Archive for July, 2013

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Ealing’s parks have been awarded more new Green Flags than any other borough in the UK, it was announced this week.

Seven of the borough’s parks were awarded a Green Flag for the first time, and two parks (Northala Fields and Acton Park) were awarded Green Flags for the second year running.

The new Green Flags were awarded to Southall Manor House Grounds, Pitshanger Park, Ravenor Park, North Acton Playing Fields, King George’s Playing Field, Bramley Road Open Space and Brent Lodge Park and Churchfields.

The parks were judged against eight criteria, including how clean and well maintained they are, and how actively involved the community is, before they were awarded the prestigious flags.

Improving the borough’s parks is a high priority for the council. Many have benefitted from additional funding from external grants and the council, as well as a reallocation of funds to carry out significant improvements and to increase community and volunteering opportunities.

Brent River Park is one open space that recently underwent improvement work. It beat 46 other parks across the capital to win £400,000 from the Mayor of London’s ‘Help a Park’ scheme, which was secured after more than 4600 residents cast their votes in support of the redevelopment. The council injected a further £487,000 to rejuvenate the large swathe of land that includes Green Flag winners, Brent Lodge Park and Churchfields.

Visitors can now enjoy new park benches, maps and information boards, better paths and cycle tracks, and new trees and flower beds. More than 500 volunteers lent their time to clear 100 tonnes of rubbish from the Brent River, which runs through the park, as well as reinstate the river’s delicate biodiversity.

The park also features hay meadows, veteran trees, rich wildlife, as well as a modern playground, a hedge maze for children, and the Brent Lodge Park Animal Centre.

Popularly known as ‘the bunny park’, the animal centre is bursting with community and learning activities. The butterfly house is run by a group from Ealing Mencap and the Brent Lodge Park Art Collective run a studio out of the centre, while school and community groups regularly visit for hands-on educational sessions.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “Our many parks are one of reasons that Ealing is a sought after place to live, work and visit. It is so important all is done to make them beautiful, natural havens within the urbanised landscape of Ealing. We’re ambitious and committed to investing money and effort to ensure our parks offer tranquillity as well as being spaces that residents can enjoy through play and leisure.

“We are very proud to have been awarded the largest increase of new Green Flags this year, and will work towards to entering even more parks in next year’s awards.”

More improvements are to come for parks, with £440,000 set aside this financial year to carry out a range of park upgrades. This is in addition to £135,000 carried forward from last year and a further £200,000 to update or build new playgrounds.

For more information about the green flag scheme, visit: http://www.greenflag.keepbritaintidy.org

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RectoryParkFunDay 27 July 2013

Come along tomorrow to the family fun day in Rectory Park, Northolt.  Network Housing Association have organised the event which includes fun games, the coveted Northolt Shield football competition, a health and wellbeing stand, zumba and lots more.

Date: Saturday 27th July 2013

Time: 12noon-5pm

Venue: Rectory Park Estate, Rectory Park Avenue, Northolt, UB5 6SQ

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Ealing’s parks are bloomin’ lovely

Ealing’s parks showed-off their colours on Friday (19 July) when representatives from London in Bloom came to town to judge the borough’s green spaces.

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz with Assistant Parks Improvement Manager, Justin Pilbeam, London in Bloom judge, Robert Player , Walpole Park Manager, Emma Allen, London in Bloom judge, Andy Williams and park ranger, Tim Crane

Cllr Bassam Mahfouz with (left to right) Assistant Parks Improvement Manager, Justin Pilbeam, London in Bloom judge, Robert Player , Walpole Park Manager, Emma Allen, London in Bloom judge, Andy Williams and park ranger, Tim Crane

The competition is designed to promote gardening, horticulture and biodiversity across London, to make it a greener and cleaner place to live, work and visit. It is one of 17 regional campaigns, with overall category winners going on to compete in Britain in Bloom, which is organised by the Royal Horticultural Society.Ealing as a whole was entered in the competition under the large city category, along with Southall Manor House Grounds, King George’s Playing Fields and Three Bridges Park under the small park/garden of the year category. Each entry was assessed against the criteria of community participation, environmental responsibility, horticultural achievement and overall impact.

Three Bridges Park was opened to the public earlier this year, following work to transform a previously unused piece of land on the border a historic road, rail and canal crossing into a park. The space now features open grass area with a pathway winding towards the canal and wooden seats in the shape of the letters spelling ‘Three Bridges’, as well as many new flowers and shrubs.

King George’s Playing Fields and Southall Manor House Grounds also recently underwent some impressive changes as part of the council’s wider park regeneration work, including the installation of new seating and pathways, as well as garden landscape work. New flower beds, shrubs and trees were also planted at both sites, with help from local school groups and volunteers.

Ealing has long been famous for its lush open spaces and has previously won or been awarded runner-up in several London in Bloom categories. This year, Ealing is also in the running to win several discretionary awards, which include the edible London award, community garden award, and floral display award. Winners of the competition will be announced at a ceremony in September.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “Local people, community groups, businesses, schools and the council put a lot of work into keeping Ealing one of the greenest and leafiest boroughs in London. The London in Bloom competition is a great initiative to formally recognise all of this hard work and would place us more firmly on the map as a beautiful place to live and work.”

Ealing’s entry into the 2013 London in Bloom competition is being led by the council’s park ranger team.

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