Greenford parks

Northala Fields

Where is it?

Kensington Rd, Northolt, UB5.

  • The site lies to the east of the Target roundabout and directly south of the A40 Western Avenue, a main road artery through west London into central London.
  • Several entrances around the park from residential areas and linking with the subway under the Target Roundabout.

Getting there

Bus: E10 stops on Kensington Rd, routes 90, 120, 140 and 282 to the Target Roundabout

Tube: Northolt (Central Line) on Mandeville Rd, approximately 800m walk

Parking: Two car parks on Kensington Rd and the A40 slip road to Target Roundabout approaching from the east. Car park entry is locked in accordance with park locking times (exit is open at all times).

Cycling and walking: Open 24 hours to pedestrians and cyclists.  There are a number of bicycle locking stands located throughout the park.

Facilities 

  • Disabled access/facilities - mixture of tarmac and crushed brick/gravel path surfaces with some steep slopes, gently sloping spiral path to the panoramic viewpoint at the top of mound three.  There is good provision of benches throughout the park 
  • Playgrounds – two well equipped playgrounds for the under-14s, one at Dolphin Road and one with wooden style play equipment and large slide in the centre of the park
  • Model boating lake, six fishing lakes, and three wildlife ponds
  • Focal core area has a colourful mosaic celebrating learning in Northolt in 2008.  The mosaic was designed by students from West London Academy and Belvue School and constructed by young people and members of the local community with the support of artists from Art4Space, the Northolt Extended Schools Project and Ealing Council. 
  • Visitor's Centre- The visitors centre includes; a café, public toilets, classrooms and a fishing office

About the park

Northala Fields is a new open space (27.5 hectares), which was opened in 2008 after four years of site work.  It is one of the most exciting and significant park developments in London for many years.  Northala Fields is the economic and environmental viability of turning waste from the original Wembley Stadium and the new White City shopping centre into a new park turning materials into new habitats for wildlife and a range of recreational facilities.

Four large conical earth mounds along the A40 edge of the site help to reduce visual and noise pollution and provide a unique landmark for the park and the borough. In particular, the viewpoint on top of the tallest mound (22 metres), provides a 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding area including central London and Canary Wharf.

Water is another major feature of the park, with a network of six interconnecting fishing lakes, a model boating lake and wildlife ponds, streams and wetlands.  Get Hooked on Fishing, a national fishing charity is working in partnership with the council managing the fishing activities.

Brief history of site

The site was formerly used as playing fields by the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, but was purchased by Ealing Council in 1997 for development into a new park. It is part of the larger Northolt Greenford Countryside Park, which forms a continuous belt of over 100 hectares of green space in the northwest of the borough of Ealing. 

Wildlife value

The potential wildlife value of Northala Fields has been greatly improved with the re-modelling of the site from sports ground to new park. 

New areas of habitat have been created using native species, of local provenance where possible. The approach to the design of Northala Fields has been a careful balance of providing a significant contribution to biodiversity in the area, whilst ensuring that the design meets the requirements to minimise potential bird strike hazard to aircraft from the nearby Northolt Aerodrome.

Each mound has been created with varying soil conditions that supports wildflower and grass seed mix to give four distinct habitats. A number of the habitats that have been created at Northala Fields are identified within the Ealing Biodiversity Action Plan.  These are:

  • neutral and marshy grassland 
  • moundside wildflower meadows
  • streams and swales
  • woodland and scrub

The wetland habitats provide opportunities for wetland invertebrates including dragonflies and damselflies, while the diverse wildflower grassland provides resources for a number of terrestrial species of invertebrate.

Awards

Local contacts

  • Northolt and Greenford Countryside Park Society: The society is made up of people from the local community. It ensures that the park is retained as an area of natural beauty, which is safe, enhances the environment and improves local amenities. Active engagement of local people has been important to the park's success, eg local schoolchildren were involved in the design of the playground and mosaic feature, which they get to use.
  • Model Boating Club