The Royal Parks team in Richmond Park produces a monthly diary (June issue below) which is displayed on the Park's public noticeboards.
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 Roy Berriman at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Park in June
Baby deer It is usual for the Park’s deer give birth in late May and early June. The young are not ready to follow their mothers for one or two weeks and hide in dense bracken, with their mothers grazing in the vicinity.
This year the bracken has developed later than usual and the lack of cover makes the deer feel more vulnerable to disturbance. It is not advisable to walk your dog in the Park during this time. If you choose to, at your own risk, please keep your dog on a lead and consider an alternative route, such as following the wall line of the park where you are close to exit gates.
If pursued by a deer, let go of the lead. The deer are less likely to charge if the dog runs away from them. If a Red Deer approaches you it is probably because she has a calf somewhere nearby. Walking away from her may inadvertently mean that you are walking towards the calf causing her to be more defensive. The preferred course of action would be to retrace your footsteps, back the way you came and take a wide berth on a different track.
What a load of rubbish! A recent audit of the Park's litter has revealed that the Park receives around 150 tonnes of rubbish per year of which 47% is dog waste, 34% is recyclable and 19% non-recyclable.
The Royal Parks are now liaising with the litter collection contractors and waste disposal companies to review the bins and disposal method of Park waste. It is hoped that measures can be taken to increase the recycling rates of Park waste or send more to ‘energy recovery’ facilities.
It may also be possible to reduce the costs of disposal but the number, type and location of some bins may also need to be considered.
Caution – Lyme disease The warm weather and plant growth provides cover for ticks that can attach themselves to deer, dogs or humans, potentially causing Lyme disease.
Whilst the chances of contracting the disease are low, symptoms can be serious so it’s worth taking sensible precautions. Wearing long trousers, long sleeved shirts and using insect repellents can help to prevent ticks.
If you find a tick on you and develop cold/flu like symptoms or find a rash develops it is precautionary to tell your doctor. Dogs can be prevented from getting ticks by using drops supplied in pet shops or vets. A leaflet is available from Holly Lodge or contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or see their website.
Wildlife Most birds, whether resident or summer visitors, are now feeding young or encouraging fledglings onto the wing. You may hear the incessant piping of Greater Spotted Woodpecker chicks from their nest holes up in oak trees. If you approach to listen they will immediately become silent.
June is a good time to look out for dragonflies in the reedy margins of ponds and streams. These are frequented by the Emperor dragonfly, the Brown Hawker, the Broad-bodied Chaser and the Black-tailed Skimmer, along with the Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Large Red damselflies.
Butterflies to be seen in open grassland include the Small Heath, Large and Small Skippers, Meadow Browns and small Coppers. Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and Peacock butterflies may be found around nettles, brambles and thistles along with the occasional migrant Painted Lady. Speckled Wood butterflies frequent the woodland edges.
The Isabella Plantation in June
Rhododendrons The spectacular flowering of the evergreen azaleas is nearly over and the stage is left to the late rhododendrons and deciduous azaleas, many of which are fragrant, set against a backdrop of purple-flowered, naturalised Rhododendron ponticum.
Bog garden The huge prickly leaves of the Gunnera manicata conceal its stout flowering spikes, and contrast with delicate fern fronds and the ribbed, glaucous leaves of hostas. Here and elsewhere bordering the streams, you will find Primula japonica, a candelabra type, in its red, white and magenta forms; lilac-purple Primula beesiana and fragrant yellow Primula florindae.
Several iris species are also in flower, including Iris pseudoacorus, our native yellow flag. The Day Lilly, Hemerocallis hyperion, with its lemon-yellow flowers also grows in the beds beside the stream. The new island bed looks stunning at this time of year with the fern Dryopteris erythrosora showing coppery pink young fronds and the Swamp Honeysuckle, Rhododendron viscosum, bearing its spicily fragrant, white flowers.
The birthday mound Digitalis purpurea ‘Alba’, the “White foxglove” is naturalised throughout this area which was planted in 2003 to celebrate Isabella’s 50th anniversary. This European native produces spikes of white bell-shaped flowers with a maroon spotted throat from a rosette of rich green leaves.
Stream side Along the Main Stream look out for Galax urceolata, a clump-forming perennial with large, round, leathery, mid-green leaves which turn bronze in autumn. It has dense spikes of small, white flowers.
Wilson's Glade Look out for Neillia thibetica which grows opposite the Beauty Bush, Kolkwitzia amabilis, with its profusion of small foxglove-like pink flowers. This medium sized shrub has slender terminal racemes of pink, tubular flowers. Cornus kousa chinensis also grows in Wilson’s Glade, its numerous flowers which have conspicuous white bracts poised on slender stalks cover its spreading branches in June.
Flowering trees and shrubs worth seeking out include:
• Liriodendron tulipifera, the “Tulip Tree”, which stands at the Broomfield Hill Top Gate and other locations within the garden. As well as having odd shaped leaves which turn butter yellow in autumn. It has peculiar yellow-green flowers, with internal orange markings, which appear in June and are tulip-shaped.
• Calycanthus floridus, “Carolina Allspice”, grows in the ”V between the Streams”, this Californian species produces aromatic red-brown flowers throughout the summer months.
• Stewartia pseudocamellia, grows by the path above the Heather Garden. This deciduous tree bears five petalled white flowers with orange-yellow centres.
• Kalmia latifolia, which can be found where the path to the Still Pond crosses the Main Stream. It is an evergreen shrub, whose intricate pink flowers, when in bud, resemble 'Iced Gem' biscuits.
• Styrax japonicus, the “Snowbell Tree”, has a profusion of small white bell-shaped flowers dangling below its slender branches. One of several can be found in the bay to the east of Thompson's Lawn.
• Azaleodendron 'Govenianum' has trusses of funnel shaped lilac-purple flowers which are very fragrant. A group grows by the sandy path leading to the west of the Garden from the behind the iron ‘1831’ sign.
Isabella Plantation Garden Walks 2013
You are invited to join the gardeners for guided walks throughout the year. Walks will take place on:
June Friday 7th and 28th, Sunday 16th
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.
©The Royal Parks