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 [email protected]
June in the Park
Oak Processionary Moth The toxic hairs on caterpillars from this invasive non-native moth may cause skin irritations and breathing problems in some people. It was introduced into the UK in 2006 and was first found in Richmond Park in 2009.
Some trees have been temporarily fenced off where the caterpillars have been found within human reach. The fences will be removed once the caterpillars have been cleared. Volunteers are making a detailed search of the whole park and all nests found will be removed in an attempt to stop the moth spreading. This control work is being co-ordinated with the Forestry Commission and relevant health authorities.
If you find caterpillars or their webbed nests please do not touch them and report any sightings to the Park office on 0300 061 2200 – [email protected]
Outdoor cinema The Royal Parks are working with the Nomad Cinema to present three nights of outdoor cinema in the Park.
The choice of films is: Raiders of the Lost Ark 31 August); E.T The Extra Terrestrial (1st September); and The African Queen (2nd September). The screening starts at 19.45 near Roehampton Gate Car Park.
The event opens at 18.30 in time to get your blanket and picnic underway. Tickets are £12.50 available from the Nomad Cinema website (http://www.whereisthenomad.com/royalparks/).
Deer Following the unusually warm weather, the deer have started to give birth very early this year. The first baby red deer was found on 18 May and seen walking with the herd just ten days later.
During the week or two before the young are able to follow their mothers in the herd, they lie hidden in deep grass or bracken. Their mothers graze in the vicinity, returning at intervals to groom and suckle them. At this age the young are very vulnerable to disturbance or attack by dogs, or from people who find them and think they have been abandoned. Moving or touching very young deer may result in them being abandoned by their mothers and thus failing to survive, so please leave them alone.
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. The preferred course of action would be to retrace your footsteps and take a wide berth on a different track. It is also best to keep to footpaths at this time of year, and to keep dogs on leads or under close control.
Bracken, ticks and Lyme Disease The bracken that covers many open areas continues to emerge, reaching ‘full frond’ by the end of June. It provides cover for ticks that can attach themselves to deer, dogs or humans and potentially pass on Lyme disease.
If you find a tick on you and develop cold like symptoms 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 for more advice contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or see their website.
The Isabella Plantation in June
Rhododendrons The spectacular flowering of the evergreen azaleas is now 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” 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 Thompsons 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.
Please help to support the Isabella Plantation Access Project by dropping your donations into the box by the gate. (Information about the Project and donation boxes are at the Broomfield Hill and Bottom Gate entrances to the Plantation).
Isabella Plantation Garden Walks 2011
You are invited to join the gardeners for guided walks throughout the year. Walks will take place on:
June Friday 3rd and 24th, Sunday 19th
July Friday 1st and 29th, Sunday 10th
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 PAC 1/6/2011