Information from the Royal Parks team in Richmond Park

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Health Advice: Oak Processionary Moth.  This exotic moth first appeared in the UK in 2006 a few miles away. Recently, the caterpillar's distinctive white, silken nests have been found on a few Oak trees between Sheen Gate and Roehampton Gate. They shed toxic hairs which can cause unpleasant rashes and skin or eye irritations, and sometimes breathing difficulties if inhaled, in people and animals. Once shed, the toxic hairs may be present on the grass and therefore sitting down underneath the trees will increase chances of being affected. Advice signs have been put up and nest removal is scheduled in early July as soon as the caterpillars have retreated into their nests to pupate. The removal will be carried out by specially trained and equipped operators.
Should you suffer symptoms which you think may match those described, you are advised to seek medical advice.
Further information is available at: or call the Park office on 020 8948 3209

Health Advice: Ticks. These tiny insect-like creatures may attach themselves to animals or people passing through long grass or Bracken during the summer months. The ticks feed by piercing the skin to suck blood, which can transmit an illness, called Lymes Disease. The risk is very small and should not deter people from enjoying the Park, but it is advisable to take the following precautions:

  • Keep covered up when walking through long grass or bracken, or use insect repellent if bare-legged;
  • Check your skin and pets fur for the presence of ticks, which may be removed by gently twisting and pulling to ensure that the mouthparts are not left behind. Carefully wash the area after the bite;
  • In case of difficulty, consult your doctor.

A leaflet containing further information and advice may be obtained from Holly Lodge or contact the Park office- 0208 948 3209.

Deer: About 200 young have been born this year. The calves and fawns accompany their mothers and will remain dependent for some time, still suckling until Christmas. The young frequently rest in deep grass or Bracken apart from their mothers and are still very vulnerable to disturbance or attack from visitor's dogs. Hinds remain very protective of their offspring and will react aggressively if their calves are approached too closely. It is best to keep to footpaths at this time of year and to keep dogs under close control.


Flowering Trees and Shrubs: Large, late flowering rhododendrons may be found in the south section of the garden, between the stream from the Still Pond and the main central stream. They have pink and white fragrant flowers and include many hybrids of Rhododendron auriculatum. Many rhododendrons are now producing handsome new leaves. These are often covered with a soft felt layer, which is white or ginger, and known as „indumentum?.
In the secluded lawn to the south of Thomson's Pond the first giant flowers of the Magnolia grandiflora are set amongst glossy evergreen leaves. They have thick fleshy cream petals and a delicious citrus scent.
Clethra barbinervis with its long racemes of white fragrant flowers can be found on the path leading from the Top Gate leading down towards Bluebell Walk, near the entrance to Wilson's Glade.

Heather Garden: Look out for the “Button Bush”, Cephalanthus occidentalis, set back from the path leading to the Bog Garden. This shrub bears creamy-white flowers in small globular heads, which are very attractive to butterflies.

Bog Garden: In the Bog Garden the tall yellow spires of Ligularia przewalskii are set against a backdrop of bamboo, and the Gunnera manicata spreads its giant prickly leaves. Here, and by the streams, many varieties of Hemerocallis, the "Day Lily", flower amongst iris. Bell-shaped, fragrant yellow of the "Giant Cowslip", Primula florindae show in the marginal bed alongside the decked walkway. The wild flowers of "Purple Loosestrife" and the frothy white blossoms of "Meadowsweet" grow alongside more exotic plantings. Look out for butterflies visiting the Joe Pye weeds (Eupatorium purpureum) with its stately pinkish purple flowers. Water lilies open on Thomson's Pond, where dragonflies and damselflies hover and dart over the water on warm still days. Just off the central path, look out for the soft pink flowers of the ground cover plant Persicaria affinis "Superba".

The Birthday Mound: Hydrangea quercifolia with its large oak shaped leaves and abundance of frothy white flowers heads can be found putting on an impressive show on the banking surrounding the Red Oak stump.

Foxglove Glade: Hydrangea aspera, flowers in the glade set back from the Still Pond, this magnificent large leafed shrub produces large heads of porcelain blue flowers, with a ring of lilac-pink or white ray florets.

Azalea Pruning: The gardeners are busy pruning evergreen azaleas along the Small Stream and other areas of the garden. Pruning is of two types: 1.) "Legging" which is involves pruning out extension growth after flowering to maintain compact healthy plants. 2.) Necessary phased renovative pruning is also being carried out on plants that have become two leggy and sparse and are blocking views from and "walling in" paths. Plants are cut harder back to a framework to encourage them to shoot basally and produce healthy vigorous new growth and flowers. Harder renovative pruning will mean that shrubs require a longer period of time recover before producing adequate leaf cover and flower again. After pruning plants will be given a foliar feed and mulch to encourage healthy new growth and vigour.


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

  • July: Friday 3rd, Sunday 12th and Friday 31st
  • August: Friday 7th, Sunday 16th and Friday 28th

Walks last about 1½ hours and are free of charge.Meet inside the Garden by the gate from Broomfield Hill car park at 11.00 a.m.

 The Royal Parks' News and Isabella News are copyright The Royal Parks.