Protecting Skylark breeding areas
The Royal Parks is warning that the impact of visitors, and especially dogs off leads, in sensitive breeding areas could lead to the iconic skylark being lost from Richmond Park. Skylarks are ‘red listed’ by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds meaning they are under great threat and need our help. As Skylarks are ground-nesting their eggs and chicks are particularly vulnerable to disturbance.
Three ‘Skylark nesting zones’ have been identified. These feature bold signs instructing visitors to keep to main paths only and keep all dogs on short leads in these areas. Volunteer rangers will be patrolling the zones to help advise and the Park police will also visit the zones.
Monday 3 April Family Arts and Crafts Day at Pembroke Lodge
Join The Friends Discoverers and The Hearsum Collection on a Family Arts & Crafts Day.
Richmond Park Nature Day – Thursday 6 April 11am – 2pm
Join The Friends Discoverers, The Holly Lodge Centre and The Royal Parks at The Richmond Park Nature Day.
Free minibus service in Richmond Park
The Summer Minibus Service in Richmond Park starts again this week and will operate from 5 April until 29 November 2023. The minibus is free and fully accessible with a ramp and steps to aid access. This year it has been extended to three days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and to include a new stop at Mortlake Station (969 bus stop outside the community centre). A revised route in the Park means that this year, on a trial basis, it will use the Quiet Way for the first time. Full details here.
The minibus provides a welcome means of transport in the Park, particularly for those who are less mobile, so the extension in days and to near Mortlake Station are welcomed but it is regrettable that the route will now use a path in the middle of the park which was previously a shared space reserved for pedestrians and cyclists. We will monitor the impact of this move into this previously vehicle-free area.
Ospreys, fish-eating raptors a little larger than buzzards, were driven to extinction in the UK a little more than a century ago. Now, however, more than two hundred pairs breed in Scotland, Wales, Central England and Dorset after over-wintering in West Africa. They have not been seen stopping to feed at Pen Ponds, but amazingly our eagle-eyed birdwatchers sometimes spot one in the few minutes that it takes to fly over the Park. There was one such sighting just north of Holly Lodge on the 26th March. Another was seen flying over Thatched House Lodge a few days later.