The Royal Parks' team in Richmond Park produces a monthly diary (August issue below) which is displayed on the Park's public noticeboards.

If you are a member of the Friends and would like to receive these monthly diaries by email, please send your name and email address to

August in the Park

The London-Surrey classic cycle road race  

This road race is a test event for the London 2012 Olympic Games and will take part on Sunday August 14th. Road closure signs are at Park vehicle gates and Information notices for people using the Park will also be posted at pedestrian gates and car parks.

For the safety of park users and competitors the following restrictions will apply

• The Park will be closed to vehicles all day on 14 August 2011.
• Cycling is not permitted on the route from 8pm on the 13th Sept until 9pm on 14th
• Cycling in Richmond Park will be possible on the Tamsin Trail, National Cycle Route 4 and from Roehampton car park to Kingston car park.
• Crossing the race route will only be possible at specified crossing places and at limited times. Expect congestion at pedestrian gates, on the race route and at key viewing places – please be patient.
• Please respect the crowd barriers, notices and instructions from event stewards and please note that tree climbing and BBQs are not permitted.
• Dogs must be kept on leads and horse riding will not be possible on 14th Sept

For more information see –

Compound in Pembroke Lodge car park

The temporary compound and radio mast in Pembroke Lodge car park will facilitate the Cycle Road Race. It will remain on site until a day or two after the event has taken place.

Green flag award 

Last month Richmond Park was awarded a Green Flag for the fifth year running. This national award is given in recognition of achieving the national standard for parks and open spaces in England and Wales.


Now that the antlers are fully-grown, the ‘velvet’ covering becomes redundant. It dies and shreds and the deer thrash their antlers against vegetation to rub it off. At this time they may be seen briefly with blood stained tatters of skin dangling across their faces.

Hare bells 

These attractive blue flowers are currently blooming. The name derives from it living closely alongside Hares in grassland and folklore states that Hare Bells chime to warn the Hares of danger. Well, not loudly enough even for the large ears of Hares, who were last seen in the Park in 1972.

Local names include Witches’ Bells, Harvest Bells, Heath Bell, Cuckoo’s Thimble, Fairy Caps and Granny’s Tears. In Scotland they are known as Blue Bells, but in the south of England ‘Blue Bell’ is saved for the woodland flower that blossoms early in the year. It is also considered unlucky to pick them – especially for hares!

The Isabella Plantation in August

Flowering shrubs worth seeking out include:
Magnolia grandiflora – Occupies a secluded glade to the south of Thomson's Pond. It has large white flowers with a delicious fragrance set amongst glossy evergreen leaves. Petals fall to reveal striking seed heads.
Clethra alnifolia, the Sweet Pepper Bush, also fragrant, is opposite the tall pine below the gate to Broomfield Hill and also below Thomson’s Pond.
Hydrangea quercifolia, on the Birthday Mound and elsewhere, has panicles of white flowers, and foliage resembling coarse oak leaves, which takes on rich autumn colours later in the year.
Hydrangea paniculata 'Tardiva' also bears panicles of white flowers, and is set in woodland near the gate towards Pen Ponds, and elsewhere in the Garden.
Hydrangea aspera subsp. Sargentiana frows in Wilson’s Glade in the north east corner. This upright gaunt shrub bears broad heads of flowers from late summer to mid-autumn, the inner ones are blue or deep purple, the outer ones are large and white.
Sorbaria kirilowii, also found in Wilson’s Glade, produces white flowers in large conical panicles throughout July and August.
Heptacodium miconioides Is a vigorous shrub that bears lightly scented clusters of white flowers throughout late summer and early autumn. It can be found growing below Thomson’s Pond and also on the Birthday Mound.
Calycanthus occidentalis grows at the top end of the Old Nursery. This Californian species bears large red-brown flowers throughout the summer.

Summer flowering shrubs in the Heather Garden include varieties of Erica vagans, the Cornish Heath, such as 'Mrs. Maxwell' – dark pink; 'Rosea' – light pink; and 'Cornish Cream' – cream. Several varieties of Calluna vulgaris have coloured foliage, such as 'Gold Haze' – white flower and gold leaf; and 'Robert Chapman' – purple flower with bronze foliage. Daboecia cantabrica has white or purple waxy bells.

Along the streams many native marginal plants are in flower, such as Purple and Yellow Loosestrife, Meadowsweet, Greater Willowherb and Hemp Agrimony. These wild flowers, along with the heathers, attract many butterflies. Elsewhere, streamside clumps of Hemerocallis, the Day Lily, produce a succession of tall yellow or orange trumpet-shaped flowers throughout July and August; each flower lasting only a day.

Thomson's Pond and the Bog Garden have fine stands of Pontederia cordata, the Pickerel Weed, with spikes of blue flowers amongst erect spear-shaped leaves. Thomson’s Pond’s waterlilies are in flower and dragonflies patrol their territories. In the Bog Garden look out for the creamy–yellow flowers of kirengeshoma palmata which show until the autumn.

Please help to support The Isabella Plantation Access Project by dropping your donations into the box by the gate (Information about the Project and donation boxes at the Broomfield Hill and Bottom Gate entrances to the Plantation).

Isabella Plantation Garden Walks 2011

You are invited to join the gardeners for guided walks throughout the year. Walks will take place on:

August: Friday 5th and 26th, Sunday 7th
September: Friday 2nd and 30th, Sunday 18th

Walks last about one and a half hours and are free of charge. Meet inside the Garden by the gate from Broomfield Hill car park at 11am.

© Richmond Park JS 1/8/2011