News Desk

Adopt an Area of the Park.

We are delighted to announce that, on 1 August, we launched our new litter clean-up project Adopt an Area. The Park has been divided into 29 areas which Friends can adopt as their own to help keep clear of litter.  24 areas have been adopted and there are 5 areas remaining for adoption. Please write to

RP Film wins top award and now available as DVD

Our film – Richmond Park: National Nature Reserve won Gold in its film category at the EVCOM Clarion Awards in July. Congratulations to the film crew! DVDs of the film are now available exclusively at the Visitor (Information) Centre. As well as the award-winning film, the DVD contains the intriguing trailer and the exclusive Trevor McDonald interview of Sir David, plus other material from the film's launch event at the Royal Geographical Society. The DVD costs just £5 with all profits going to conservation projects in Richmond Park.

Anne donates stunning deer photo

Anne Dixson-Ross, a Friend and local photographer auctioned a framed print of her recent photo of deer in Beverley Brook (pictured above) on the Friends Facebook page. The highest bid of £190, by Patricia Massey, will be donated to Richmond Park conservation projects. The runner-up, Andrea Sparke Craig then contacted Anne and asked if she could match the winning bid and also receive a framed print. Anne has agreed, and now the amount to be donated to the Park is doubled! Thank you so much both to you Anne and to Patricia and Andrea.

Ride London 

The Friends once again monitored the annual Ride London event which passed through Richmond Park, entering at East Sheen Gate and exiting at Kingston Gate. Last year we had serious concerns about riders discarding gel packs and their tear-off strips, which are difficult to detect in the grass and are potentially very harmful to deer. Following our campaign, the organisers took fresh precautions this year, including more litter picking along the route. We can summarise this year’s event as follows: “Gel pack count well down; some riders continue to discard them but increased litter picking seems to have worked. Some gel pack suppliers still have unacceptable packaging.”

10 Mile Run and Richmond Park Half Marathon

The Friends also monitored these two races in June and July respectively. The former had 6,000 runners with the event village on the rugby fields (which was last used for a substantial event for the Queens Jubilee visit in 2012) and the latter 350 runners based to the west of Sheen Wood toward the open grassland. We are concerned that the footprint of sporting events is gradually extending, especially close to SSSI protected acid grassland containing anthills. We will be discussing our concerns with The Royal Parks.

Richmond Park Walk 4 Wildlife

A 20 mile sponsored walk around Richmond Park and across Wimbledon Common. Saturday 10 September. Bring your friends, family and a picnic lunch, and get sponsored to take part in the Richmond Park Walk 4 Wildlife. 

Common biting insects

A recent article provided by The Royal Parks describes six common insects that can be found here in the summer. The second, the tick, is a particular problem in the Park. To see how to recognise them, and how to avoid being bitten click here

Royal Parks in World War I

To commemorate the WWI centenary, The Royal Parks will be exploring the Parks’ First World War history through a programme of events, community and school activities and research from May 2017 to early 2020,
Find out what happened to the men who went to war from the parks and the women who took on new roles at home. Discover how the Royal Parks’ wartime work influenced the rest of the world.

New start time for Courses

Please note that the start time for all future Courses at Pembroke Lodge will now be 10.15am, 15 minutes later than the previous 10.00am. (This is due to parking problems early Saturday mornings at Pembroke Lodge, which should have cleared by the later time).


Events Calendar

02 Sep Roehampton Gate Car Park
07 Oct Sheen Gate Car Park (Deer + Walk the Wall)
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

23 Sep Mission Invertebrate (Tim King)
14 Oct Deer (Peter Burrows Smith)
Friends’ members only – no need to book – just turn up. Courses start 10.15am at Pembroke Lodge.


Richmond Park Diary August

DAUBENTON’S BAT (Myotis daubentonii). There are 18 species of bat, which are nocturnal flying mammals, in the UK. Many of them roost, hibernate, breed or feed here in the Park, one of which is the Daubenton’s bat. It is a medium-sized species that can live up to 22 years, weighs 7g–12g, has a wingspan of 240-275mm and has a steady flight, which is reminiscent of a small hovercraft. It usually feeds and takes insects such as small flies, midges, caddisflies and mayflies from close to the water. Therefore if you’re around any of the ponds or the brook at dusk then you may be lucky enough to catch sight of this bat in its natural environment, as the young bats also begin to catch insects for themselves in August, as they no longer need their mothers’ milk.

DOWNSTREAM DEFENDER. A new 3 metre Plastic Downstream Defender III System and access chamber is currently being installed onto an existing surface water drain next to Roehampton Cafe Car Park. This work should be completed in August, which will then prevent contaminated road-derived sediment from reaching the Beverley Brook. The work is part of an on-going partnership project between The Royal Parks, The Friends of Richmond Park, the South East Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency, which aims to improve the quality of the water and enhance the Beverley Brook and the species that rely on this watercourse. See photos here

BRACKEN MANAGEMENT. Bracken dominates large areas of the Park so various management techniques will continue to be used throughout August, which includes rolling using horse-drawn bracken rollers, cutting and spraying. Bracken has the ability to smother more sensitive habitats such as the acid grassland areas so this work helps to control its spread and ensure other species are able to establish across the Park.

PARKS: OUR SHARED HERITAGE EXHIBITION, 27 JUL – 11 AUG 2017. London is hosting for the first time ever, an exhibition entitled Parks: Our Shared Heritage, at The Mall Galleries, which is a collaboration between The Royal Parks, the Hearsum Collection and the Office of Public Works, Ireland. This free exhibition explores the rich history, with rarely seen artefacts including oil paintings, photographs, and historical documents spanning three centuries about The Royal Parks, which includes Richmond Park. For more information, please click here

DEER FRAYING. The male deer, which are the fallow bucks and the older stags, are currently marking their territories and cleaning the velvet off their newly-grown antlers by rubbing or fraying as it’s known, on trees and shelters. The antlers are fully-grown so the ‘velvet’ covering them becomes redundant. It dies and shreds and the deer thrash their antlers against vegetation to rub it off so the deer may be seen briefly with blood stained tatters of skin dangling across their antlers or faces. Please keep away from them and do not touch, feed or photograph them at close range.

GREEN FLAG AWARD: Last month Richmond Park was awarded a Green Flag for the tenth year running. This award is given in recognition of achieving the national standard for parks and open spaces in England and Wales. It reflects positively on all of the excellent work, which is carried out by The Royal Parks staff, contractors, concessions and volunteers.

PARK ROAD CLOSURE: The Park will be closed to traffic on 17th September for the Duathlon.

“Please tread lightly in Richmond Park National Nature Reserve” 

Isabella Plantation in August


Magnolia grandiflora – Occupies a secluded glade to the south of Thomson's Pond. It has large white flowers with a delicious fragrance set amongst glossy evergreen leaves. Petals fall to reveal striking seed heads.

Clethra alnifolia – The Sweet Pepper Bush, also fragrant, is opposite the tall pine below the gate to Broomfield Hill and also below Thomson’s Pond.

Hydrangea quercifolia – on the Birthday Mound and elsewhere, has panicles of white flowers, and foliage resembling coarse oak leaves, which takes on rich Autumn colours later in the year.

Hydrangea paniculata 'Tardiva' – also bears panicles of white flowers, and is set in woodland near the gate towards Pen Ponds, and elsewhere in the Garden.

Hydrangea aspera subsp. Sargentiana – Grows in Wilson’s Glade in the north east corner, this upright gaunt shrub bears broad heads of flowers from late summer to mid-autumn, the inner ones are blue or deep purple, the outer ones are large and white.

Sorbaria kirilowii – also found in Wilson’s Glade produces white flowers in large conical panicles throughout July and August.

Heptacodium miconioides – Is a vigorous shrub that bears lightly scented clusters of white flowers throughout late summer and early autumn. It can be found growing below Thomson’s Pond and also on the Birthday Mound.

Calycanthus occidentalis – Grows at the top end of the Old Nursery. This Californian species bears large red-brown flowers throughout the summer.

SUMMER FLOWERING SHRUBS in the Heather Garden include varieties of Erica vagans, the Cornish Heath, such as 'Mrs. Maxwell' – dark pink; 'Rosea' – light pink; and 'Cornish Cream' – cream. Several varieties of Calluna vulgaris have coloured foliage, such as 'Gold Haze' – white flower and gold leaf; and 'Robert Chapman' – purple flower with bronze foliage. Daboecia cantabrica has white or purple waxy bells.

ALONG THE STREAMS many native marginal plants are in flower, such as Purple and Yellow Loosestrife, Meadowsweet, Greater Willowherb and Hemp Agrimony. These wild flowers, along with the heathers, attract many butterflies. Elsewhere, streamside clumps of Hemerocallis, the Day Lily, produce a succession of tall yellow or orange trumpet-shaped flowers throughout July and August; each flower lasting only a day.

THOMSON'S POND and the BOG GARDEN have fine stands of Pontederia cordata, the Pickerel Weed, with spikes of blue flowers amongst erect spear-shaped leaves.

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 Aug/Sep

You are invited to join the gardeners for guided walks throughout the year.

Walks will take place on:

August: Sunday 20th
Friday 25th

September: Friday 1st and 29th
Sunday 17th

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.