Deer cull. The deer cull began on Monday 1 Feb and will last for 4-6 weeks. As usual, the pedestrian gates will be closed at 8pm and will re-open at 7.30 the following morning.
Calendars reduced to £3. The last copies of the Friends’ 2016 calendar are now on sale at £3 at the Visitor Centre. Great value and a good present for all your friends and neighbours!
Peregrine falcon v. raven. The Times Nature Notes had a piece in mid-January reporting that a peregrine falcon had been seen pursuing a raven in Richmond Park. The Notes said this was a spectacle that could not have been seen ten years ago, because both birds were a rare sight in eastern England. Since then, the peregrine has established itself in London with about 30 nests each year, and the raven has also recently moved into the area. Peregrines are often seen chasing feral pigeons in London.
Samantha Bond at Spring lunch. The Holly Lodge Centre’s Spring Lunch will be "in conversation" with Samantha Bond of Downton Abbey fame. It’s on Wednesday 16 March at Pembroke Lodge, with the opportunity to browse clothing and gift ideas stalls from 11:30am onwards, a Prosecco reception from 12:15 and a three-course sit-down lunch served at 1:00pm. Tickets are £45, which includes the meal, a glass of Prosecco and wine; you can buy tickets here or by phoning 020-940-8730. For more information go to the Holly Lodge Centre’s website here.
Trustees and education co-ordinator. The Holly Lodge Centre is looking for an (unpaid) new Chairman and 1-2 new Trustees with particular expertise in marketing or volunteer management. It is also advertising for someone to become the Centre’s full-time paid education co-ordinator, working with Anna King, the Centre Manager. You can see more about both opportunities on the Centre’s website here.
Park Diary. The monthly Park Diary, has some interesting measurements of different aspects of the Park and dates when the Park is closed for three big events this year.
AGM and Dawn Chorus Sat 16 April. This promises to be a full day with the Friends’ Dawn Chorus walk starting at 5.00am from Sheen Gate, and lasting 2 hours or so, then the Friends AGM starting at 10.00am. Note that we are changing the timing of the AGM so that it finishes by 12.30 or 1.00pm with lunch, rather than going on into the afternoon. More information to follow next month.
Volunteers thank you. The Friends' annual Volunteers event, for current and prospective volunteers, was held at Pembroke Lodge on 24 January. For photos and write-up see our Facebook page and also our website
Jubilee Pond fencing. Some of you will have seen that the fencing has been removed from Jubilee Pond. Some marginal vegetation has grown and the shape has filled out. The two black poplars planted there by Friends volunteers are protected by tree crates. The plan is to see how the pond develops with access available to deer and dogs, and fencing can be put back if needed.
Casting antlers. In the first or second week of February, the deer will start to cast their antlers. The largest stags start first, followed by other stags and the fallow deer bucks. New antlers start to grow immediately; being soft they are prone to damage and are protected by a soft tissue known as "velvet". The growth continues right through to August ready for the rut.
5 Mar Kingston Gate car park
2 Apr Roehampton Gate car park ( + Walk the Wall option)
16 April DAWN CHORUS walk (meet at Sheen Gate at 5am)
7 May Broomfield Hill car park
Walks – all welcome, start at 10.00am from the designated car park unless detailed otherwise
Informal birdwatching walks – Fridays – meet at Pen Ponds car park coffee kiosk at 9.30am
19 Mar SPRING BIRDS and BIRD SONG
Courses – 10-00am start, short talk at Pembroke Lodge followed by a walk, Friends members only – no need to book – just turn up – coffee/tea provided