exception of The Grove and the children's playground near the Boating Lake together with Alexandra Palace Way will be closed at 20.00 on Thursday 1st November and reopened at 7.00 on Sunday 4th November. The W3 bus will also be on diversion over this period. 

Some surrounding streets will be closed to general traffic on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd November with resident access only.
 





Friends Upcoming Events


Autumn Tree Walk

Saturday, 20th October 2pm to 3:25pm

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Trees on an Old Park Boundary. Elms, Oaks and much more....

We will look at the diverse collection of trees separating the old Park Boundary from Hornsey Recreation Ground (now the Redston Field).

Meet in Redston Field by the Park Avenue North entrance.

No Booking Required.





Fungi Walk

Saturday, 10th November 2pm to 3:33pm

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As Autumn has swung around again, it is time to welcome Andy Overall to lead our Fungi Walk. Andy has been leading our walks since 2013 and we have had great finds including the Pluteus aurantiorugosus pictured left seen in 2015 (and briefly observed again this year).

On the Spring Fungi walk, we encountered Stinkhorns in Rose bed wood chippings which can seen from Spring to Autumn. 

Check out this link to take you to reports of earlier walks. This is one of our most popular events so booking will be required. This will be open about a week before the event at which time the meeting point will be confirmed.



Talk: The Plight of the Bumblebees

Wednesday, 14th November 7:30pm for 8pm

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The first of our Winter Talk series will be given by Gill Perkins, the Chief Executive of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. 

"The Plight of the Bumblebees" is the title of the talk. The challenges facing our bumblebees will be highlighted and also some advice will be given on how we can help to safeguard the future of these important pollinators.

We will meet up for a drink and a chat from 7:30pm with the talk starting at 8pm promptly.









Conservation Work Party

Wednesday, 21st November 10am to 12:30pm

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With Autumn in full flood, we have one great advantage - we make great progress on cutting back any bramble encroachment and it does not grow back much at all. After the chopping of large amounts of bramble by TCV, we will be there to dig up the roots.

The trees will be barer maybe allowing us to see any birds a bit more easily although don't expect any butterflies...

Do join us if you are free. No special skills required; enjoy exercise, plenty of fresh air and good conversation. Bring gardening gloves and secateurs if you have them, but if not we have a variety of tools you can use. 

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 Lower Road at 10 am.
 

 



Friends' Recent Past Events


October Conservation Work Party

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Each time that we work in the Butterfly Meadow, we try and keep a list of the wild life seen. This month only 5 different flowers were seen in flower, just one common blue butterfly was spotted, but the observant amongst us saw a peregrine go over chasing a pigeon. Other birds seen were 2 species of woodpecker, a wren and many corvids (birds in the crow family). The most impressive of the latter was a flight of about a hundred migrating jackdaws.

On the work front, there was more cutting back of the grass which some people enjoyed (picture) and others were rooting out the bramble on another lovely sunny day.




Members' Walk: Plant Galls

With this niche subject matter, it was a pleasant surprise to see a dozen or so people come on the walk (although the amazing balmy weather may have had a little to do with it).

We looked first at Pear Rust in the Railway orchard - orange colouration on one side and a strange growth on the other, a gall caused by a fungus. The party then moved off to leave The Grove and cross Alexandra Palace Way.

We observed a gall on the ash keys of a Golden Ash which were caused by mite and then proceeded to look at the first of many galls on oak all caused by gall wasps, the first was a spangle
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 gall on the leaves.

Some of the other galls seen on oak leaves were oyster gallssmooth spangle galls and silk button galls.

Galls seen on oak buds were artichoke gallcola-nut gall and marble gall.

Gall on the acorn was found knopper gall and one on the acorn cup caused by Andricus grossulariae.

Away from the oaks, there was a mite gall caused by Aceria
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 macrochela on Field Maple and one caused by a midge, Iteomyia capreae on a willow.

We finished the walk looking at a couple of mite galls on a willow on the South Slope. The willow red bean gall and one caused by Aceria tetanothrix.

After the official end, we passed by a Silver Maple and saw the mite galls pictured left.

A special thank you to Kate who spotted the marble galls...

A list of the galls found and a little extra information can be found via this link.

Pictures of plant galls from the park can be found here.



September Conservation Work Party

Our main focus this month was grass cutting and removing the grass to the dead hedge bordering the meadow. A traditional form of management to increase floral diversity. We used garden shears and a battery-powered hedge trimmer (which was most effective) and, with 15 of us there, we cut most of the area we needed to. Like last year, we only cut the grass at the west end of the meadow, the idea being to have a variety of habitats within the meadow boundary, hopefully increasing its attractiveness to a wider range of insects.






Previous Conservation Work Party days


Bat Watch


A warm day, followed by clear skies after sunset, are ideal conditions for bat watching, and we had just those conditions for the bat watch at the Boating Lake.

After a short explanation from Gordon of the anatomy and habits of the bats we were going to see, bursts of clicks from the bat detectors alerted us to their arrival.

Then it was easy to see the bats zig-zagging over the water, and our heads, searching for their ‘breakfast’ of flies. New technology helped us to decide that there were definitely soprano pipistrelle bats present, as well as the common pipistrelles, but still no sign of the Daubenton’s bat which we hope to see skimming across the lake.




The Conservation Volunteers

September 2018


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The Conservation Volunteers helped out in the Butterfly Meadow this month cutting back huge swathes of bramble from where it has been encroaching. This help is invaluable and will help to further boost the number of butterflies in this beautiful, quiet area of the Park.

The next conservation session in the Park will be on Wednesday, 31st October. Meet at 10am. To book or for more information contact Tom Nandi our BAT East Project Officer, email t.nandi@tcv.org.ukor call on Tel: 07917 267 573.













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