News Desk

                                                      Photo: Stonechat feeding young by John Few


Tread Lightly video

Musician Dougie Poynter has joined Sir David Attenborough to alert visitors to watch their step in Richmond. Since then, the McFly star has announced his support and backing to a new ‘Tread Lightly’ conservation campaign. In this latest video, the singer said: "Please Tread Lightly in Richmond Park, Take nothing from the Park, leave nothing behind and please
Tread Lightly in Richmond Park."

Richmond Park Film update

The Richmond Park film has received tremendous feedback on its high quality and well-presented message (a huge thanks to the whole production team and of course Sir David!). Many people were just not aware that the park is a National Nature Reserve and welcomed being able to learn more about how to protect and preserve it in such an entertaining manner.

We have now had some 60,000+ views on the special film website, Facebook and YouTube. This does not include the many viewers who saw it on the London Live TV broadcasts on 26 and 30 April. Due to its popularity, London Live will have more broadcasts in the Summer, we’ll keep you posted.

Please help us continue to promote the film and tell your friends, who have not yet seen it, to go to

Richmond Park film DVD.

The new DVD of the film, which includes a treasure of additional unseen clips, will be on sale by the end of June and available at the Visitor Centre.

Deer Harassment

As the park becomes busier with visitors in late Spring and Summer, the problem of deer harassment increases. It’s encouraging that the majority of visitors know how to respect the park wildlife, but it’s disappointing that there are still many who don’t understand that deer are wild animals and should not be approached too closely. It’s potentially dangerous for the individual and worrying for the deer. A recent post on the Friends’ Facebook, reminding people to keep their distance from deer and referring them to the Royal Parks advice, attracted a lot of support. It was viewed by an incredible 170,000 people, and growing.
See it here Please spread the word.

The History of Richmond Park

See the history of Richmond Park in this fascinating Timeline of key stories and images celebrating 400 years of the Park's existence. Compiled by Rachel Hirschler and Robert Wood, with design by Mary Pollard. All content is provided from the archives of The Hearsum Collection. See it here

Dogs out of control.

We are still seeing problems with dogs not being controlled by their owners, especially in and around Pen Ponds, and we are reporting these incidents to TRP management. Many people are calling for more and improved signs. Heather Smithers posted this on Facebook:
“Yet another dog charging in to Penn Pond this afternoon chasing the wildlife, not only the wildlife at risk but the dog nearly drowned too where it was tiring from the chase, ……I don't blame the dog but the owners every time.”
See Heather’s post and photos here

May Fair.

The Friends’ stall at the May Fair on Richmond Green created a lot of interest from the public. They were keen to know about the new Richmond Park film and bought a good deal of the branded merchandise on sale, as well as some specially provided jars of honey which completely sold out! Proceeds from these sales will go towards our conservation projects. We also managed to recruit some new members! PJ Greeves and his band of volunteers did a great job representing the Friends on the day. Thanks to all who took part. It was a good day and well worth it!
See photos here

'Park Life' by John Bartram

John Bartram, the Park's gamekeeper who retired last year, publishes his new book ‘Park Life, The memoirs of a Royal Parks Gamekeeper’ on 13 July. It will be available from booksellers and at our Visitors’ Centre.
'Retire? You can't retire!', Sir David Attenborough told John Bartram, when the man who has been gamekeeper and senior wildlife officer for Richmond Park announced his intention to step away from the role. During a career spanning four decades John has been the behind-the-scenes mastermind ensuring the welfare and maintenance of Richmond Park's world-famous herd of deer – widely thought of as the finest herd in captivity.

Next Discoverers event.

Bugs and Butterflies – planned for Sunday am, 25 June. Details will be posted soon on our Events Web Page. For early notification of events join our Discoverers’ mailing list.

Reflections Event

On Tuesday 13 June, The Holly Lodge Centre has its annual Reflections event – a very entertaining eclectic performance of music, song and poetry collaborated by Kathryn Hide (Singleton) featuring a range of professional musicians and in the presence of HRH Princess Alexandra. The price of £58 a head includes supper and wine.
Booking and information or phone 020-8940-8730.

Starting a fire in the Park 

On 22 May, the Times carried a two-page spread in which survival expert, Megan Hine, talked to journalist Harry Wallop in Richmond Park about how to survive in the wild. There was a large picture of them with a fire they had just lit (in contravention of Park Regulations, of course). It’s the kind of media the Park doesn’t need, especially after the large fire in Bushy, a few weeks ago, that destroyed acid grassland. We contacted both people who immediately apologized, she on her Facebook page and he via Twitter. The Times also published a letter from the Friends criticising the article; although it did not apologize.
See more details and photo

Mick Jagger

Sir Mick Jagger recently put on his Instagram site a picture of him standing by the Royal Oak, his ‘favourite tree’ in Richmond Park. Unfortunately he was inside the fencing that now protects it from compaction and damage by visitors. The Mail Online picked this up and had a piece on how this could encourage others and result in damage to the tree he loves.
See the article and photo


01 Jul Robin Hood Gate Car Park
05 Aug Kingston Gate Car Park

All are welcome to join our walks. Start 10am from the designated car park unless detailed otherwise.

Informal birdwatching walks – Every Friday – meet at Pen Ponds car park coffee kiosk at 9.30am

15 Jul Butterflies (Nigel Jackman)

Friends’ members only – no need to book – just turn up. Courses start 10.00am at Pembroke Lodge.


Deer Birthing

The deer are now giving birth to their young until July. The young are often hidden by their mothers amongst the tall bracken and longer grass and are vulnerable to disturbance from humans and dogs so please respect the following:

  • Keep out of the nursery areas, which all have signs up in situ.

  • Keep at least 50 metres away from the deer and be aware of your surroundings so that you do not come between a mother and her calf.

  • Do not touch, feed or photograph the deer at close range.

  • Deer can feel threatened by dogs, even over long distances, so please use alternative places, if possible. If you choose to walk in the Park, please keep your dog on a lead or under close control and stay clear of the remote quiet places where deer are more likely to have young.

Oak Processionary Moth.

June is the time of year when the caterpillars of this non-native invasive Moth are on the move and may be seen “processing” around the trunk or branches of oak trees. They can sometimes appear very close to the ground. The hairs of the caterpillars carry a toxin, which can be harmful to human and animal health, causing skin rashes, eye irritation and respiratory problems.

In April and May targeted pesticide spraying took place on oaks in busy areas of the park and areas that have previously been heavily infested. This is followed by careful surveying of the park in June and July to locate nests which are then removed by specialist operatives using protective clothing and equipment. If you come across the caterpillars or their webbed nests, please do not touch them and keep children and pets away. Please call the Park Office on: 0300 061 2250 to report any sightings.

Mission invertebrate 

This is an exciting new project, which aims to promote the importance of the grassland invertebrates that thrive in The Royal Parks. Habitat enhancement works are currently underway to transform an area of Poet’s Corner at Pembroke Lodge into a pollinator garden complete with a wildflower meadow and pollinator-friendly boarders and hedgerow planting.

This project also includes working with an Oxford scientist who is carrying out a survey focussing on the ecology of the yellow meadow ants, whose hills can be seen throughout Richmond Park. The fascinating world of the ants will be further investigated with the help of volunteers in a citizen science project planned for July. If you are interested in taking part then please email Bryony Cross.

This summer, you can also join our giant snail tour, which will be visiting Richmond Park from 22 – 26 July and 1 – 2 August, in partnership with The Holly Lodge Centre. There’s storytelling, bug trails, creative crafting and invertebrate missions galore! Look out for our giant snail caravan packed with activities for all the family and free family activities throughout the day between 11am and 3pm. No booking is required but for more details, please look at the Royal Parks website.

Park road closures.

The Park was closed to traffic on Sunday 4th June for the London 10 Mile Run, which is a new event held in Richmond Park for the first time.
Please note the Park will also be closed on 30th July for the Ride London event and on 17th September for the Duathlon event.

“Please take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints and kill nothing but time”




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.

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.


•  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.

Wheelchair available.

A motorised wheelchair, which makes the job of pushing considerably easier, may be loaned for use within the Garden on weekdays between 9.00 and 15.00. Please ring 0300 061 2200 to book the chair by noon on the day before it is required

Isabella Plantation Garden Walks 2017

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

JUNE: Sun 11th and Fri 30th
JULY: Sun 2nd and Fri 7th & 28th

Walks last about 1.5 hours and are free of charge.
Meet inside the Garden by the gate from Broomfield Hill car park at 11.00a.m.