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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 Visitor Centre, where you can find out more about the park; there are also activities for children. In the winter months, we open every Sunday 11 am to 1 pm.




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.







Friends Upcoming Events


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.


To book please email AllyParkN10@gmail.com stating how many places are required.








Members Walk: Sport in the Park

Saturday, 17th November 11am to Noon

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A walk around the Park looking at sporting events past and present. What will be on the agenda? Horse racing, cycling, football, tennis, cricket, archery, bowls are some of the many possibilities.

Meeting at the BBC Tower.












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



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This year's expedition in search of mushrooms and toadstools was a tale of two halves weatherwise. After an intro to the world of fungi by Andy in the Park Visitor Centre, we set out in the dry....

Outside the hut was the remains of a Yellow Stainer (pic from a better specimen) then the sharp eyed spotted a very small Frosty Bonnet in the moss on the horse chestnut just outside. On the log just across the path was Smoky Bracket

After a couple more finds, we moved over to the large Holm Oak (pictured) where we found three different types of
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Brittlegills as well as a Russet Toughshank 

Just across the path from the tree was a large number of Conical Brittlestems. Also worth a good look were three Upright Corals (left).

We headed right towards the Garden Centre seeing the grotty remains of a Beefsteak fungus. Then we had a look at the shredded bark on one of the Rose Beds which yielded several different fungi including Brown Rollrim.

However, by this time, Andy's app. had warned of the rain and the rain had come...

Spotted a group of Sulphur Tuft before seeing a large mass of Honey Fungus at the base of a Horse Chestnut and a couple of Shaggy Inkcaps looking good - this picture, though, taken just one day later.

We persisted, with water still falling from the sky....  We crossed APW
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seeing a Perenniporia fraxinea at the base of an Ash and spotting a Shaggy Parasol by a Giant Redwood.

We tested the weather (picture left) and decided on one last look to see a Peeling Oysterling before retiring to the Park Visitor Centre for warming tea and biscuits.







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On a sparkling, sunny day more a dozen people met up to look at the trees by the Redston Field. The idea was to look at the trees that form the northern border of the Redston Field and those across from them over the old racecourse.

One the smaller trees/large shrubs is the Elder which gives us both elder flowers and elder berries earlier in the year.

Even though most have gone, still the most striking of trees in this area are the tall Lombary Poplars.

In terms of fruiting trees, the most obvious along this stretch 
are the various hybrid Cockspur Thorns (american relatives of our own hawthorn).

We were pointed several large oaks which may pre-date the park. Any horse chestnuts were harder to spot as they had mostly lost their leaves already.

One of the surprises was the number of small elm trees (first picture) growing vigorously before succumbing to Dutch Elm Disease later in life. 

We were shown the equalising pond at the western end of 
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Redston Field which allows the water run-off from the car parks to be controlled (second picture).

We crossed over the old racecourse and there we could admire the purple colours of the dogwood in the opposite hedge.

On the same side, we looking into the cherry plum, blackthorn, goat willow and grey willows the made up the boundary. All these trees would have grown up since the closure of the racecourse in 1970.

The last of the last ended with a reviving cup of tea in the Boating Lake Cafe.... Thanks to Adrian assisted by Robyn for leading the walk


Previous tree walks in the Park.



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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.





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.




The Conservation Volunteers

October 2018

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The plan was to cut back some of the bramble above the Lower Path promoting biodiversity. An initial problem was the fences up for the Fireworks the following weekend. Luckily Tom came equipped and we temporarily breached the barrier.

We cut back the bramble in a series of (mostly) semi-circular arcs. A wood blewitt fungus was discovered deeply buried under the bramble.

Sunshine helped the cause and work behind the barrier proceeded at a good pace.

(The fence was resealed after the work.)

The next conservation session in the Park will be on Wednesday, 28th November. 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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