fLIP Magazine / Online Feature

Northala Fields

by Pete Webster

This new park lies to the south of the A40 in Ealing and was opened to the public in 2008. It has been constructed using the spoil from near-by developments at Wembley and White City and has quickly become an iconic feature of west London.

As well as 4 mound shaped hills resembling an Iron Age fortress a number of water features have been created and these are starting to attract visiting birds and other animals as they become established. Play areas and sculptures have also been installed.

Maybe the most fascinating aspect of this site is the way in which members of the public – young and old, male and female alike – interact with these hills. They are used variously as a viewing platform giving a broad vista all the way to the City in the east, the North Downs and Crystal Palace to the south, Harrow to the north and the A40/M40 corridor to the west. They are used as a launch site for kite flying, as a picnic area, as a rendezvous for lovers or just as a challenge to run up and roll down!

These images form part of an ongoing project on Northala Fields.

In total around 60,000 lorryloads of spoil and concrete, around 500,000 cubic metres, were dumped on the site. This was used to create the four hills, while the concrete was crushed and used in gabions – walls surrounded by steel cages – that provide a spiral path up the tallest hill. Over one mile of gabion baskets were built on the hills. The hardwood timber on the gabion seats and bin tops is also recycled material. Path edgings and the fishing piers are made of recycled plastic.


Submitted on the theme of LEISURE, Summer 2010