Park of the Month- April 2023
Ravenor Park is named after the Ravenor family who had long been associated with the Greenford area. In the C17th Symo Ravenor was Constable of Greenford and is recorded as a member of a jury in a court in 1638. In 1899 a descendent, George Ravenor, was a local landowner and had Ravenor Farm George Ravenor had Ravenor Farm. Ravenor House, now demolished, was one of the grand houses on Oldfield Lane. The cowshed barn adjacent to the park are all that remain from the farm. The park is on the site of Coston's Farm, named after Simon Coston who was a local benefactor in the C17th, and an old hedgerow remains from the former landscape as does a line of mature oaks that used to mark the farm boundaries. Ealing Borough Council purchased Coston's Farm in 1928 for the public park which was originally known as Coston’s Farm Recreation Ground, but later its name was changed to Ravenor Park.
Ravenor Park Today
Today Ravenor Park is a Green Flag Park* and is located close to Greenford Broadway is a much loved local park with a number of good facilities and a nature/wildlife area. * (The Green Flag Award® scheme recognises and rewards well managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world)
The mainly formal parkland layout contains a variety of C20th tree planting including commemorative planting and an attractive avenue of white poplars along the path from the south east to an entrance from Ravenor Park Road, where there are a number of beds planted with ornamental shrubs and evergreen trees. At the top of the hill is an area with trees of different species planted to commemorate the D-Day landing. There is a small formal garden with ornamental weeping cherry trees - currently in bloom (see the video).
There are wide open spaces wonderful for play, picnics, walking, and a wildflower meadow (currently dormant). Unfortunately at the time of writing there is a large water leak at the edge of the Park that effectively blocks off one of the paths and is creating a small stream.
In the south west of the park, towards the Ruislip Road entrance, a small section is set aside as a nature area including woodland and meadow habitats. This has examples of natural hedging and fencing, and paths through it, and consists of grassland surrounded by trees and shrubs on three sides.
This area is managed mainly by the rangers with the aim of adding to biodiversity in the park. The grass in this area is managed as a summer meadow, being cut and cleared at the end July. The mix of meadow grassland species helps to attract a good range of invertebrates, in particular various common species of butterfly, as well as many small mammals and foxes.
The watercourse and hedge running along the northern boundary of the park provides another valuable wildlife habitat and together with the nature area is a designated Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC).
Many birds frequent the park including great spotted ( Dendrocopus major) and green woodpeckers ( Picus viridis). On occasions sparrow hawks ( Accipiter nisus ) have also been seen hunting over the park.
During the winter months, common ( Larus canus) and black headed gulls ( Larus ridibundus) are occasionally joined by lesser black backed ( Larus fuscus) and herring gulls ( Larus argentatus), particularly when the lower slopes are wet. And of course the ubiquitous noisy and gregarious ring-necked parakeet ( Psittacula krameri ), its brilliant green plumage adding an exotic touch to the park’s wildlife.
Ravenor Park is well equipped with tennis courts, multi use games courts and a fairly recent small outdoor gym. There is a well equipped children’s playground for a wide age group from toddler swings to climbing frames.
How to find Ravenor Park
The main entrance to Ravenor Park is from Oldfield Road South on the eastern side of the park close to the heart of central Greenford with its public library, Police Station and bustling centre with shops and cafes.
Bus: 95, 105, 282, E6, E7, E9, E10 to the Ruislip Road
Nearest tube: Greenford (Central Line), Oldfield Lane North, Greenford
Parking: Nearby parking in central Greenford
On foot/bike: Several entrances from nearby roads – Oldfield Lane South, Ruislip Rd, Ravenor Park Rd, Eastmead Avenue
Disabled access/facilities – mixture of tarmac and hoggin path surfaces, some gentle slopes. Bark chip path through nature conservation area. Good provision of benches throughout the park.
Playground – a well-equipped playground near the Oldfield Lane South entrance
Multi-use games area
Adult exercise equipment near Ruislip Road entrance