Cranford Park wins Silver. The park has received a Silver award in the London in Bloom awards, in the Country Park of the Year category. The judges took into account the work of volunteers in the Secret Garden and surroundings. LB Hillingdon Green Spaces has conveyed its thanks to the Friends for our hard work and commitment.

Talk on Cranford & the Berkeleys. On October 15 the chairman of Hillingdon Family History Society, Ian Harvey, will be giving a talk, “Cranford and the Berkeleys: A Complicated Family Tree”. Hear about the intrigues and scandal that took place on our doorstep. The meeting will be held at the Hillingdon Park Baptist Church (main hall), Hercies Road, Hillingdon Circus. On the U2 bus route. Doors open at 7.30pm for a 7.45pm start. Visitors welcome.

If you shop at the Hayes branch of Asda, a reminder that there’s a chance to help Cranford Park. At the checkout, ask for green charity tokens when you pay for your goods, then place the tokens in the Cranford Park Friends box near the escalators. In the ‘Chosen by you, Given by us’ scheme, the group with the most tokens at the end of October will be given £200 to further their work and ambitions.

Learn how to check the park’s water quality. Cranford Park Friends volunteers do regular river quality checks on the Crane, using ‘kick-sampling’, as part of a valley-wide scheme. If you would like to learn how it’s done and help our small team on a regular basis, please see details of the next River Monitoring Initiative training session at Hogsmill on 17 October, organised through ZSL (Zoological Society of London).

Coming events in the park. The next Secret Garden volunteer session is on October 11 (10am-12 noon). Then, on October 17, we are holding an Apple Day, complete with an orchard ‘walk and talk’ and a Macmillan Coffee Morning in the Secret Garden (11am – 2:30pm. Guided walk starts 11am). Donations of cakes will be very welcome. More details to follow.


* Thank you all VOLUNTEERS who have been busy around the park, especially the Woods, in the Secret Garden and clearing ivy from the Ha-Ha wall, an 18th century historic feature near the Information Centre. To see photos of this and the park’s amazing variety of wildlife – including kingfishers, owls and weasels – read member Wendy Marks’ fascinating October blogs here:

* Calling all CYCLISTS and JAZZ MUSICIANS. A group interested in doing easy, level and (mainly) traffic-free cycling around Cranford Park, Minet Park, Heathrow Villages and West Drayton areas is being started. It will go at the pace of the slowest rider. We are also looking for trad jazz musicians/ skiffle players who might like to help stage an event next year remembering Ken Colyer’s Crane River Jazz Band which began around Cranford Park in the 1950s. For more information please email secretary at 

* 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: