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.
Our normal activities include:
For an impressive 15th time, Alexandra Park has been awarded a Green Flag Award. We are also proud recipients of a Green Heritage Award. Congratulations are due to all employees, contractors and volunteers who helped make this possible.
Nature Members' Walk
A nature inspired ramble for an hour in the park where we will look focus on the Blandford Hall Area with veteran oaks nearby and (relatively) new sprouting trees in the part where the building used to be up to 1971. Other oddities include a well-hidden yucca plant (pictured). We will keep an ear out for sparrowhawks which nest in the area and check out flowers on the sunny edges and glades.
Swingbusters music in The Grove
Rick Hayter and Friends music in The Grove
Folk and Roots inspired original songs.
Art in the Park Group
Conservation Work Party
London Metropolitan Brass Community Band in The Grove
A welcome return for the London Metropolitan Brass who have been entertaining us for the last 9 years.... Time to sit on the grass and enjoy the the music wafting over the grove - listen and try to identify all the tunes.
RECENT EVENTS IN THE PARK
Rob Thom Band in The Grove
A welcome first visit from the Rob Thom Band to entertain us folk style music. Most the music was written members of the band, but there was a Simon and Garfunkel cover.
Major question posed by the band was "What should the band be called?". The members of the band are Jo Giggs, Tom Poslett and Rob Thom. Several ideas came from the audience who were mostly crowded into the smaller areas of shade close to the band. Email us and we will pass on any ideas. An extract from one of the band's songs "Miss Kitty".
Although The Grove was closed, we had the well received attendance of an ice cream van.
Family Bug Hunt
Nice warm weather for Family Bug Hunt this year. Great to see lots of kids outside with nets waving......
Several butterflies where caught including Meadow Browns and a Common Blue. True bugs (insects with sucking mouthparts) also featured well with a couple of Sloe Bugs and a Leather Bug.
Roesel's Bush Crickets and Meadow Grasshopper were other insects found. Crickets have antenae longer than their bodies and grasshoppers antennae shorter than their bodies.
Sixteen spot and harlequin ladybirds were seen as well some small flies.
The biggest numbers found were spiders of all sizes with a crab spider where had been eating a honey bee and the star of the day, a Wasp Spider (pictured left).
All the insects were released back into the wild as close as possible to where they were found.
Conservation Work Party - July
The meadow, like the rest of the Park is in poor shape, though, with all this dry weather, and then the heatwave, last week, must have put huge stress on plants and wildlife - blackberries are very small this year. There was no birdsong, the grass was tinder dry but, despite that, there were lots of butterflies feeding on the remaining knapweed flowers, ragwort (which seems to have grown super tall this year) and spear thistle. There were large numbers of gatekeepers, a few meadow brown, a small copper and a speckled wood. There was also a very handsome, Jersey tiger moth (photo left by Tony Jakeman) and a six spot burnet moth.
Wildflower Walk - July
We focused on two main habitats. In the grassland near the Newland Road entrance we considered how grasses hold soil and store carbon, and we looked at grasses ranging from tall false oat grass to short perennial ryegrass. We also saw other plants such as lucerne, mugwort and ragwort and discussed some of their uses past and present. In the habitats that lie between the hedge around the Cricket Pitch and the Conservation area, we looked at plants ranging from the tiny duckweed on the surface of the ponds to the tall reed sweetgrass. We compared hogweed to cow parsley and also looked at the clusters of spores under a fern frond under a hand lens.
Butterfly Walk - July
Butterflies like sunshine, and luckily we had lots of it. Starting in the Upper Main Meadow, our walk leaders Dee Cullen and Gerry Rawcliffe helped us to spot meadow browns and small or Essex skippers (the latter have antenna tips that are entirely black).
In the Lower Main Meadow we saw a large skipper (more heavily marked than the other two) and then marbled whites, with their gliding flight. In the park there are large, small and green-veined whites, and we saw a large white, the least common of the three, in the Anthill Meadow.
We also saw speckled woods, which like coming down onto brambles, and a six-spot burnet moth. We had to look up once we were at Cricket Scrub Corner, for the very small purple hairstreaks and whiteletter hairstreaks, as they like oaks and ashes/elms, respectively, so those of us with binoculars were at an advantage!"
London Metropolitan Brass - June