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. 

Alexandra Palace is CLOSED until further notice. More information here. 

Alexandra Palace Way will be closed from 8pm to 5am daily until (at present) Monday, 29th June due to ongoing issues relating to dangerous driving & illegal parking. The W3 will be on diversion. For the reasons and cost of this measure see this link.

The trust is asking for donation due to the drying up of income. (you can choose to help fund the park, the palace or educational activities)

"To be blunt, the charity is forecasting a funding gap of £1m this year, and – unless the outlook changes – around £1m next year too."

More information and if you can help, please follow this link.

Alexandra Park is still OPEN - ,but please keep dogs on lead and respect social distancing of 2 metres. See below for how the park is kept open.

The Boating Lake are is now open as is The Lakeside Cafe, however, the toilet block is still closed.

The Grove Cafe is now open.

The Capital Garden Centre has now re-opened with appropriate social distancing.

Alexandra Palace Farmers’ Market 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.

"We're asking dog walkers using the Park to please keep dogs on their leads. This is to support social distancing protocols and ensure owners don't inadvertently breach the two metre guidelines to retrieve their dogs.

We are pleased that the Park can continue to provide some respite and a form of escape for people, and their pets. We're continuing to monitor how it is used and would remind everyone of their responsibility to each other during this time."

Regards,

Mark Evison

Park Manager

Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust

The car parks are closed except the East Court Car Park as is the Skateboard Park and Children's Playground.

The terrace of the Palace is closed, but is due to re-open for diners only from Saturday, 4th July with compulsory table reservation for food and drink - booking open. 

All Friends' Events are cancelled or postponed. The Park Visitor Centre will remain closed at present. 

The Ally Pally Parkrun is suspended. 

The Capital Gardens Centre Cafe is closed.

Go-Ape has now re-opened.

The Redston Road entrance will be closing one hour earlier at 10pm each night until Saturday 20th June.


Thank You


A big thank you goes out to the Park Contractors, John O'Conner who are keeping going with the park maintenance enabling us to continue to enjoy exercising safely. Please give them plenty of distance. This picture shows mowing the grass by the top Allotment entrance.

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 and also the first Saturday of the month.






Friends' Events in the Park

The only events at present that we are running in the park are litter picking and now we are starting work again in the Butterfly Meadow on limited basis with booked places limited to six people. For more information please email AllyParkN10@gmail.com . At present all other events in the Park are cancelled or postponed until further notice. This will be reviewed when government advice changes.

What events do we normally put on?


Conservation Work Parties

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/37796604651/in/album-72157641758286363/
The key task taken on is removing bramble and saplings from the Butterfly Meadow area. 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.





Link here to a spreadsheet of what has flowered on our workdays.



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 will be 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. Specially 2 Bird Walks a year, 2 Bat Walks, 2 Fungi Walks, 3/4 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 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 one might be this one recently called off:

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. 









Friends' Recent Events


https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/49137854367/in/album-72157712733830883/
Meeting at the Newland Road entrance, a hardy group of about ten of us congregated to inspect the trees that have been planted in the park this Winter season.

After explaining where (and why) there were oaks planted along the southern boundary, we walked North to look at a group of three trees planted just to the left of the tarmac path. Older oak and beech were mentioned, but these went in (in 2014) after the path was upgraded.

The three trees newly planted were River Birch, Red Maple and Swamp Cypress (left) and are aimed to help screen the rest of the park from new developments.

After a longish walk and some heavy rain, we found ourselves beside the Pitch and Putt where Indian Horse-chestnuts have been planted to replace lost Horse-chestnut in this line of trees. The new species are more resistant to pests and diseases.

After mentioning Small-leaved Limes and small Oaks planted further North, we continued our walk to the South Slope. There we stopped by an Atlantic Cedar and a trio of Scots Pines - planted to replace a lost tree and to match in with trees previously planted.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/49407582527/in/album-72157712733830883/
We missed out Quince and Elm planted by and in the Redston Field (time pressures).

Continuing West into the Western Arboretum, we encountered the newly planted Coastal Redwood - this completes the trio of redwoods in the park. We already have Giant Redwoods and Dawn Redwoods.

The next tree to spot was the Persian Ironwood planted by the crocuses near Alexandra Palace Way replacing an earlier Silver Birch.

Crossing into The Grove, we looked at the Lime Avenue where missing trees have been filled in with Small-leaved Limes before stepping into an old holly stand which now contains a Liquidambar. Picture shows one of the Limes being planted. This site marked the place of a previous bandstand.

Crossing the path, we came to a deciduous conifer, the Golden Larch - looking forward to seeing some nice colour. Nearby is a Japanese Red Cedar.

We finished our walk by popping our heads into the Railway Orchard and indicating two new trees a Mirabelle 'Golden Sphere' and a Damson 'Merryweather'. Time for a cup of tea and biscuits in the Park Visitor Centre.




For our deep clean this year we concentrated on the woodland area above Alexandra Palace Way (Blandford Hall Area). As usual lots of stuff was found hidden often deep in the bramble. This didn't faze our volunteers. Tables and chairs were amoung the "treasurers" found. Picture shows part of the haul.

A big thanks to all that helped out.









https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/49591698837/in/album-72157632827002243/
A fully booked, packed room greeted John Polley of the New River Action Group. He had come up from deepest darkest Devon to give us a fact and anecdote filled talk on the New River. 

At over 400 years old, John explained the New River's beginnings with the (largely) forgotten Captain Colthurst, then Sir Hugh Myddelton and Robert Myle through to its final completion with a circuitous route roughly following the 100 foot contour from Hertfordshire to Saddlers Wells. 

Later short cuts were made cutting out loops in the river at Whitewebbs, Tottenham, Hornsey (used run by the Three Compasses), Enfield and others.

The functioning of the New River as well as a tour along the New River all featured in this interesting and packed presentation.

There was, but a little time for questions at the end.....






https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/49591058576/in/album-72157641758286363/
Mud pushed the Friends to move their Conservation Work from the Butterfly Meadow.....
We met by the Park Visitor Centre where we had some whips (saplings) to plant in the new growing hedge across the path from the centre. We replaced some perished saplings and extended the line closer to the path.

The weather? poor, damp, but this didn't put off a good number of volunteers of all ages from turning up. Other jobs included tying up shrubs next to Meson House.




https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/49575231151/in/album-72157713227825796/
We were very lucky to welcome Greg Packman for our Winter Tree Walk. He surveys and looks after the trees in Alexandra Park. As well as giving us some great tips on Winter tree identification, he talked about some of the tree management issues in the Park.

We met up by the Park Visitor Centre for a quick briefing before looking at the Horse chestnut tree and its large sticky buds which may be a protection against insects tucking in.

Sycamore and Ash followed and with key points to identifying the trees in Winter - these trees have buds that come out "opposite". This means that there is always buds in pairs either side of the twig.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/49575461287/in/album-72157713227825796/

Greg then contrasted the Hornbeam and Beech trees - both have pointed buds, but the Hornbeam ones turn back into the twig whereas the Beech point out proudly. (left)

Stopping at a Holm Oak, he showed its clustered buds at the top of the twig (like all oaks). Then we looked at a Lime Tree in the Avenue and he explained a lot of the problems in managing such an avenue.

Other trees that we looked at were the large Veteran Oak and a Sweet Chestnut - the latter with its prominent lenticels

Also in The Grove there is a large dead standing tree (Sweet Chestnut?) showing a great example of cubical brown rot with Greg explaining its use in breaking down the wood and recycling nutrients into the soil.

Just outside The Grove, we looked at the fate of a Hornbeam attacked by Ganoderma residaceum (underside here) and a Sycamore killed by Soot Bark disease.

On the up side, we admired the Dawn Redwoods and Wellingtonias before finishing up by our leaning Cork Oak opposite the Palm Court.





https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/49556964527/in/album-72157713172384611/
Huddling in the protection of the Palm Court entrance with Storm Dennis bringing rain, we hoped that a few people would turn up for the walk. In fact an impressive 16 people met to listen to Professor Jeff Duckett explain about Bryophytes (Mosses and Liverworts).

We started off just looking some mosses on the stonework which included Tortula muralis and Grimmia pulvinata (pictured).

Jeff explained that mosses are on the come-back trail after the reduction in pollution, but also because of the increase in NOX emissions from cars (they benefit mosses). See his separate report here.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/49556223513/in/album-72157713172384611/

We wandered down and looked at the mosses on a Plane Tree and in the grass before crossing Alexandra Palace Way. There Jeff was slightly surprised to see moss on a Dawn Redwood, but pointed out an Ash which was expected to have mosses and showed how they specifically liked live in the drip line (where the water comes down the tree).

Walking along the Lower Path, we found a poplar with a nice collection of mosses on it including this Orthotrichum diaphanum.

In vain we looked bonfire sites which can be good for mosses, but apparently the Park had done too good a job clearing up!

We finally found a liverwort, Frulania dilitata, (related to, but different from mosses) on an oak below the Butterfly Meadow by which time the rain had called a halt.








The audience left the talk, by Andrew Wood from Hertfordshire Butterfly Conservation, much wiser on the habits and appearance of butterflies and moths: from what they eat (nectar and some rather less pleasant substances), to how they mimic other insects (including wasps and hummingbirds). Andrew posed and answered a dozen questions that revealed the amazing variety amongst lepidopterans. He also talked about how to improve habitats for butterflies and moths and the effects of climate change.




The Conservation Volunteers

TCV Tree Planting in Alexandra Park

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/49407388891/in/album-72157712733830883/
Many sessions of tree planting have taken place this Autumn/Winter led by TCV BAT South team. Their own volunteers have kindly come over from South London as well extra people who saw the planting opportunity up on the interweb. On several occasion volunteers from the Palace and Friends of the Park have joined them. 

This tree planting was partially funded by the Major's Greener City Fund. 

Planting took place from November until early March with everything from large specimen trees to small oak whips. 

The planting locations have been varied from The Grove to the Redston Field via the Western Aboretum, the South Slope and the Eastern Arboretum...

For a bit of an idea of a day's work here is link to a slideshow (with 21 pilots music) of the last day's work.


February 2020

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47046427@N03/49594991393/in/album-72157627011943086/
Two days of work in the cricket scrub area this month to specifically improve the area for birds. The vegetation had grown too talk and a mixture of lower scrub and cleared areas. The edges of the area were partially fenced off to protect the area. A large number of volunteers turned up including three members of APOG (Alexandra Park Ornithological Group) which sped up the work and enabled extra work clearing a small glade to take place. 

While we were there, there were goldfinches around, but the birds were relatively quiet due to the cooler weather. Now we wait with hope to see increased bird activity in the area.












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.

 
 
 
joomla analytics