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My 1st #LdnGreenGround Challenge was a great, nature filled experience!!

Part of the Capital Ring: former location of a 19th century music hall, museum, zoo and horse racing

The Brent Reservoir is a location on the intersection between Helen Ilus' Brent and City 'lines'. It is also known as the Welsh Harp Reservoir. It straddles Brent and Hendon. It was completed in 1837, built to support the Industrial Revolution.

The name, Welsh Harp comes from an Inn which dated around the late 1800s and became a central destination for the area, with a dining hall that seated 300 for dinner and 500 for popular music concerts. There was a small private zoo which contained bears and monkeys!

Funnily, I have passed signs to the Welsh Harp whilst on the North Circular too many times to remember and had often thought of visiting but had never quite managed the visit. Based on the wonderful idea thought up by my clever little friend Baxter, when I woke this morning, I took a look at the Greenground Map and decided to make it a day to discover what I had been missing!

I headed there for 11am, taking the 245 bus from close to my home. The bus stopped at Blackbird hill where I then walked around 10 minutes to the car park area. It was lovely walking away from the noise and cars of the main road and towards a row of nice houses and much more peace.

I was surprised to see that there was a garden centre not far from the location (Birchen Grove) which is always lovely initially and I made it a point to venture there after my venture around the reservoir.

As I got to Brent Reservoir, there were a lot of very beautiful trees along the path which was wonderful to see so close to the urban area.

Whilst I have spent my life loving nature and animals, I have never quite managed to learn how to identify trees, even the really obvious ones. I therefore thought it would be a great excuse to use the Woodland Trust's tree identification app. I had loads of fun doing this and honestly learnt a thing or two. It was super easy to use, although I definitely has to try a few times to find some of the trees I was identifying.

The reservoir is host to a wide range of sports and activities which includes sailing and canoeing and even through it was a relatively dull, autumn day, there was a large number of boats out on the water.

All in all it was a great hour spent out surrounded by beautiful trees and the water. If it wasn't for the #GreenGround challenge, I wouldn't never have got out on a dreary Sunday morning, discovered a beautiful space on my doorstep or taken the steps on my journey of what I hope is the start of my tree ID journey!!

So, all I need to do is figure out where I'm going to go next Sunday!! I hope that you all get out and I might see you there, whatever the weather!!

Location: Brent (Welsh Harp) Reservoir. Connection between Brent and City lines. It was a 10 min walk to a street that had lot's of shops.

Transport: 245 bus around 10 min walk away. Car parking on site.

Company: Visited alone.

What I found: Lots of lovely trees and bushes, including Sycamore, Field Maple, Willow, Hawthorn and Birch (sorry if wrong as still learning!!). Heard lots of lovely birds and saw geese and coots.

Cleanliness: Saw rubbish around some bins and some tins etc hidden amongst the greenery. On the whole, it wasn't too bad.

Others in the location: I did see several people out walking in the area. Probably <10.

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