Wednesday, 11 November 2009

December Work Day

As usual on the second Sunday, which will be December 13th. Wellies and waders will be required for all those prepared to help out with the Damselfly Pond again.

November meeting at The Town Hall

Our next bi-monthly meeting is on thursday 19th November in Romford Town Hall. All are welcome. Time - 7.30 'til 9.30

November Work Day Update

At the beginning ..............

During .....................

At the end ................

A very muddy and wet day for the 'Friends' on Sunday 8th November. Not because the weather was wet but because we spent the day pulling out unwanted reeds from the Damselfly Pond. The pond was getting very choked up since we last cleared it almost 2 years ago. As this pond contains Great Crested Newts, which are a protected species, we obtained permission from Havering Council before carrying out this task. Although we achieved a lot we will still have to have another go as we only had 2 pairs of waders so most of us worked either from the bank or in shallow water only.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Mellow Mists and Autumn Fruitfullness - Sunday 18th October

Essex Wildlife Trust held an Wild Autumn Event on Sunday 18th October with various 'stalls', bottles of apple juice, apples, pears, and pumpkins on sale.

Carol and Lois 'manned' a couple of tables, one with 'bric a brac' and home made cakes (courtesy of Carol) and the other with an Autumnal theme, including various 'fruits' from the park as part of a quiz.

In total over £55 was raised for the 'Friends'.

Many thanks to Carol and Lois for organising, baking, and manning the tables.

October Work Day - Update

Sunday 11th - in the morning we split into two groups - one did a litter pick between the visitors' centre and the 'cow pond'. The second group removed some common reed (phragmites australis) from a local pond and planted them in the south eastern corner of the 'cow pond'. These reeds will grow and spread and provide an additional wildlife habitat, in partcular for nesting warblers. These reeds were moved after consultation with a local botanist and LBH.

On the way to collect the reeds, 3 sacks of rubbish was collected from a 'camp site' on foxes hill. This rubbish was mainly made up of beer cans, wine bottles, AA batteries and exploded aerosol cans! Bonfires had also been lit.

We all met up at the cow pond and continued litter picking on our way back to the visitors' centre.

After a late lunch went on a walk around the wildflower meadow and valley marsh. These areas were pretty much litter free.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


Our AGM is in the town hall on Thursday 22nd October @ 7.30 pm. As this is our AGM please try to attend, thanks.

October Work Day

Yes it's that time again - sunday 11th October is the date of our October work day. Look forward to seeing you there. Let's hope the rain stops by then !

Monday, 21 September 2009

Meeting at the Town Hall

Our next committee meeting is on thursday 24th September at 7.30 pm in the Town Hall. All are welcome.

Parrots in the park ?

After we'd finished for the day we spotted a total of 6 'ring necked parakeets' feeding on beech mast in one of the beech trees next to the deer compound. They were feeding for about half an hour before they all flew off together southwards. Unfortunately they were too high up to get a decent clear photo of.

Sunday 20th September work party update

In the morning we made our way down from the visitors' centre to the 'cow pond', litter picking all the way. The usual crisp packets, drinks cans and bottles. Strangely we didn't find them very heavy so cannot understand what's so difficult about people taking them home with them, or at least putting them in a litter bin ! We then litter picked around the pond which wasn't too bad this time. The 'anglers' are still leaving rubbish and fishing line, which as well as being unsightly can also pose a risk to wildlife. All together we collected about 4 bags full, plus a large plastic groundsheet.

We spent the afternoon cutting the oak saplings, to the south of the visitors' centre, to ground level
as these are not wanted there and it will make it easier for the council parks team to cut the grass.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Next work Day - possible change

Lois and Bill will NOT be able to make it on Sunday 13th September due to other committments. We will however be available for the following Sunday - 20th September. You can carry on without us on 13th or join us on 20th, or both ! If anyone wants to do the 13th we will ensure that keys are at the visitors' centre. Please let us know (suggest you ring on 01708 704619 or email on as Lois is having problems with her email at present).



Monday, 10 August 2009

Next Work Day - September 13th

August 9th work Day - Update

Yet another fine sunny day. This sunday we finished clearing the path that we opened up a couple of years ago that comes out between the lake (or cow pond as it is also known) and Lower Bedfords Road. We also did a litter pick around the cow pond. There wasn't too much litter this time - just one bag full. One of our group also retrieved a 'lifebuoy' from the lake and put it back in it's holder. I wonder how long it will be there for ?

After lunch we did a bit of tidying up along the footpath in Larch Wood between marker posts 4 and 6. As well as some cutting back we replaced some of the logs marking out the path as some had become overgrown and some had been moved from their orginal position. This footpath is clearly marked on the new 'Trail Guide' which is on sale in the Visitors' Centre for 75 pence.

Whilst working in Larch Wood we heard the usual motorbikes roaring around to the south of us. We didn't see them though.

Apart from the bikes in the afternoon, it was a very nice day in the park and we were extremely pleased to see some large groups of families having picnics.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Some future dates for your diary

Thursday 24th September 2009 - our next bi monthly meeting in the Town Hall @ 7.30 pm.

Thursday 22nd October 2009 - our AGM, also @ 7.30 pm.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

August Work Day

Our next work day is on August 9th. Meet as usual at the visitors' centre for a 10 am start.

Bi monthly meeting at the Town Hall

Our next meeting is on Thursday 16th July at 7.30 pm. All are wellcome.

Work Day Sunday 13th July 2009

Yet another sunny day. In the morning we 'pruned' some Giant Knot Weed by the walled garden so that it can be treated with herbicide by the council when it starts to regrow. The arisings were bagged up for safe disposal by the council.
In the afternoon we cleared some of the paths around a couple of the ponds to the south of the park near Lower Bedfords Road. These paths were initially cleared by us about three of years ago. Although they are used by some dog walkers there is not enough 'traffic' to keep them completely clear. One of the ponds was completely covered in duckweed whilst the other was clear of it. On the latter there was a female Mallard and 8 ducklings, two of which had a definate yellow colour about them. The other 6 were all 'normal'.
We also collected various items of 'litter' while we were walking around.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Wildflower Walk - Sunday June 28th - update

A successful walk led by the very experienced Mary Smith. Although we didn't walk a great distance we were shown many wild flowers in great detail thanks to the 10x magnification lenses that Mary had thoughtfully brought along for us to borrow. It's amazing what you can see at this magnification. Who would have thought that the common clover 'flower' is actually made up of many smaller flowers that all look like miniature sweet peas ? And they have a very nice smell. We also saw different types of thistle, 'Ladies Bed Straw, plus many more.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Work Day Sunday 14th June 2009 - update

Yet another sunny day. Lots of people in the park, playing and picnicking. A couple of blokes on quad bikes decided it would be fun to ride around for a few hours in the park making as much noise as possible. I suppose they thought it would impress someone !

Back to the work day - first off we cleared a load of litter from around, and in, the 'cow pond'. In all around 8 bin bags full. There was quite a lot of rubbish left by what you could loosely describe as 'fishermen' including some fishing line, some old floats and old bread bags etc. Also a tyre and a watering can (?) The pond was nice and clear and there was plenty of wild life including quite a lot of young fish.

After lunch we made our way from the visitors' centre across the park towards the damselfly ponds, and collected up quite a bit of litter left by picnickers who just seem to think it's ok to eat their food and go home without all the packaging they brought with them. Some also seem incapable of working out that if a litter bin is full there's not much point just leaving your litter next to it. Why on earth can't people work out they they CAN take it home with them - it is allowed. We then proceeded via the meadow, which is coming on really well now - lots of grasses and flowers, up to the car park areas where there was also quite a lot of litter despite the bins being nowhere near full.

All together we collected about 12 bags of rubbish.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Guided Wildflower Walk - June 28th 2009

Just to let you know that there will be a Guided Wildflower Walk in the park on June 28th, between 2 and 4pm, led by local botanist Mary Smith. To ensure a place on the walk please book places with EWT @ Bedfords Park.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Meeting at Romford Town Hall thursday 21st May 2009

Please note that our next committee meeting is at 7pm on thursday 21st May in the Town Hall and is due to finish by 9.30pm. Not sure what room we will be in but it will be advertised in reception. All are welcome - not just members of the Friends' group. Look forward to seeing you there. Please note that refreshments are NOT usually available so bring a bottle !

June 2009 work day

Our next work day is on Sunday June 14th. Meet at the visitors' centre for a 10am start.

May work day - update

Sunday 10th May 2009. Yet again we were lucky with the weather. In the morning we worked with EWT to reorganise their composting bins at the rear of the visitors' centre.
In the afternoon we moved on the Queen Ann's Well and did some tidying up and cleared a load of rubbish and sediment that had accumulated/been dumped over the years. What a lovely wet and smelly job that was ! We also cleared some of the ivy from the outside walls of the walled garden and some Buddleia that was growing near the gates. Both of these plants could seriously damage the walls if left unchecked.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

May Work Day

Our next work day is on Sunday May 10th - we hope to see you then. Meet as usual in the visitors' centre for 10am(ish) start.

April work day

Firstly apologies for the delay in adding this info to our blog.

We were very lucky with the weather this Easter Sunday. Although only a few 'friends' were able to turn up we had a very productive day litter picking. This was done in conjunction with a very informative 'wild flower walk' led by Benjamin Sanderson from Havering Council. Some of us actually visited parts of the park we hadn't seen before !

As well as this walk some of us walked around the ponds and also the meadow which had recently been cut by Havering Council. It will be interesting to see what appears now the long grass etc has been removed.

We were also pleased to see that Havering Council had improved the dipping platform by the damselfly pond. Access is now much easier and it is a lot bigger. This will make it much more accessible for the Essex Wildlife pond dipping 'expeditions'.

There was one thing that spoiled an otherwise perfect day in the park - and that was the smell of diesel fuel which occaisionally wafted up our nostrils. Apparently there had been a diesel spill in or around the Council Depot near to the visitor centre. This was caused by someone attempting to steal fuel and in the process spilling some. There are now signs up in the park warning people to keep pets etc out of the water/ditches. Unfortunately there were no signs on the day we were there and I understand that several people had complained about the smell and one little boy who fell in one of the ditches had an irritable rash for a while. His parents were unaware of the spillage and thought they had a fuel leak in their car on the way home. When they got home they realised it wasn't the car, it was their son! He's all ok now.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

April work day

Sunday 12th April is our next work day. This is Easter Sunday. Also on this day there will be wildflower walks from the visitors' centre and various other activities organised by The Essex Wildlife Trust.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Spring at Last

Apologies for the pictures being all over the place - still practicing ! I'm sure there must be a way of labelling them but I haven't found it yet. All the above were taken in Bedfords Park between 16th and 18th March 2009.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Work Day - Sunday 8th March 2009

This work day we started by cutting back the hawthorn by the dipping platform to enable work to be carried out on its repair and extension to it. We then attempted to clear the ditch towards Lower Bedfords Road so that the water could drain away faster but the drain under the track is blocked. If the council haven't cleared it we may have a go at clearing it next time.

We also marked out, with arrows fixed to the trees and logs, the path that we have created over the last year or so. It is off the track (to the left) between the damselfly pond and the main (cow pond) lake. This path passes two other ponds which cannot be seen from the main track and it meanders through the woodland and comes out to the south of the cow pond.

We then cleared an old overgrown path to the north east of the cow pond.

After lunch we did a 'litter pick' at the bottom of the hill by Spring Wood. This area was in a disgusting state after the snow in early February. As well as the usual plastic bottles and bags there were loads of plastic 'for sale' type signs and various other plastic objects used as toboggans. There were also two car bonnets that had been used for a similar purpose. We were quite amazed that all of this 'rubbish' had been there for over a month ! We got soaked doing this as the heavens opened and the wind got extremely blustery.

Our next meeting is on sunday 12th April which is also Easter Sunday. There will be various events taking place on that day including wild flower walks. Please try to come.

Below are a few pics from the day ............. as you can see, nice and sunny to start with !

Tuesday, 3 March 2009


We will be meeting up in the visitors' centre for 10 am(ish) start on Sunday 8th March. Hopefully the ground will be a bit drier this time.

Hope to see you there.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Colin and Bill met on sunday 15th February to try and clear out an old ditch next to the damselfly pond so that it would drain. This was to lower the water below the level of the dipping platform, and hopefully stop it from flooding in future. This would mean that the dipping platform could be used even after heavy rain. Time will tell.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Welcome the The Friends of Bedfords Park Blog.

Our Next Workday

We are planning a work day for sunday 15th February. We need to clear a ditch by the Damselfly Pond and the EWT car park could do with a bit of a tidy up. Anyone interested - 10 am in the visitors' centre sunday 15th Feb. Hope to see you then.

The next work day is SUNDAY 8th MARCH 2009.

STOP PRESS! A wild flower walk will be held on EASTER SUNDAY to discover the wonderful world of wild flowers beneath our feet! More details to follow.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

January 2009 Work Party

The Friends group met on Sunday 11th January. We cleared the two paths between the main car park and the 'round pond'.
Some of us also met with a representative of the Havering Parks Department on Monday 12th January pm and had an interesting walk around the park. This will enable us to draw up a list of work/projects to be carried out within the park. Some of these will require materials such as wood/woodchip/gravel. The woodchip should be available from within the park. The council will probably be able to provide the gravel. Getting suitable wood for the repair of the dipping platform, and for making steps on the newly made path down to the 'hidden ponds' at the southern end of the park seems unlikely ! Any ideas where we can get suitable wood for these jobs ? Bear in mind that we don't want to pay for it!