Grovelands Park is a 37.5-hectare (92-acre) public park in Southgate in the London Borough of Enfield.
Address: Grovelands Park, The Bourne, Southgate, London N21 6RA (Map:; OS grid reference TQ307944)
History[edit | edit source]
The park was initially part of a large wooded area that was near the border of Enfield Chase. Mr. Walker Grey is the earliest known owner of the Grovelands Estate. Between 1796 and 1798 he purchased 230 acres of land and constructed a large house designed by John Nash. The grounds of the house, the area which would become Grovelands Park, were designed by Humphry Repton.
After Grey's death the house and its grounds were purchased by Mr. John Donnithorne Taylor. He was a relative of Walker Grey. Taylor added 100 acres to the estate and gave it the Grovelands name.
Taylor was a proficient hunter and kept a small herd of deer on the estate. To prevent the deer coming up to the house he asked for a sunken fence to be constructed. This is still mostly visible today. When Taylor died in 1885 the Grovelands Estate had grown to encompass 600 acres.
In 1916 the house was used as a temporary hospital for injured troops returning from France in World War I. The NHS continued to use the house until 1977. Some time later the house was re-opened as a private hospital and it remains in use as such today.
Southgate Urban District Council bought 64 acres of land from the Taylors in 1911 for £22,893 and Grovelands Park was opened in April 1913.
Rowing boats were available for hire on the boating lake until the late 1960s.
Access and facilities[edit | edit source]
Entrances to the park are located on all edges of the park with the main gate - Inverforth Gate - being located on The Bourne. Other gates are located on:
- Bourne Hill
- Branscombe Gardens
- Broad Walk
- Church Hill
- Queen Elizabeth's Drive
- Seaforth Gardens (2 gates)
All gates have space for parking cars on local roads. Parking on Broad Walk is restricted between 11:00-12:00. Inverforth Gate on The Bourne has a small number of car parking spaces for those with disability parking badges as well as limited parking on local roads.
The park is poorly served by public transport. The nearest train stations are Winchmore Hill railway station (served by Great Northern) which is a 10 minute walk away from the Broad Walk entrance and Southgate (served by the London Underground's Piccadilly Line), a 20 minute walk to Inverforth Gate on The Bourne. The only bus that passes any of the park gates is the W9, which runs between Southgate station and Enfield via Winchmore Hill and passes along The Bourne (generally every 15 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes at weekends).
The park has two childrens' play areas, a café serving hot and cold refreshments, toilets, tennis courts and a pitch & putt. There is also ample space for playing football.
Habitat[edit | edit source]
The park still contains small areas of dense woodland (relics from when the area was heavily wooded) totalling about 3 hectares (7 acres). Other habitats include large expanses of grass, both mown and wild, and a former boating lake with an island in the middle that provides a refuge for water birds.
One area worth inspecting is the woodland near the ranger's hut as this is one of the quietest parts of the park. It can be accessed from the Broad Walk entrance by turning right where the main path splits into three (map). In winter this is where a pair of Firecrests can sometimes be found. Nuthatches and Great Spotted Woodpeckers sometimes nest in the trees here in spring and summer.
Another area worth looking at is the pitch & putt course just inside the Inverforth Gate entrance on The Bourne (map). In winter especially Stock Doves and various thrushes can be found feeding here. It is also used by other species including finches and occasionally wildfowl from the lake.
Species[edit | edit source]
Birds[edit | edit source]
The following list of species is based on the personal records of Katy McGilvray, with additions by other birders (rare birds for the park are noted in bold text):
Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Barn Swallow, Blackbird, Blackcap, Blue Tit, Brambling, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Common Gull, Common Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Common Tern, Coot, Cormorant, Common Buzzard, Common Cuckoo, Curlew, Egyptian Goose, Fieldfare, Firecrest, Gadwall, Garden Warbler, Goldcrest, Goosander, Great Crested Grebe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Hobby, House Martin, Jay, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Lesser Redpoll, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Magpie, Mallard, Mandarin Duck, Mistle Thrush, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Northern Wheatear, Nuthatch, Peregrine, Pied Flycatcher, Pied Wagtail, Pochard, Redwing, Red Kite, Red-throated Diver, Ring Ouzel, Ring-necked Parakeet, Robin, Ruddy Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Shoveler, Siskin, Smew, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Spotted Flycatcher, Starling, Stock Dove, Swift, Teal, Treecreeper, Tufted Duck, Willow Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Reed Warbler, Woodcock, Woodpigeon.
Birds known to have bred in the park include:
Blackcap, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Common Pochard, Coot, Egyptian Goose (bred for the first time in summer 2012), Firecrest, Goldcrest, Great Crested Grebe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Hobby, Kestrel, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Little Grebe, Long-tailed Tit, Mallard, Mandarin Duck, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Nuthatch, Ring-necked Parakeet, Sparrowhawk, Tawny Owl, Treecreeper.
Muntjac Deer, Red Fox, Hedgehog
Harlequin Ladybird, 7-spot Ladybird, 14-spot Ladybird, 16-spot Ladybird, Common Blue, Holly Blue, Small Copper, Small Heath, Small Skipper