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Springing into the Countryside in London’s Zone 4 - 06/03/2006
 
The Selborne Society’s Newsletter and other details make a good read in this lewd and naughty world of suburbia. The enterprise, talents, and voluntary work are described and illustrated in the spring issue, which we are pleased to reproduce. It is an example of community care of remnants of Britain’s countryside in northwest London, within sight form trains on the Central Line.

Reserves such as this, as well as parks (on one of which it abuts) and gardens and allotments, are becoming more and more habitats for flora and fauna dispossessed by modern farming practices. Suburban populations of foxes illustrate this diaspora.
The Selborne Society’s Newsletter and other details make a good read in this lewd and naughty world of suburbia. The enterprise, talents, and voluntary work are described and illustrated in the spring issue, which we are pleased to reproduce. It is an example of community care of remnants of Britain’s countryside in northwest London, within sight form trains on the Central Line.

Reserves such as this, as well as parks (on one of which it abuts) and gardens and allotments, are becoming more and more habitats for flora and fauna dispossessed by modern farming practices. Suburban populations of foxes illustrate this diaspora.

1. We post (with permission) the essential details of the Reserve and related activities, but draw special attention to the annual Open Day, which is always the 1st Sunday in May, the 7th May this year, at which the bluebells in the wood can be at their full magnificence. It is a not-to-be-missed spectacle, among other notable sights and informative trails. Weather – and, of course, global warming – add their effects, so footwear and clothing should be chosen appropriately. It is fine for the family. There is a lot to observe and facts are discreetly displayed at various sites within the Reserve.

2. Toing and Froing
The entrance to Perivale Wood is a short walk from Perivale Station on the central line (Ruislip branch). A little further on from the station and over the humped bridge over the Grand Union canal are the refurbished buildings of what was once Horsenden Farm. In the area an orchard has been established and there is a quay for canoeists and canal trips (so a return to Paddington by water may be feasible). The site boasts a playground and car park. The 297 bus service also steps a Perivale station.

3. Another approach may appeal, entailing about 40 minutes walking through Horsenden Woods and over the top of the Hill (with fine views), past the Farm, and finishing at the Selborne Reserve. About halfway a stop can be made at the (new) Ballot Box pub, which is an appropriate watering place because local worthies, MPs, and councillors are likely to be in evidence at the Farm and at the Reserve. Local histories available at Ealing or Perivale libraries are fascinating. This approach starts at Sudbury Town on the Piccadilly Line (Rayners Lane and Uxbridge branch). Buses stopping near or at the station are numbers H17, 487, 18, 182, 92, 204, and 245.

4. Horses may be spending their summer at the meadow in the Reserve (which is a good place for picnics). Cattle may be introduced later in the year (controversially it may be said) to meadows close to the Farmhouse as a means of seasonal management of an area with ages-old ant-hills, which are preserved in this fashion, or squads including volunteers have had bouts of scything to tackle. All these activities take account of the wellbeing of the birds and of the overwintering creepy crawlies.

All this is local to the VEGA Command Module. We hope to see you there!

Selbourne Society

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