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Parks of the Month - March 2024
Heathfield Nature Gardens and Mill Hill Gardens

The Borough of Ealing is blessed with a wide variety of different types of Parks and Green Spaces and of varying different sizes.  This month we focus on two small green oasis virtually adjacent to each other in Acton. Both with some interesting local history.  If you haven't explored this area or these parks well worth a look!

History

Heathfield Nature Gardens may be a small park but it provides a haven for wildlife, children and adults as it runs alongside the busy Gunnersbury Lane.  Originally awarded a Green Flag in 2016 it continues to be recognised.  It was once part of the original extensive Gunnersbury Park.  The Park today has a pond is full of reed sweet-grass and also has some tall plants of water dock. A native hedge runs along the west side and several other native trees and shrubs have been planted in the park, including hazel, field maple and ash. A dense thicket of snowberry occurs at the south end. The grasslands here are frequently mown for the most part but sometimes small areas are permitted to grow longer continuing to provide a haven for wildlife.

There are formal pathways and an attractive circle area with seating.  There is also a playground with swings, slides climbing frames and other play and climbing equipment.  

 

The Park is located beside the Ark Acton Academy and the Everyone Active Reynolds Sports Centre which has sports pitches, a gym etc.  (for a free day pass click here

 https://www.everyoneactive.com/promotion/haveadayonus/  

Mill Hill Gardens

Almost directly across the road from Heathfield Nature Parks is the hidden little gem of Mill Hill Gardens set in the conservation area of Mill Hill Park. Originally a meadow, this was developed into the kitchen garden of Acton  Hill House a grand Regency mansion.  You can still see the remaining West Wing of the Mansion built by Richard White at 11 Avenue Crescent.  When the Mill Hill Park Estate was developed as an early garden suburb in 1877 this was the communal garden, and became the site of the Mill Hill Park Lawn Tennis Club in 1884 with four grass courts, golf putting and croquet lawns.  

 

Signs of life and residency on the piece of land where the Mill Hill Park development now lies have been traced by Museum of London archaeologists back through medieval, Saxon and Roman times and through the Bronze Age to the prehistoric era.  The History of Mill Hill Park covers developments in the area from the Bronze Age to the present time. 

Today these walled gardens are a tranquil spot with grass and seating areas and a playground in this lovely little enclave.  

 

If you want to extend your walk you can also stroll the Mill Hill Park area and see the a number of the original houses built during this era and the the imposing pillars leading to the estate.

Addresses:

Heathfield Nature Gardens

Gunnersbury Lane, Acton W3 8EY

Mill Hill Gardens

Avenue Road, Acton W3 8HB

between No's 137 and 139

 

Parks Facilities

 

  • Playgrounds

  • Paths

How to Get Here

Tube:  Acton Town - Piccadilly Line

Buses - various including the E3

 

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