Where is it?
The main entrance to Ravenor Park is from Oldfield Road South on the eastern side of the park close to the heart of central Greenford with its public library, Police Station and bustling centre with shops and cafes.
Bus: 95, 105, 282, E6, E7, E9, E10 to the Ruislip Road
Nearest tube: Greenford (Central Line), Oldfield Lane North, Greenford
Parking: Nearby parking in central Greenford
On foot/bike: Several entrances from nearby roads – Oldfield Lane South, Ruislip Rd, Ravenor Park Rd, Eastmead Avenue
- Public toilets – located just outside the park on Oldfield Lane South
- Disabled access/facilities – mixture of tarmac and hoggin path surfaces, some gentle slopes. Bark chip path through nature conservation area. Good provision of benches throughout the park.
- Playground – a well-equipped playground near the Oldfield Lane South entrance
- Multi-use games area
- Tennis courts
- Adult exercise equipment near Ruislip Road entrance
About the park
Mainly formal parkland including an avenue of white poplars running from the playground down to the Ravenor Park Road entrance, various areas planted with exotic trees and shrubs, and a rose garden.
A small section of the park is set aside for nature conservation at the southern end of the park, with a woodland and meadow. Running along the northern boundary, an old hedge and ditch line provides further valuable wildlife habitat.
There is also plenty of space for informal recreation, a recently refurbished children’s playground (in 2005) with imaginative boulders for clambering on, a multi use games area for football and basketball, tennis courts and a small memorial garden of trees presented by the Royal British Legion Greenford Branch to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ‘D’ Day Landings.
Brief history of site
Historically, there were many farms in the Greenford area and the park was formerly agricultural land forming part of Ravenor Farm and Costons Farm. Both farms were named after local families.
With the arrival of better transport links over time, such as the canal and the railway, along with the development of industry, Greenford gradually transformed from a rural village to a large suburb, with a number of factories located locally. There followed a wave of speculative building in the 1920s and 1930s, including many semi-detached houses, bungalows and maisonettes. Consequently, the population rose rapidly from 843 in 1911, to 14000 in 1931, to 32,824 in 1951.
Amidst all of this development it became desirable to preserve some open space. In 1927, Greenford Urban District Council (now Ealing Council) bought a parcel of farmland and turned part of it into a council depot and the rest into a public park, which opened in October 1928.
The park was originally known as Costons Farm Recreation Ground, but later changed its name to Ravenor Park. The old farmhouse for Ravenor Farm remained on site until the early 1970s when it became too costly to maintain and was demolished.
Today, the cowshed barn with the hayloft at one end, are all that can be seen of the old farm buildings. They currently house the London Motorbike Museum and Ealing Heritage Centre immediately adjacent to the park on Oldfield Lane South. There was also once a farm pond at the lowest point in the north-eastern corner of the park.
In common with a number of other parks in Ealing, Ravenor Park had an underground air raid shelter for use by local people during World War II, and evidence of this can still be seen in the form of raised concrete manholes around the Oldfield Lane entrance.
Much of the tree planting is of hybrid species but there is a fine avenue of white poplar ( Populus alba) and another of Lombardy poplar ( Populus nigra italica ) along two of the main footpaths.
In the south west of the park, towards the Ruislip Road entrance, a small section is set aside as a nature area including woodland and meadow habitats. This area is managed mainly by the rangers with the aim of adding to biodiversity in the park. The grass in this area is managed as a summer meadow, being cut and cleared at the end July. The mix of meadow grassland species helps to attract a good range of invertebrates, in particular various common species of butterfly, as well as many small mammals and foxes.
The watercourse and hedge running along the northern boundary of the park provides another valuable wildlife habitat and together with the nature area is a designated Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC).
Many birds frequent the park including great spotted ( Dendrocopus major) and green woodpeckers ( Picus viridis). On occasions sparrowhawks ( Accipiter nisus ) have also been seen hunting over the park.
During the winter months, common ( Larus canus) and black headed gulls ( Larus ridibundus) are occasionally joined by lesser black backed ( Larus fuscus) and herring gulls ( Larus argentatus), particularly when the lower slopes are wet. A recent arrival is the noisy and gregarious ring-necked parakeet ( Psittacula krameri ), its brilliant green plumage adding an exotic touch to the park’s wildlife.