Cranford Park Dates for your Diary – No booking necessary unless stated! Outdoor events take place whatever the weather. Unless stated otherwise, please meet at the
park information centre.
For the first time, the Friends plan to open the Secret Garden, next to the stable block, monthly this year (with support from Macmillan Cancer Relief), for viewing and a volunteer session. It will open on these Sundays from 10am – 12 noon: April 21, May 26, June 23. We are sowing wild flowers and planting vegetables and herbs. It also contains a small pond with water-lillies and newts and a deep well which is hundreds of years old. The aim is to create a peaceful haven and attract birds, butterflies and other insects.
Third Thursday of every month (March 21, April 18, etc) 11am. Cranford Park Healthy Walk. A brisk two-mile stroll in friendly company.
Sunday (April 21) sees the start of an exploration on foot of the River Crane from its source to the River Thames. The Big Crane Valley Walks will be done in three stages, led by LWT and FORCE, with Cranford Park featuring on the second leg. On Sunday the trek starts at 10am at Headstone Manor, Pinner View, Harrow, location of a historic moated manor house. The walks are free but please book with Andy Willmore (London Wildlife Trust) on 07891 004098 or e-mail FORCE (Friends of the River Crane Environment) firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday May 4, 11am. Bluebell Walk. Join the Countryside & Conservation Officer for a guided walk, enjoying our wonderful display of spring flowers.
Wednesday May 15, 7pm. River Crane Talk part 1. Fish Identification & Urban River Management. (Though this event takes place at Minet Country Park’s visitor centre it is relevant to our park.) Exploring the characteristics and challenges faced by urban rivers and what can be done to improve river habitats. Please book with Alison Shipley, tel. 01895 250647 or email@example.com
Saturday June 1, 11am. Butterfly Walk. Join the Countryside & Conservation Officer to see a wide variety of species, following the park’s ‘butterfly transit route’.
Wednesday June 12, 7pm. River Crane Talk part 2. Riverside Habitats & Species. An evening walk and talk at Cranford Park. You can go into the river if you wish (please bring wellies; nets will be provided). Please book with Alison Shipley (details above).
Saturday June 29, 11am. ‘Knights, Earls & Ghosts’, freeHistory Tour. Follow in the footsteps of some interesting characters from Cranford’s past.
* We always knew we had some very old trees and this has been confirmed. At least one of the oaks in the woods is about 400 years old, while the sweet chestnut adjacent to the ha-ha and children’s playground is up to 490 years old! We discovered this on a well-attended winter tree identification walk, led by Andy Willmore and Alison Shipley, on February 16.
* Our ‘Tall Tales & Trash‘ litter pick (jointly with Thames 21) attracted 10 volunteers who gathered a huge amount of rubbish and heard talks on the park’s history and wildlife from Billy Coburn and Bob Barton.
* Women’s Institute members are now experts on Cranford Park! Your Secretary has given talks about the park’s history and features, past characters and the creation of our group to three local W.I. branches. Another is planned in Greenford later this year. They were well received and two of the groups have asked for a guided tour of the park. If you would like to volunteer to help please contact the Secretary.
* About a dozen members have formed a History & Conservation Working Party. This is chaired by committee member Christopher Luetchford. The main role of the working party is to research aspects of the park’s – and Cranford House’s – history to help in the establishment of a permanent exhibit and provide material to back-up grant applications. If you would like to assist with this project please contact the Secretary.
* Following repeated requests to Transport for London, the fallen M4 fence near St. Dunstan’s subway was finally repaired by them in February. Thanks to Sandra Lawrence for her perseverance!
* If you’re interested in Cranford Park’s wildlife – and particularly its bird life – we recommend you keep an eye on a blog edited by a member of the Friends. Wendy Marks is a keen photographer and her blog contains some stunning photos. This link takes you to her impressions of the recent Signs of Spring walk: