Many thanks to all the FRP members who joined us for our annual Volunteers’ Thank You event. It was great to see so many people sharing their enthusiasm and ideas for protecting the Park, and to engage with new faces who are also keen to get involved.
After delicious coffee and pastries provided by the team at Pembroke Lodge chairman Ron Crompton summarised the events of the year. His three highlights started with the restoration of Beverley Brook, for which the Friends raised £35k, then went on to the Friends' fabulous Poet’s Corner restoration event with Sir David Attenborough and a brand new poem for the Park by David Harsent, and ended with FRP volunteers supporting the Richmond Park Open Day in September.
Several ‘public education’ projects took place throughout the year, with FRP helping at the Deer in the City project at Pembroke Lodge, with The Royal Parks, London, promoting campaigns to warn of the dangers of barbecues causing tree fires and of harassing deer during the rut, and the Bird Group's choice of the green woodpecker as the iconic bird of the Park.
The Park also saw several conservation projects including collecting seeds from black poplars to increase the national stock of them, a programme to encourage great crested newts, and a continued effort to protect the Skylark population in the Park. Each year a dedicated team of volunteers assist with OPM spotting, others provide hands-on assistance with conservation work or organise regular walks, courses and bird-spotting activities for the public.
Our dedicated History Project volunteers continue to help The Hearsum Collection: sharing Richmond Park's history in cataloguing and digitising historical material about the Park, and recently have published an online document about the names of places and things in the Park which can be found here
The Discoverers team engaged children and families with nature, hosting some fabulous events this year, including the always over-subscribed bat walk.
We can’t thank our volunteers enough – including those doing the invisible jobs like the accounts, the newsletter and ebulletin, organising our volunteers and events and monitoring activities in the Park. Without them none of this could happen. Together we can help protect and conserve this very special place for future generations. You can find out more about how to help with volunteering here