The Friends of Richmond Park are funding or helping to fund two conservation projects in the Park. The first project, to create a number of small enclosures, is funded directly by the Friends and will cost about £1250; the second, to buy a new tern raft (at a cost of £900), is funded by the surplus from sales at the Visitor Centre, which is staffed and managed by Friends' volunteers.
The enclosures project will create a number of small enclosed areas, planted with bramble, a mixture of shrubs and a few small trees, with the aim of providing ground cover for nesting birds and wildlife. The fencing will protect the area from deer and dogs. Recent surveys have shown a significant lack of certain species of woodland birds in the Park, which the project hopes to rectify.
The tern raft project will replace the existing tern raft on Pen Ponds, on which terns nest, with a “new improved” one. The improvements include side panelling which helps to prevent other birds nesting there (and the young from sliding off!). Many of you will have seen the wonderful sight this summer of terns wheeling and diving for food in Pen Ponds; we printed a photograph of a tern with a fish in its mouth on the back cover of our last newsletter.