2016 January to June Programme

Our 2016 Jan to June Programme

Thursday Jan 14 meeting – Virginia Fassnidge and David Bays report back on the 2015 National Wildlife Gardening Forum and the London Wildlife Trust AGM

 Thursday Feb 11 meeting – local expert John Wells tells us about Mosses, Ferns and Liverworts

 Thursday Mar 10 meeting – Seed and plant swap – plus tips on growing flowers and vegetables

Thursday Apr 14 meeting – This topic has been postponed to a later date. We will be working on the garden during early evening. Eat Your Colours: Why it is Important to Eat the Rainbow of Plant Colours. Dinah Miller tells us about phytochemicals.

Sunday Apr 24 10am – 4pm outdoor event – Perivale Wood Open Day – we will help with a stall and join in this annual celebration of Bluebells

 Thursday May 12 gardening – we will work on the community centre garden and finish with refreshments to share.

 Thursday Jun 9 gardening – we will work on the community centre garden and finish with refreshments to share.

 Sat 18 and Sun 19 June outdoor event – Open Garden Squares weekend – a London-wide event and we’ll tour some of the gardens on one of the days.

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Next Meeting

We meet on the 2nd Thursday of the month from April to October (except for July and August, when  we organise days out)  at Northfields Community Centre, Northcroft Road, Ealing, London W13 9SS. Map

From November to March members take it in turns to host meetings in their home.

New members always welcome!

The next meeting is on Thursday 15 June.

The Centre is closed for the election on 8 June, so we’ve postponed our meeting.Weather permitting, we will be working in the community garden from about 6.30, and then we’ll adjourn indoors for some refreshments.


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2015 March – July Programme

Thursday Mar 12, meeting – The local Transition group are coming to talk about projects, including their community allotment and other gardening projects

Thursday Apr 9, gardening/meeting – work on the Community Centre garden from 7pm to 8pm, then planning future activities over refreshments indoors

Sunday Apr 26, 10am – 4pm outdoor event – Perivale Wood open day – we will meet up there, do a tour, help with stalls, maybe have our own.

Thursday May 14, meeting – Virginia will arrange a wildlife theme

Thursday 11 June, gardening/meeting – working on the Community Centre garden from 7pm to 8.45pm, then planning over refreshments indoors

Sat 13 and Sun 14 June outdoor event – Open garden squares weekend – we will plan an itinerary to visit to some of the gardens on one of the days.

 July – no meeting but on Sat 11 July we will do another walk from the Thames wildernesses book – this one is a 4.5 mile circuit from Wraysbury (trains from Richmond and Waterloo go there), looking at wildlife along the way, admiring the Ankerwyke yew tree and paying homage to the anniversary of Magna Carta, probably with a picnic nearby or a stop at the NT cafe at Runnymede. Contact Maureen or David for details, tel 020 8992 0287

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Biofuels – for or against?

Ealing Friends of the Earth are hosting a meeting on the important topic of Bio-fuels on Wednesday 16 April, 7.45pm in the Rock Room of the crypt of St. John’s Church, Mattock Lane, W13 9LA.

Bio-fuels are fuels derived from agricultural products, and are used to replace fossil fuels in some applications. They sound like a good idea: instead of mining or pumping fossil fuels from the ground, and releasing their CO2 into the atmosphere, grow the fuel instead, which will then be (more-or-less) carbon neutral… Unfortunately, as is usually the case, it’s not quite as simple as that!

So-called “first generation” bio-fuels were derived from crops such as palm-oil, the plantations of which are blamed for massive de-forestation in Indonesia, and corn-oil, which resulted in price spikes and hunger in South America (although speculation on the futures market was also responsible).

The promised “second generation” of bio-fuels are supposed to be smarter than this, using non-food crops, farm waste, and even farmed algae; but is this the whole story? Why is the UK importing wood from abroad to co-fire in old, inefficient coal-fired power stations? What impact is this having on the eco-systems where this fuel is coming from? Is it really any better than “first generation” fuels, or worthy of the attributes “renewable” and “sustainable”?

Some of these questions may be answered next Wednesday, in this film and talk session, with Duncan Law from BioFuel Watch.

(I’m reliably advised that refreshments will be available!)

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Perivale Wood Open Day

Hurrah! Perivale Wood’s Annual Open Day is here again!

Sunday 27th April, from 10am until 4:30pm.

Entrance between 36 and 38 Sunley Gardens, Perivale, UB6 7PE.

As well as the lovely spectacle of thousands of bluebells in the woods, members of the Selbourne Society will be on-hand with information on the birds, bats, trees and pond life that live in the reserve, there will be stalls from local wildlife and environmental groups, and the Society will be showing off a model of the planned new Education Centre, and demoing some of the straw-bale building techniques that will be used to construct it (a great chance to get muddy!). Sounds superb!

Perivale Wood Open Day – poster

More details about the Education Centre in The Selbourne Society’s Spring Newsletter.


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Doing the Radbourne Walk

Christina and Simon from the Ealing Dean Allotment Society came and talked to us at our February meeting last night about their exciting plans for the strip of land bordering their allotments.

Inspired by an article in the press, about a cobbled back-passageway being transformed into a garden, Christina began to look into the ownership of the unloved and unnamed path, running beside the Northfield Allotments, from Mattock Lane to Occupation Road, and whether it could be transformed into something similar.

After research in the Land Registry, Christina discovered that the path actually belongs to the allotments, and they’ve now named it Radbourne Walk, since according to historical maps, it forms part of an ancient stream which once ran from Castlebar Hill to the Thames at Brentford, and is now culverted behind the houses of Northfields Avenue, only partially visible in the school grounds opposite the top of Radbourne Avenue (although Simon informed us that you can hear it running below a man-hole on Northfields station platform!).

Simon is a self-taught expert on wild flowering plants, having collected seed and grown them for 20 years, and the plan is to transform Radbourne Walk into a trail full of wild flowers, and buzzing with insects. Simon plans to use local seed, some of which will be collected (with permission) from Perivale Wood, to build up a seed-bank of genuine local species.

This is a really great idea, which will turn a neglected and occasionally troublesome path into a haven for wildlife, and a spot of local interest.

Have a look at the full plans, and what they’ve achieved so far on the Society’s website: http://ealingdean.blogspot.co.uk and why not get involved in their next work day on Saturday 1st March?

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Growing your own Annual Wild-Flower Mini-Meadow Guide

Now the New Year is firmly (or should that be soggily?) bedded in, it’s high time time to start making plans for the garden.

Looking forward to another year of mowing that pointless piece of lawn out front, or constantly weeding the forlorn flower-bed you really should do something about? Me neither, so last year I decided to sow an annual wild-flower meadow instead! It was a massive success, and apart from a couple of days of preparation, needed nothing doing all season but watching new flowers open and insects buzz about!

Download Guide

Download Growing your own Wild-Flower Mini-Meadow Guide

I’ve produced a little guide which may be of some help; please download and share, and if you’ve got any questions, you know where to come!

Posted in Bees, Plants, Wildlife