Thursday, 3 January 2013

First visit of the year to Cranford Park

As mentioned yesterday, we found Little Owls at Cranford Park last year, so I decided to pop down to CP today to see if they had come back. Last year they werent seen after their one and only owlet fledged (around mid September). Well if they are back, I couldnt find them today, and talking to the local dog walkers, they also hadnt seen them, although a few of them have seen a Barn Owl most early mornings. A slow two hour stroll around the ancient woodland provided me with brief glimpses of Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, Mistle and Song Thrush, Jackdaws, Crows, Ring-necked Parakeets and a solitary Kestrel, along with the usual Robins, Blackbirds, Blue and Great Tits.
I spent some time in the grounds of St Dunstans church as well. Previous visits to this site have rewarded me with weasels, but there were none around today. St Dunstans is a medieval church and graveyard, mentioned in the Doomsday Book. The below gravestone is situated by the entrance gates. The wording has always fascinated me and I once spent some time trying to research the deceased but to no avail.
Cranford Park and St Dunstans cover about 144 acres of land. Its surrounded on three sides by Heathrow airport, the A312 and the M4. The park itself is the old grounds of Cranford House which was destroyed back in the 1940s. The only remaining orginal buildings are the 18th century stable blocks and parts of the ha-ha and walled garden. Remains of the old ice house are buried in a copse you can walk through. To visit Cranford Park, the car park is just off Junction 3 on the M4. if coming by public transport get the 195 bus from outside Hayes and Harlington train station, get off at The Crane pub, and access Cranford Park via the meadows.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry you dipped on Little Owls but sounds a good trip out nonetheless

    (Centred pics seems to work better! nice one!)