The Royal Parks team in Richmond Park produces a monthly diary (January issue below) which is displayed on the Park's public notice boards.
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 Chris Mason at

Richmond Park in February 

Ham Gate Toilets
Ham Gate Toilets are due to be decorated during February or March. They will be closed temporarily to allow the builders to complete the work. The Royal Parks apologise for the inconvenience caused by their closure but trust park users understand. Advance notices will be put up on site.

The Goldcrest
The Goldcrest is the UK’s smallest bird at 8-9 cm – about 1 cm smaller than the Wren. Goldcrests are resident all year round with around 600,000 breeding territories, but in winter number increase with over wintering birds from the continent, making them far more abundant and easier to see. They have small narrow bills, ideal for small seeds on Pine, Alder and Birch trees and can often be seen in small flocks searching through the canopy of their favourite trees.

Park Measurements
Richmond Park is usually stated as being 2500 acres or 1000 hectares (ha) as a rough approximation. More accurately, Richmond Park is 2358 acres (or 954.6 ha).

From this total, the golf course is 212 acres (86 ha) and approximately 173 acres (70 ha) of the park is no-public access.

This equates to 1973.38 acres (798.6 ha) of land that is publicly accessible. Think of this as 1006.4 times the size of the Wembley stadium football pitch!

Other measurements to note include:

The wall around Richmond Park is 7.89 miles (12.7 km) long.
The circular park road is 6.73 miles (10.83 km).
The Tamsin Trail is 7.35 miles (11.82 km).
There are 7.26 miles (11.69 km) of horse tracks.

Park events
The following Richmond Park events that require full or part road closures in during 2016 are:

Sunday 31 July – Ride London – Full road closure
Sunday 18 September – London Duathlon – Full road closure
Sunday 30 October – Trick or Treat Run – Partial Road closure
Woodland Works

The forestry contractor is due to finish this year’s Rhododendron ponticum clearance in Sidmouth woods in February and volunteers from the Friends of Richmond Park continue to clear Pen Ponds Plantation.

New tree planting will occur in Pen Ponds Plantation, Isabella Plantation and the new small enclosure by Robin Hood car park. The new trees will be native shrub-forming species which will improve the woodland for wildlife once fully grown.

February in Isabella Plantation

Trees and shrubs with coloured and textured bark

The pollarded willows on the banks of Peg's Pond are forms of Salix alba, with amber and red stems.

Yellow-stemmed dogwood, Cornus sericea "Flaviramea", grows nearby under the weeping willow and in the Bog Garden.

Red-stemmed dogwood, Cornus alba, is set back behind the heathers and throughout the Bog Garden. Cornus sanguinea, "Midwinter Fire", has orange and red stems which show throughout the winter months and can also be found in the Bog Garden.

The “River Birch”, Betula nigra, has papery shredding buff coloured bark. Two of these trees grow on the north side of the Main Stream; one above the Heather Garden and the other towards the top.

Three “Himalayan Birches”, B. jacquemontii, with striking white stems, stand on the lawn above Thomson's Pond.

The “Tibetan Cherry”, Prunus serrula, has gleaming mahogany-red bark beginning to peel into curly shreds. One is set back on the lawn to the north east of Thomson's Pond. Three other good specimens may also be found in Wilson’s Glade.

Acer hersii, at the north end of the Acer Glade path, is one of several "snake bark" Acers in the garden.

Heather Garden

Erica x darleyensis comes into flower in its pink and white forms.

Tawny seed heads of Erica vagans remain decorative all winter.

The tall “Portugal Heath”, Erica lusitanica, bears slightly fragrant tubular white flowers opening from pink buds throughout winter. Clumps may be found towards the top of the Heather Garden, near the junction of Thomson's Stream and the Main Stream.

Nandina domestica, “Sacred Bamboo”, planted behind the heather in several places, is truly a plant for all seasons. Decorative evergreen leaves are tinged purple in spring and autumn; panicles of white flowers open in the summer to provide orange red berries throughout winter.

Flowering shrubs

Hamamelis mollis, the “Witch Hazel”, has fragrant yellow tassel flowers. Two large shrubs stand by the gate to Broomfield Hill.

Lonicera X purpusii, "Winter Beauty", is a shrubby honeysuckle which bears tiny white fragrant flowers throughout winter. A group of these shrubs grows by the Acer Glade path.

Rhododendron dauricum, "Midwinter", is a semi–evergreen or deciduous Rhododendron which grows on Bluebell Walk and looks stunning this month with its phlox purple flowers.

Rhododendron "Christmas Cheer" flowers pink in bud and fades to white grows alongside the main stream path above the Bog Garden. The name refers to the one time practice of forcing this plant for decoration.

Camellia japonica, "Nobilissima", with white peony form flowers, grows in the woodland ride to the north of Thomson’s Stream.

The williamsii hybrid Camellia "Parkside" bears an abundance of semi-double flowers in a clear pink, and can be found growing in the glade next to Thomson’s Lawn. Many other Camellias are beginning to flower around the gardens.

Cornus mas, the “Cornelian Cherry”, grows in the shelterbelt near the gate to the disabled car park. It produces lots of small yellow flowers on the naked stems throughout February.

Look out for the daffodil Narcissus cyclamineus growing naturalised in the lawns to the left of the Top Gate which bears delicate rich golden pendulous flowers. 

Isabella Plantation garden walks 2016

You are invited to join the gardeners for guided walks throughout the year.

Walks will take place on:

February Friday 5th & 26th, Sunday 7th

March Friday 4th & 25th, Sunday 13th

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.