Have You a Skill to Offer?
FOGP Facebook Organiser Needed
Winter Colour and Berries in the Walled Garden
Birds, Fungus and Tree Flowers
Copse News from David
Holly: Ilex aquifolium Info
Litter Picks Start Date
Let's Talk Climate: Have your say: Link
More Dates for the Diary. Walks Planned
Thank you Peter for the Hawthorns
Peter's History of the Kendal Road Hedge
Get Ready for Brent in Bloom 2022
JOIN EASY FUNDRAISING Nominate FOGP as your Charity
AMAZON: When buying choose FOGP as your Charity
Memorial Benches. How to buy one
POLICE: New Info for reporting Mopeds in the Park
Would anyone like to contribute?
Have you a skill to contribute to the Friends?
Are you interested in some aspect of the park and could lead a walk/talk? We would love to hear from anyone with an interest in moths for instance.
Have you something you'd like to contribute?
FACEBOOK ORGANISER NEEDED
Chris, the Friends Facebook page monitor, will be moving to pastures new in the spring and we are looking for her replacement. Is there anyone out there willing to check the page regularly, remove non-park info, deal and forward on requests, link the page to other useful sites etc? email: email@example.com
WINTER BRINGS COLOUR AND CHEER TO WALLED GARDEN
Red stems of Cornus sanguinea - (do admire the scarlet stems as well in the pond area), seen below with the vibrant berries of spindle, Euonymus europaeus, the scented white flowers of winter honeysuckle, Lonicera fragrantissima and the male catkins of the silk tassel bush, Garrya elliptica, growing under the walnut tree
Walled Garden Berries: UK native woodland plant, butcher's broom, Ruscus aculeatus, with the seeds of the stinking iris, Iris foetidissima below.
NEARBY: The Gadwalls have returned to the pond and can be seen occasionally along with the Grey Heron. Thank you Shanta and Denyse for the photos. Collared earthstar fungus on the top terrace bed. This started off white and over the past month has slowly turned brown. Another was seen in the rose beds though, according to the Woodland Trust, they are usually found in deciduous woodland, and male catkins and red female flower of hazel, Corylus avellana.
COPSE NEWS FROM DAVID
During winter the copse which is predominantly composed of deciduous trees is bare and lifeless.....except for Holly. Its mass of shiny dark green leaves often peppered with red berries is a welcome relief from the browns, greys and blacks of surrounding bare wood. The holly leaf is depicted as having very sharp spines along its edge. But if you look closer at a holly bush you will notice that the leaves on the upper branches do not bear spines. They are oval shaped with a smooth edge. The spines are there to protect the plant from hungry herbivores foraging during the winter months. Usually the thorny leaves extend up to a height of 1.5 metres from the ground. If you were to cut holly above that height it will respond by growing additional thorny leaves even higher. It interprets your pruning as akin to a feeding animal and it will react to protect itself !
Photo: Copse workers on a rare sunny day!!!!
HOLLY: ILEX AQUIFOLIUM
A British native, evergreen and dioecious which means that some trees are male and produce pollen and others are female and produce berries.
Good nectar and pollen source for pollinating insects and its leaves are eaten by the holly blue butterfly caterpillars as well as those of some moths. Its berries are a good food source for birds, small mammals like the wood mouse which has been seen in the copse and dormice.
Holly wood is the whitest of all woods, is heavy and hard and fine-grained. It is often used to make walking sticks. Info courtesy of Woodland Trust
Date for Your Diary MONTHLY LITTER PICKS Start Sunday 27 March at 10am Meet at the park entrance by Anson Road North
LET'S TALK CLIMATE: BRENT COUNCIL
Samantha Haines at Brent Council is asking Brent residents to participate as below:
The climate emergency means the way we do things as a council and as a community has to change. We have launched Let’s Talk Climate: waste and green space to ask for your views on what we can do differently and what you expect from us as we work together towards a cleaner, greener Brent.
We are looking for fresh bold ideas. Your feedback could change how waste and recycling is managed, how we keep streets clean and how green spaces are maintained. It will also feed into the delivery of our Climate Strategy and help shape the future of Brent >> Watch this video to learn more, then get involved and start sharing your ideas
MORE DATES FOR THE DIARY
SUNDAY, 15 May: 5.30am: Dawn Chorus Bird Walk with Andrew Peel of RSPB
SATURDAY, 21 MAY: 11am: Nature walk with John Wells naturalist, of the Selborne Society
TUESDAY, 7th JUNE: 6.30pm: History and Myths of Gladstone Park with Cathy Mercer, lecturer and tour guide
SATURDAY, 16 JULY: 11am: How to Recognise Tree Species with Bettina Metcalfe, dendrologist
AUGUST: Date to be confirmed: Plant Walk Along the Southern Railway Line Hedge with Helen of Friends of Gladstone Park
THANK YOU PETER for PLANTING MORE HAWTHORNS
For many years Peter has been buying and planting hawthorns to fill in gaps along the hedges and this year is no exception. I spotted him wheeling his wheelbarrow across the park having added a few more to the hedge by the railway line, shown here in the photo. Fifteen 5ft high 'maidens', as this height bare root plant is called, have been planted by Peter in a tribute to Andy Atkins of Brent Council who died last year and whose support and interest encouraged Peter's co-operation to restore the planting.
HISTORY OF THE KENDAL ROAD HEDGE FROM LOCAL RESIDENT PETER
During the Second World War there were anti-aircraft guns and barrage balloons in Gladstone Park. After the war pre-fabs were built in the South extension of Gladstone Park. I do not know when these were demolished.
When I first lived on the Dollis Hill Estate in1968 there was an ugly fence of concrete palings about 7 feet high in Gladstone Park all along Kendal Road and Anson Road. Over the years this became ineffective because palings came off leaving numerous unsightly gaps.
In about 1980 Brent Council demolished the whole fence and planted a hedge of a mixed selection of native hedging including holly and hazel. Over the following years all except the hawthorns slowly died from drought leaving numerous big gaps. This was when the hedge was pruned down to low level.
In about 1990 a large group of gypsies drove their vehicles through the gaps in the hedge to camp in the South extenson for about 10 days making a mess with the debris from their scrap collections. The Council were slow to issue their court proceedings to evict the gypsies. So with the support of Brent Council I made a personal emergency application to the High Court and obtained an injunction to evict the gypsies which the police enforced. After this Brent Council erected the numerous black steel posts to block the hedge gaps to vehicles that remain there today. But the Council did nothing to restore the hedge.
In about 1995 I started buying a few hawthorn whips reach year to restore the hedge opposite my house. The Parks Department Horticultural Adviser Andy Atkins was supportive of this intiative. So I continued planting a few hawthorn whips each winter to replace whips killed by drought and to extend the hedge restoration. There were so many big gaps that initially anyone could get into the park on foot through gaps. As the years went by as more gaps were filled and the restoration extended vandals started breaking down the replanting for easy access to the park. It became two steps forward and one step back each year: very slowly winning.
In about the year 2000 Andy Atkins persuaded Brent Council allow the hedge grow up to 2 metres height. This has proved to be a wise initiative since recent research at Guildford University has demonstrated that hawthorns 2 metres high are an excellent means of eliminating air pollution.
THE BRENT IN BLOOM COMPETITION WILL TAKE PLACE AGAIN NEXT YEAR. IT IS GOOD NEWS FOR OWNERS OF FABULOUS FRONT GARDENS, THOSE WHO HAVE WONDERFUL WINDOW BOXES OR COLOURFUL CONTAINERS, BUSINESSES, COMMUNAL GARDENS AND OTHER CATEGORIES SUCH AS SUSTAINABLE GARDENS AND GARDENS FOR WILDLIFE
To enter and for more info on the categories: Brent in Bloom
DO PLEASE JOIN EASYFUNDRAISING IT IS SUCH AN EASY WAY TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE FRIENDS OF GLADSTONE PARK.
For example if you buy anything from John Lewis they donate 2% of the value to the Friends! These donations help the Gladstone Gardening Group to buy tulips, alliums and other bulbs for spring colour and contribute to the perennial beds in the walled garden.
HELP MAKE YOUR PARK EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL BY CONTRIBUTING
RAISE MONEY FOR THE FRIENDS OF GLADSTONE PARK
VIA EASY FUNDRAISING
A huge variety of companies are paying charity donations via the website Easy Fundraising.
Follow the link below and nominate the Friends of Gladstone Park as your charity. Download the app which allows you to see which companies support charities this way when you use your browser. https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/panel/ AND VIA AMAZON SMILE https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ch/1180529-0
We will use your funding to encourage the park's wildlife, plant in the walled garden and copse and for projects to enhance the park
MEMORIAL BENCHES: MORE NEEDED AS WE WOULD LIKE SOME ALONG THE NEW CYCLE PATH AND IN THE PEACE GROVE. People like to rest, stare at the sun, comfort their baby or just admire the view when walking the park especially along the new cycle track where there is just one bench at present.
Is there a loved one you would like to remember and think about when visiting the Gladstone Park?
PHOTO: Najma sitting on the bench dedicated to her husband COST: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or speak to Brent Council on 020 8937 5619
NO MOPEDS PERMITTED TO DRIVE IN THE PARK If you see a moped in the park, photograph it with the number plate visible and take down details of the time and where you saw it. Email your ward SNT as below and the police have agreed to follow this up where there is sufficient evidence.
Mopeds are not allowed to drive through the park and people are not allowed to sleep in the park. If you have information about mopeds, rough sleeping or antisocial behaviour:
Email or Tweet your ward, either Dollis Hill, Dudden Hill or Mapesbury Safer Neighbourhood Team, (SNT), as below.
Do not put yourself at risk by taking photographs of people, but make a note of registration numbers, descriptions, time and location.
Remember that the SNT can only follow up messages when they are on a working shift, so they should not be contacted about urgent issues.