Ealing Parks Foundation are delighted to announce Grove Farm
as Park of the Month for April
This month our Park of the Month is Grove Farm in Greenford (The name Greenford is first recorded in 848 as Grenan forda. It is formed from the Old English 'grēne' and 'ford' and means 'place at the green ford’).
The Friends of Grove Farm have also organised a number of events during April to give you a chance to find out more about the area. Be fast thought they book up quickly! - Click here for more information:
Grove Farm is a hidden delight of ancient trees, open spaces and - the rare and lovely Wood Anenome currently in bloom - among other noteworthy species. Grove Farm represents a remnant of the former rural landscape of Middlesex consisting of grassland and regenerated woodland. It is largely hidden from sight as the main road access entrance is directly beside Sudbury Hill Station with signage leading to the David Lloyd Centre.
Originally an 85 acre farm identfied in 1840 as growing mainly hay with some 18 acres being arable - developing through the years into a 118 acre farm, it was eventually sold in 1919 to J. Lyons & Co. The company were looking for a secondary site and settled in the area due to good transport links with the Grand Union Canal and the Great Western Railway. The company was established there until the 1980s. J. Lyons & Co. developed part of Grove Farm as the company sports and recreation ground inluding a pool and sports fields, which eventually became part of the former Ealing Northern Sports Ground. The sloping grounds and wooded areas of part of the Farm meant that these escaped development.
Today Grove Farm is a quiet semi-wild area with short walks and trails through wooded and open areas with a wide range of interesting plants and trees. The south of the site comprises damp woodland with pedunculate oak and crack willow. Cherry and mature wild service trees are also present indicating an ancient woodland remnant. Secondary woodland has established over much of the remainder of the site with oak, ash and hawthorn common together with some plantings of Atlas cedar, Scots pine and Lombardy poplar.
The remains of rich grasslands can be found to the north, west, and south-east of the site in which can be found welted thistle (rare in London), hairy violet (one of only two sites reported in Middlesex), pepper saxifrage, wild cowslip (uncommon in London), and glaucous sedge. Adder’s tongue has been recorded in the old meadows to the west.
Additionally the site supports a locally notable lichen flora, regarded as the best in Ealing. Thirteen species have been recorded.
The main wooded area has glorious wood anemone, bluebell, greater stitchwort and ragged robin
Wood anemone is an ancient-woodland-indicator plant. If you spot it while you're out exploring, it could be a sign you're standing in a rare and special habitat, A member of the buttercup family and one of the first flowers of spring, wood anemones bloom like a galaxy of stars across the forest floor. As a species it's surprisingly slow to spread (six feet in a hundred years!), relying on the growth of its root structure rather than the spread of its seed. The Romans considered wood anemones a 'lucky charm' and would pick the first flowers to appear each year to ward off fever.