February 2023 Park of the Month
linked with Greenford Lagoons and Greenford Birch Wood
Have you ever driven up the A40 and wondered what all the green was on either side?
A lot of it is part of the Northolt Greenford Countryside Park - a series of interconnected parks and green spaces. Our Park of the Month for February focuses on Marnham Fields and Woodlands and introduces Greenford Lagoons and across the A40 Greenford Birch Wood.
Marnham Fields and Woodlands.
Marnham Fields is a nature reserve in Ealing and covers an area of meadows, scrub and woodland to the east of the Grand Union Canal and to the south of the A40. This huge area of meadow and scrub land is a rural escape in the city. Bordered by the Grand Union Canal, which winds through the edge of the greenery, the space with wildflower meadows and woodlands is an important wildlife habitat with plenty of birdlife and butterflies. Do keep an eye out for the many different species of butterfly which visit Marnham Fields in the summer, including in recent years, the clouded yellow.
Since 2002, local volunteers have been working to create Marnham Fields Community Edible Woodland, a community woodland in the fields. Over 20,000 native species trees have been planted including oak, ash, silver birch, rowan, alder and hazel were planted to increase the diversity of wildlife and attract new birds and insects to this arear. Also included was a mixed variety of interesting species such as Juneberry, Turkish Hazel, Fig and Pennsylvania Hawthorn to create edible woodlands!
Last but not least, you can visit Marnham Fields’ own (much smaller!) version of Stonehenge erected by local people keen to improve their environment.
Marnham Fields is part of the Northolt and Greenford Countryside Park (NGCP), which links 110 hectares of open space in the northwest of Ealing, London. Lying next to the Grand Union Canal, the Field predominantly comprised nine hectares of open meadow and scrub, lacking visual interest and biodiversity. Now it is an area of wide biodiversity, great for treespotting, birdspotting, cycling, walking and playing with access to the Grand Union Canal path.
Currently under repair is a traditional wooden canal bridge that links Marnham Fields to Smith Farm Open Space across the Cana
The NGCP is a unique recreation, leisure, sport and ecological park within the borough of Ealing. It comprises a diverse patchwork of smaller parks, playing fields and countryside sites to form a more or less continuous belt of green open space, much of which is extremely valuable for nature conservation.
To the south and north of the A40 respectively, Greenford Lagoons and Greenford Birch Wood provide a great refuge for a wide range of wildlife species that inhabit the ponds, wetlands, woodlands, meadows and scrub.
To the south east of the park, Marnham Fields.
ACCESS: Millet Road/Marnham Crescent UB6 9SZ
Transport: Bus E10
Greenford Lagoons is a wooded strip and part of the Northolt Greenford Countryside Park . It features three permanent lagoons and was created from former wasteland. The permanent Lagoons, which are currently undergoing a clean up feed floodwater through filtering reed beds which has created a wonderful area for associated wildlife. It is a cycle/walking route to and tracks the side of the A40 but worth exploring if visiting Marnham Fields.
Access: A40 near Oldfield Lane South and Millet Road
Transport: Bus: E10
Greenford Birch Wood
If you are walking or cycling alongside Greenford Lagoons at the point you reach Marnham Fields there is a bridge that crosses the A40 towards Dunelm Mills. (It has a cafe so good for refreshments and a loo!) If you take the right hand path you are quickly on a quiet path,( better for walking than cycling). This is a small mixed woodland with a stream and a stand of silver birch which provides nesting sites for common woodland birds. The charm is its proximity to the A40 and the way you are quickly in a country type environment.
Access from North of the A40: Long Drive /Olympic Way, Greenford, UB6 8LR