What a wonderful start to the season! On Sunday 1st May a group of 25 people came to our annual Spring Tree Walk. It was led, as usual, by tree expert John Wells who combines vast knowledge with humour and an easy going style.
We followed him round the park as he introduced us to around 15 different species. We sniffed the tangerine scent of the Grand Fir which stands behind the Cafe, learnt about the lichen which covers the ash tree near Hindes Road Gate and found out why the Cherry Plum Tree (yes, its fruits are edible) is called Pissard’s Horrible!
If you want to learn why and much more - then come our next Tree Walk in the Autumn. (Sunday 2nd October) It’s a lovely way to be more engaged with the natural history of our park.
Our beautiful Park is mainly covered by lush verdant grass but necessarily there are the official tarmacadamed pathways around and across it. The pathway all the way round the Park is reckoned to be exactly a mile give or take.
However, over the years I and many others have created two unofficial people’s paths by assiduously tramping through the woods in the north eastern and north western parts of the Park, often overgrown and nearly invisible. Then one day without notice the Council decided to mow the paths giving them semi official status, like the routes of people in ancient times morphing into official rights of way or even roads. The Council moves in mysterious ways and people’s power works.
However, this not the end of the story. At the beginning of the pandemic suddenly there appeared paths running parallel to and about a yard away from the official pathways at the north western and north eastern official pathways ways in the Park. They were established in next to no time. Perhaps it was to enable joggers to social distance or maybe they preferred the softer grounds. It is unlikely the Council will upgrade these. Let’s celebrate people power and our people’s paths.
Harrow's Deputy Mayor, Councillor Sasi Suresh, in action.
Photo: Harrow Parks Forum
HM the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – Planting the Jubilee Oak Tree
Photo: Harrow Parks Forum
Royal celebrations are always loaded with symbolism, so the National Civic Tree Planting Day, marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, took place on Friday the 11th March: the 70th day of the 70th year of her reign. The London Borough of Harrow joined-in, planting a tree in our own Harrow Rec, with a host of civic dignitaries present.
In the picture shown here the planting is being orchestrated by Tony Donetti (Infrastructure Manager – Harrow Council – he’s the one with the spade) and those dignitaries are, from left to right: Councillor Ramji Chauhan; Councillor Anjana Patel; Councillor Graham Henson (Leader of the Council); Councillor Krishna Suresh; Councillor Sasi Suresh (The Deputy Mayor); The Royal Tree herself; Simon Ovens (Deputy Lieutenant for Harrow); Keith Toms (Honorary Alderman); Councillor Varsha Parmar.
The new tree is an oak, and you can find it in the avenue of trees near to the SEVA café and the bowling green. It has been registered as part of the “Queen’s Green Canopy” project, which invites people from across the United Kingdom to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”. The project also plans to dedicate a network of 70 Ancient Woodlands across the United Kingdom, and identify 70 Ancient Trees – there’s that symbolism again!
With help from volunteers, the Harrow Rec Users Association has been gardening in the park for a number of years. Initially this involved tidying the borders and cutting back any unruly shrubbery and planting bulbs.
A few years ago, following the completion of the flats by the Roxborough Road entrance, our expert gardeners, Karen and Lynda, decided to replant the empty border. The developers agreed to fund the project and plants were bought, volunteers recruited and gradually the garden seen today started to take shape.
Following this success, the gardeners embarked on a more ambitious project of re-designing the Quiet Garden which sadly had become an area attracting anti-social behavior, as the shrubs had grown so large the area was hidden from view. With help from Harrow Council Green Team, the overgrown plants have been removed and a large new flower bed has been created and planted out.
We are fortunate to have the support of ONEJAIN who have formulated a 5-year financial plan to fund our work in what is now known as “the Ahimsa Peace Garden”. They also provide volunteers who help weed, dig, plant and will assist with future maintenance.
Community gardening generally takes place on the first Monday and fourth Friday of the month and we welcome anyone who would like to help, no matter how green your fingers, and how much time you can spare. Come and join us – it can be great fun and very rewarding. For more information, or to tell us you are coming, please use the "Contact Us" form or send an email to email@example.com,
Keep an eye on our Facebook group for news about gardening team activities: http://facebook.com/groups/friendsofharrowrec