Thursday, 9 December 2010

Christmas Event

There will be a Christmas Event at the Visitors' Centre on Sunday 12th December 2010. There will be childrens events, craft activities, craft stalls, mulled drinks, mince pies, cup cakes and much more. This is a FREE event. From 10.00 'til 16.00. Please come along and support the centre.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Birds spotted recently in the park

The following info is from one of our volunteers who is also a keen 'birder' -

I have been giving the park good coverage over the past week (22nd, 23rd, 27th and 28th November). I found a Firecrest in Nursery Wood on 22nd but only obtained poor views on this and next day. Fortunately the bird showed better over the weekend, accompanied by a second bird as well (in the area between EWT car park & bridleway/Nursery). Also many more Goldcrests in the park compared to last year - about 10 in the above area and probably 20 over the whole park (peak count of 5 in the park last winter).
Other recent records of interest include (all November):

Mandarin - A drake standing on the ice with 3 Mallard at dusk on 28th (lake completely iced over).
Little Egret - Lake, 18th and 20th.
Woodcock - 2 over Wildflower Meadow on 23rd.
Little Owl - Wildflower Meadow, 28th.
Meadow Pipit - 14 near Lake on 23rd.
Redwing - 15+ EWT car park on 28th.
Corvid roost estimate on 28th - approx 300 Jackdaw, 150 Rook, 150 Carrion Crow (Deer Park).
Brambling - A female with c35 Chaffinches in Wildflower Meadow, 22nd (but no sign of flock since).
Siskin - 30 feeding in alder near bridleway, 20th.
Lesser Redpoll - Up to 15 at least - usually feeding in birches (since mid-Nov).
Bullfinch - 2 males Damselfly Pond, 28th.
Yellowhammer - singles on 20th and 23rd.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Birds in the park on 14th November

Despite the rain saw a few birds: Woodcock seen briefly in Valley Marsh, 6+ Goldcrest car park area but no firecrest heard, 15+ Redpolls in flight (c150 at Thorndon CP today), 250+ Jackdaws in pre-roost gathering at N.end of Deer Park, plus a pair of Mute Swans back on Lake, arrived sat 13th .

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Work day Sunday 14th November 2010

Weather not too bad first thing but started raining during the morning. Today we began by doing a litter pick whilst walking round checking out the new ponds recently dug using money from 'The Million Ponds Project'. Great to see them and can't wait for them to fill up and for the wildlife to make use of them. Later in the morning the rain got a lot more persistent and we decided to make our way back to the visitors' centre for lunch and discuss plans for the afternoon. In the end the rain wouldn't give up so we were unable to do any more outside but this did hive us a chance to tidy up our tools.

Saturday, 25 September 2010


Our AGM is on Thursday 21st October @ 19.30 hrs in Romford Town Hall. We will be electing committee members. All are welcome. If any members of the public wish to attend please can you let us know so that we can ensure sufficient seating will be available. Email - .

October work day

Our next work day is due to take place on Sunday 10th October 2010. We hope to see you there. Meet @ 10.00 hrs in the visitors' centre. Suitable clothing, especially now autumn is upon us. It can get wet and muddy !

Work day 12th September update

This Sunday we split into two groups. One lead by Lois with three new members to the Friends of Bedfords Park. They were taken on a tour of the park as they didn't know it very well, complete with litter pickers and black bags.
The second group began by clearing the leaves/branches etc that has accumulated in the ditch by the bridal way towards Lower Bedfords Park. Apparently this blockage had caused the ditch to overflow in the heavy rain. We then moved on to the dipping platform by the damselfly pond. The large hawthorn that had previously fallen over and had been pruned by us, needed pruning again as some of the branches were getting low and making access difficult. The pruned branches were used to repair a nearby 'dead hedge'. Our next task was to check out and clear the path to the west that we created a few years ago. We were pleased to see several groups of people, with dogs, using the path. To make things easier we will soon be creating some steps in places where the slopes get slippery in the wet weather. These steps will be built using grant money we have already obtained. After lunch the 'litter pickers' carried on collecting litter (they collected a total of 11 bags of litter/rubbish), while the others set about sapling removal in the meadow.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Butterfly list for Bedfords Park

Below are details of butterflies spotted in Bedfords Park - a really good number. All have been spotted by one of our members. Another reason for looking after our parks !

A female Silver-washed Fritillary was seen nectaring on Buddleia flowers near the Visitor Centre on 3rd August; a welcome addition to the list of butterflies recorded in the park. (A total of 26 species since 2003 - the EWT years).
Bedfords Park LNR butterfly list 2003 - 2010:
Small Skipper
Essex Skipper
Large Skipper
Clouded Yellow
Small White
Large White
Green-veined White
Orange Tip
Purple Hairstreak
White-letter Hairstreak
Small Copper
Brown Argus
Common Blue
Holly Blue
Red Admiral
Painted Lady
Small Tortoiseshell
Silver-washed Fritillary
Speckled Wood
Meadow Brown
Small Heath
(No records of Wall Brown since the 1990's)

Monday, 12 July 2010

July Bi Monthly meeting in The Town Hall

Next meeting is on Thursday 15th July in the Town Hall at 7.30 pm as usual. All welcome.

Sunday 11th July work party update

It was too hot to work but we forced ourselves ! Cut back a couple of overhanging branches from the fallen hawthorn by the dipping platform. Then cleared back overgrown nettles etc from footpath from damselfly pond to lower meadow area. One of our team volunteered to remove some more oak saplings from the meadow while the rest of us continued clearing paths around the ponds in the south of the park near Lower Bedfords Road. After lunch we 'attacked' the path from the other end by the 'cow pond' until the whole patch had been cleared. We did our usual litter pick at the same time and have to say that the litter situation wasn't as bad as it has been in the past. This is partly due to the efforts of volunteers/dog walkers who do litter picks during the week. The bins by the visitors' centre were overflowing however. This may have been due to wildlife getting into the bins and pulling rubbish out. It was noticed that there were LBH staff also litter picking.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

July work day

Our next work day is on Sunday July 11th. Meet at 10 am in the visitors' centre.

Report on work day Sunday 13th June 2010

Firstly the group cleared some of a large fallen horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) branch on the path in lower 'nursery wood'. Then cleared some overhanging brambles.
In the afternoon some more of the ditch alongside the bridal path was cleared down towards Lower Bedfords Road.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Birthday Party on Sunday 6th June

Sunday 6th June is the 7th anniversary of the opening of the Visitors' Centre @ Bedfords Park. Please come along and join in the celebrations. There will be live music, craft stalls, childrens' activities, and much more. This is a free event but donations are welcome. Let's hope for some more of that sunny weather we had recently. We did, didn't we, or was I dreaming ?

June work day

Our next work day is on Sunday June 13th @ Bedfords Park Visitors' Centre. 10 am start as usual.

Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Work Party Sunday 9th May 2010 - report

The dipping platform before ....................

And after

We had our first task determined for us by nature as a large hawthorn tree had 'fallen over' a week before onto part of the dipping platform. Fortunately no pond dipping was planned. we removed as little as we needed to enable access to the platform once again. The tree was still alive so it should carry on growing even though it is on it's side .The 'prunings' were used to reinforce the 'dead hedge' by the bridleway.

Our second task was to clear the ditch along the bridleway. It had become clogged up with dead leaves, branches and rocks/bricks. This was the sort of work we like - getting wet and muddy, and in this case, smelly as well. In addition one of our team carried on with our last month's task of removing saplings from the meadow.

Men at work ....................

and, men at play - if their kids did this they'd get a telling off !

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Bi Monthly meeting in The Town Hall

Our next meeting is on Thursday 13th May 2010 @ 7.30 pm and finishing @ 9.30 pm. All are wellcome but to ensure seating available please advise us of your intention to come. Phone 01708 704619 or email .

Sunday 11th April work day

Apologies for this 'report' being late.

This Sunday we cut down, pulled up or dug up oak saplings in the meadow. This may seem to be a bit destructive but if they aren't removed then the grass cannot be cut, and eventually the meadow will return to woodland. In the afternoon we did a litter pick around the main pond area. The litter situation appears to have improved but this is only due to a small number of dedicated people who take time, their own time, to pick up litter whilst walking in the park. So a very big THANKS to those concerned - I won't embarrass them by mentioning names but they and other regular park users/dog walkers know who they are! Just one additional thing to report - towards the end of our day we spotted a RED KITE over the meadow area. It was quite low and could easily be recognised with the naked eye. It flew over towards the east then turned northwards over Nursery Wood.

Our next work day is on Sunday 9th May 2010.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Successful Easter Event

We are very pleased to announce that we made a total of £72.16 on Sunday 4th April at the visitors' centre. We had two tables selling home made cakes and bric-a-brac. Many thanks to all those involved in 'manning' the tables but special thanks go to Carol and Francesca for baking all those wonderfully tasty cakes. Thanks also to Fay at Essex Wildlife Trust for allowing us to have the tables for the day. Fay's cakes were also very nice !

Official 'Friends' Status attained

We were extremely pleased to be told at this year's Parks Forum, that we had successfully achieved official 'Friends' status. Many thanks to our chairman, Nick, for all his hard work in getting the paperwork, and 'us' organised in time to achieve this.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Bird news in Bedfords Park

March migrant news:-

First spring migrants noted in the park - Chiffchaff on 19th March, two Swallows and Willow Warbler on 30th, male Blackcap on 31st.

The wintering Firecrests(3) which were first seen in November 2009, made it through the coldest winter for 30 years and were last seen together on 10th March,with one(the female) remaining to 19th. The two at nearby Havering-atte-Bower were last seen on 14th March.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

April Work Day - Sunday 11th April 2010

Our next work day is on Sunday 11th April 2010. Meeting as usual in the visitors' centre for a 10 am start. Wet weather gear and wellies might be a good idea !

See you then

Easter Event @ Bedfords Park

We will have two tables at the Essex Wildlife Trust's Easter Event on Sunday 4th April in the Visitors' Centre from 11am, where we will be selling cakes and advertising the park and our Friends group. Please come along if you can to support us, and 'man' the tables to give others a chance to go to the loo !

Monday, 8 March 2010

Next meeting at The Town Hall

Our next bi monthly meeting is on Thursday 18th March 2010, at 7.30 pm, at Romford Town Hall. Everyone is welcome but if you are not a member of the Friends can you please let us know you wish to attend so that we can ensure adequate seating. Contact us on tel. 01708 704619 or email .

Work Day Sunday 7th March 2010

Yet another glorious sunny day. Just right to get wet and muddy ! Today we 'reinstated' drainage channel/s from the lower pond in Nursery Wood into Valley Marsh. We also cleared part of the existing 'ditch' to enable the water to drain quicker into the marsh. Hopefully this will stop some of the waterlogging at the north end of the marsh which is one of the two main ways in/out of the Wildflower Meadow.

Water flowing from the pond in new channel

Clearing the existing ditch

The wet area we hope will be drained

One man and his bog !

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Local Students Help in the Park - Friday 19th February 2010

We were very fortunate to have some help from students of Havering Sixth Form College in clearing litter and debris left behind by people who had been taking advantage of the snowy conditions recently. As well as the usual bits of plastic 'for sale' signs there were the remains of various plastic box lids, some of which were quite hard and almost like pieces of glass. The pictures show some of the 'rubbish' collected during the morning. This 'event' was organised by Benjamin Sanderson, Countryside Projects Officer Environmental Strategy from Havering Council. Many thanks Benjamin and the students for their help.

Friday, 26 February 2010

March Work Day

Our next work day is on March 7th, which is the FIRST Sunday so that we do not clash with MOTHERS' DAY on 14th. As usual meet at the visitors' centre for a 10am start.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Work Day Update for Sunday 14th February 2010

Buried drainage pipes in channel, some broken

Large pieces of stonework, also buried in channel

Stan gets all excited over his new set of wheels !

And finally, water flows into the pond - success!

Well, we really excelled ourselves this time. We got the muddiest ever! We cleared the channel down from Queen Anne's Well to the pond in Nursery Wood. Great fun and lots of getting stuck in the mud. The ground downhill from the well was really waterlogged and this channel should help with the drainage. We found a few old bits of pottery land drain and a pair of very large wheels, with tyres, which looked like part of a farm trailer.

We've checked since, and with all the rain, the channel is doing its job.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Bird life in the Park!

The following birds have been spotted recently in the park:

Firecrest M & F
Redwings - 170+
Sparrowhawk (frightened the redwings)
Magpies - 42
Song Thrush - 3
Mistle Thrush
Great Tits
Long Tailed Tits
Coal Tit
Nuthatch - 2
Wren - several
Collared Dove
Stock Dove

this is just an example of the bird life in Bedfords Park

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Some good news : )

The swan is back. The swan, which was scared away when we had the very cold weather by people throwing snowballs at it, is back again. It is thought that it went to Raphael Park, or possibly to a private trout fishery Doddinghurst way. We had a report from the owner of the fishery that a lone swan appeared about the time the one in Bedfords left. The fishery owner treported that it left again around the time it arrived back at Bedfords. When we get confirmation on this the blog will be updated. Watch this space ! Many thanks to the fishery owner for feeding it during the cold spell.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

February 2010 work day

Our next work day is on Sunday 14th Feb (Valentines Day). Look forward to seeing you there. Let's hope the weather is ok this time.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Morons in the park !

Not only has someone damaged a bird table and thrown snowballs at the cameras outside the visitors' centre but some idiot/s have broken some of the memorial trees by the pond and thrown them on the ice ! Why ?

Friday, 8 January 2010

January 10th Work Day

Due to the weather forecast, and the condition of the park at present it is doubtful if we will hold our usual work day on the 10th. Some of us may meet up at the visitors' centre for a bit of a chat, and possibly a walk around the park. All this is weather dependant.

Sunday 13th December work day update

Frog from from stream leading into the 'cow pond'.

It was all too much for some !!

Whilst others just carried on.

And some just messed around trying to frighten the children!

Apologies for the lateness of this information. I blame Christmas ! Again a very productive day in, and around, the damselfly pond. More reed mace was removed. Some of the reeds were transplanted into the 'cow pond' to provide more habitat for wildlife. A litter pick was also carried out around the cow pond and several bags of rubbish were removed. This time some of our party ventured into the bushes to remove rubbish left by so called fishermen. We also dug out the 'stream' leading into the cow pond where we found several frogs and one toad. All were safely relocated.