Monthly bulletin April 2022

Singing Blackcap © Monique Sarkany

Oil spill in Beverley Brook

Beverley Brook © Amanda Boardman

An oil spillage has flowed through Beverley Brook in Richmond Park. The incident, which was reported on Sunday 27 March, is understood to have originated in Pyl Brook, Morden before flowing into Beverley Brook. The extent of damage is still being assessed. This spillage is sad news for the wildlife who depend on Beverley Brook and visitors who have enjoyed its natural beauty.

Calling for photos for the 2023 Friends’ calendar

Gatekeeper on Helenium © Nigel Jackman

There are only a few more weeks to send in your photos of Richmond Park for the Friends’ 2023 calendar. Please see our website for details of how and where to send them. Closing date 1 May. 

We look forward to seeing your amazing images – a maximum number of 8 photos from each photographer, but not more than 4 from any one season: winter, spring, summer, autumn. The 2022 calendar had record sales and raised over £10,000 for projects in the Park. We are very grateful to all who donated their photos.


Discoverers birdwatching nature walk – Sunday 3rd April 2022

Singing Blackcap © Monique Sarkany

It’s the first Sunday of the month again and it’s time for Discoverers’ new regular monthly event! A lot is going on in Richmond Park as daylight is getting longer, temperatures are rising and migrating birds returning. Come with us on a walk to listen and watch for what is out there. Binoculars will be available to borrow. This is open to Discoverers only at 9.30am, meeting at the Pen Ponds Kiosk.

Please drop us an email if you are thinking of joining us

Discoverers event – Homes in the Park, 14th April

It is Spring and animals are waking up, returning, and making full use of the Park to build homes to rear their families. Come and find out who is out there and what they do, see it for yourself with our treasure of artefacts and make your own nest and fill it with a little treat. We will also have a bingo card ready for you to go on a Homes in the Park related search. You just never know what you might see!

This is a free event, open to all. Come and find us next to the kiosk at Broomfield Hill on Thursday 14th April, visit any time between 10 am and 12 noon.

Richmond Park’s birds: marvellous migrants and remarkable residents

Produced and narrated by Richard Gray for The Friends of Richmond Park.

It’s the time of year when migrating birds arrive in the UK. In this short film, see and hear some of the most celebrated migrant and resident birds of Richmond Park.

Traffic trial announcement delayed until May

The Royal Parks has decided to delay any announcement on whether it will make the traffic trial permanent until after the local elections which are on 5 May.  A year ago the responses to consultation showed that there was support from park visitors to limit cut-through traffic and create car-free spaces. The trial was extended for a year so that additional data could be obtained and monitored.

Let’s Discover with Olly the Little Owl!

Front cover Tawny Owl © Paula Redmond

The Friends of Richmond Park have written a new booklet for children entitled ‘Let’s Discover’ that was launched last autumn. Written with young advisors aged 7-11, our booklet enables children to identify the four trees that account for 70% of all the trees in the Park.

But identifying trees is just the beginning – children want to know more than that. The 16 pages allow them to develop their keen sense of observation. They can discover what lives in and around the trees; work out how old and how tall a tree is and how far its roots reach out; look at the trees’ bark structure and colour; and learn about the existence of fungi, mosses and lichens. Their exploration is made all the more fun thanks to the colourful illustrations and Olly the little owl who is hiding on every page. Only from the Visitor Centre – just £1.50.

Visitor Centre – April 2022

Hind © Nicola Usher / One of a new range of postcards available now at the Visitor Centre.

In stock this month

  • All jars of Richmond Park honey are now back in stock – small jars clear or set £7.50, large jars clear or set £12.00. Chunk honey with honeycomb £9.50 and pollen enriched £10.50.
  • Walks with Remarkable Trees Set 1 reprint and Set 2, £5.00 each.
  • A new range of Friends’ postcards now in stock.
  • New Richmond Park mugs in two designs, £6.00 each.

Summertime opening hours

From 1st April 2022 the Visitor Centre opening times will be extended for the summer to Monday – Sunday 10am – 4pm, subject to volunteer availability.

Guided Walks
Our free guided walks do not need to be booked ahead. Walks begin at 10am and finish around midday at the same car park or gate. Please keep dogs under control. The next walks are:

  • 7th May 2022: walk is from Broomfield Hill Car Park (Isabella) at 10.00am. Note: motor vehicle access only via Kingston, Ham or Richmond Gates.
  • 4th June 2022: walk is from Pen Ponds Car Park at 10.00am. Note: motor vehicle access only via Roehampton Gate. 

See the full programme of details here.

Richmond Park Diary – April 2022

Restoration work in Richmond Park continues

Path restoration – Sawyers Hill to Pen Ponds © Roger Hillyer

Visitors to Richmond Park will have seen the extensive restoration works underway throughout the Park.  These Covid recovery project works have comprised habitat restoration and footpath restoration. The works are designed to improve the management of water flow and restore damaged paths, which suffered during the increased footfall of Covid, to enable the wider areas either side of footpaths to be recovered for habitats. Recent work has included diverting two paths to protect veteran trees (the Pen Ponds path and the Tamsin Trail near Ham Cross), the Pembroke slopes, the Sawyers Hill to Pen Ponds path and the Tamsin Trail from Ham Cross to Ham Gate.

Upper Pen Pond island

Gravel being added ready for transportation at Upper Pen Pond © Roger Hillyer

Significant work is underway at Upper Pen Pond island. The project is to reinstate the island which involves adding gravel using a pontoon. This will make the island about three times larger and the expectation is that we should soon see birds nesting on the new island.

Free minibus restarting

The Free Minibus Service RP1 in Richmond Park will recommence on Wednesday 20 April2022 and run every Wednesday until Wednesday 26 October 2022.

Isabella Plantation in April

Magnolia stellata © TRP

Each month Jo Scrivener, Assistant Park Manager for Richmond Park, shares with us his plant dairy for Isabella Plantation.


Along the Bluebell Walk, opposite the Acer Glade, look out for the bright purple flowers of the deciduous R. reticulatum. This month the Japanese azaleas start into flower. They are usually at their best during the last week of April and the first week of May.

R.racemosum grows down the path from the Still Pond, it is a medium sized shrub that bears pale to bright pink flowers.

Rhododendron ‘Quaker Girl’ grows in the glade set back from the path at the top of Thomson’s Stream and bears trusses of stunning white flowers with a deep crimson throat.

Look out for Rhododendron ‘Bibiani’ growing in a number of areas in the garden, this shrub produces compact trusses of rich crimson funnel shaped flowers with maroon spots.

Early evergreen azaleas are beginning to flower throughout the garden look out for ‘Kirin’ a pale pink “hose in hose” (flower within an flower) and ‘Sylvester’ which has small deep pink flowers.

In a glade set back from the Main Stream and other locations around the Garden are the blue flowering Rhododendrons from the Triflorum series these are Rhododendron augustinii and the R,chasmanthum hybrid Rhododendron ‘Electra’.


Throughout the gardens pink and white forms of Magnolia soulangiana come into flower.

Along the Bluebell Walk are two small pink hybrids of M. stellata, called M. X loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’. A larger one is set back by the Scots Pine to the far side of the Acer Glade.

Magnolia ‘Heaven Scent’ one of the Gresham Hybrids grows in a ride off the Main Stream and has goblet shaped flowers, pink on the outside and white inside. Its flowers have a strong lavender scent.


In the Wet Lawn area near the top gate, the golden yellow flowers of Narcissus bulbocodium subsp. bulbocodium with conical cups and pointed petals have now appeared and succeed the delicate flowers of Narcissus cyclamineus, which are also naturalised in this area.

The Bog Garden

Look out for the clusters of white or pale pink flowers borne on white-haired stems which are those of the “Umbrella Plant”, Darmera peltata which flowers before it produces foliage.