Photo: Rising swan by Paula Redmond

 

Diary Dates

  • 07 Aug Mission: Invertebrate – Isabella Plantation
  • 08 Aug Mission: Invertebrate and Discoverers – bats and storytelling – Roehampton Gate
  • 08 Aug New honey delivery at Visitor Centre
  • 11 Aug ‘Richmond Bark’, Pat Ealey book signing at Visitor Centre
  • 11 Aug Isabella Garden guided walk
  • 27 Aug ‘Richmond Bark’, Pat Ealey book signing at Visitor Centre

 

Heathrow flights campaign film – more volunteers needed
A big thank you to those who already volunteered to appear in our short film campaigning against the proposed new flight paths over Richmond Park.
We’ve completed some filming but would like to specifically film, and very briefly interview, people from African-Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Indian Subcontinent ethnic groups across all ages but particularly family groups if possible. We want to reflect the diverse range of people who now visit the Park.
If you would like to volunteer, or have a friend or relative who’d be happy to, please contact us at [email protected].   

 

Signs remind visitors to steer clear of deer
More small signs have been installed in popular areas of the Park to remind visitors not to approach deer. Like many people we don’t want a proliferation of signs in the Park, but deer harassment is becoming an epidemic and more signs are needed to help control it. The signs say:
“For safety and to prevent prosecution:

  • Keep 50 metres from deer
  • Do not feed
  • Keep control of children & dogs”

See the sign here

 

Visitor Centre News

  • Diane Peake has taken over from William Arnold as the new Centre Manager. We wish her well!
  • Pat Ealey, author of ‘Richmond Bark’, the popular Richmond Park themed children’s book, will be at the Visitor Centre for book signing and readings on the following dates from 2.30pm
    • Sunday 11th August
    • Tuesday 27th August
  • A new batch of postcards has arrived, with stunning photos
  • New Friends’ greeting cards on sale at £2.00 each – great value.
  • Friends’ 2020 Calendar will be in stock in early September.
  • The next honey delivery is 8th August and includes small and large jars of set and runny honey plus the new Chunk Honey at £9.00 a pot (The last batch sold out in 10 days in July).
  • RSPB Guide to Birdsong – a great gift for yourself or someone else.
    • With this ground breaking and easy-to-use RSPB guide, Adrian Thomas helps you learn and identify bird sounds step by step and at your own pace. Whether you are an experienced birdwatcher or just enjoy hearing the birds in your garden, this new guide will open your ears like never before to the amazing songs and calls around you.
    • Together the book and CD combine to create an RSPB-endorsed sound guide to more than 100 songs and calls

  

Ticks and Lyme disease
There has been much media coverage of an increase in reported cases of Lyme disease (caused by ticks), including a piece on the BBC Today programme that specifically mentioned Richmond Park. There is no evidence of an increase in the Park. Surveys have shown that the proportion of ticks in the park that are infected is very low. However, the consequences of getting Lyme disease are severe, so it’s well worth taking precautions. For more see the piece in the Richmond Park Diary below, which is issued by TRP and is on all noticeboards in the Park.

Photo finalist
Our header photo of the rising swan, by Paula Redmond, is one of the finalists in the National Park City Wildlife Competition 2019. The photo, taken at 5.00am in Richmond Park, features the last of the April 2018 cygnets. The London Wildlife Trust suggested that Paula entered this photo and she was pleased it reached the final as it’s a bird she is especially fond of and has watched growing to maturity. 

Discoverers’ News (Events for families)
Discoverers are joining the Holly Lodge Centre at their drop in day in Roehampton Gate Gardens on Thursday, 8th August, 11am – 2pm – along with the Mission Invertebrate team and storytellers etc. They will be focussing on BATS (the theme of the next Discoverers event in September). All are welcome!

Abandoned Pets
A recent Daily Mail article covered the problems and dangers caused by unwanted exotic pets that have been released in Richmond Park over the years. Read the article. A member of the Park’s Bird Group reports that, in the past, several very ‘alien’ birds, probably also released by pet owners, have also been spotted in the park, including American Bald Eagle, African Vulture, American Harris Hawks, antipodean Goshawk and various parrots and canaries.

Senior Swan
Both The Swan Sanctuary and the Wildlife Officers of Richmond Park are receiving frequent calls, from concerned members of the public, about the breeding cob (male swan) on Upper Pen Pond.  People are particularly concerned about his difficulty in walking but he is a very elderly swan.  You may not see many other swans staggering about like this – that’s because very few reach the grand old age of 16.  If they do it is quite usual for them to be arthritic.

He would not be happy being taken to a retirement home – aka The Swan Sanctuary!  He has his family in Richmond Park and he is content.  When his cygnets are bigger he spends less time on land as their necks are longer to pick up vegetation from the bottom of the pond.  Please discourage him from sitting on the causeway by not feeding him there.  Let him know that he’s only going to get food when he gets back in the water. Please rest assured he is being closely monitored. (Ann Aitken-Davies, Rescue and Volunteer for The Swan Sanctuary).

Events Calendar

Next 3 months

WALKS

All are welcome to join our walks. Start at 10.00am from the designated car park.

  • 07 Sep    Roehampton Gate car Park
  • 05 Oct    Sheen Gate Car Park (Deer + Walk the Wall)

TALKS & WALKS – Friends’ members only. (New members – join here)

Start at Pembroke Lodge at 10.15am, unless otherwise stated. No need to book – just turn up. Coffee/tea provided. The talks are usually 45-60 minutes, followed by an optional 90 minute walk, unless otherwise indicated.

  • Aug No talks
  • 21 Sept Tour of Beverley Brook restoration and re-wilding project led by Toby Hull of South-East Rivers Trust, project manager of the work. Meet at Roehampton Gate café.
  • 12 OctDeer – an “all new” talk (Peter Burrows Smith)

 

Richmond Park Diary – August 2019

Park road closures
The Park will be closed to traffic all day on Sunday 8th September for the Descente London Duathlon / RUN10 event.  

Mission: Invertebrate
It’s coming to Richmond Park with free activities designed to get you and your children up close, hands on and engaged with the wonderful world of invertebrates as we discover their habitats, the vital jobs they do, and what we can all do to help invertebrates thrive. With critter crafts, bug hunting, and invertebrate missions galore, as well as interactive storytelling from one of our professional storytellers, there’s fun activities for everyone to enjoy on: –

  • Wednesday 7th August from 11am to 2pm at the Isabella Plantation.
  • Thursday 8th August from 11am – 2 pm at Roehampton Gate Garden.

No booking is required, and all the activities are free so come along and join in the fun! Full details here 

Green Flag Award
Last month Richmond Park was awarded a Green Flag Award for the twelfth year running. The Award is given in recognition of achieving the international standard for parks and green spaces. Richmond Park received some of the highest possible scores, being placed at the top banding for most categories, which reflects positively on all the excellent work that is carried out by The Royal Parks staff, contractors, concessionaires and volunteers. 

Deer fraying
The male deer, which are the fallow bucks and the older red 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 wooden fences. 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. 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.

An increase in Lyme disease
An increase in Lyme disease was reported by some media channels recently.  Whilst the number of cases reported nationally have gone up, the proportion of infected ticks in Richmond Park remains very low and comparable with elsewhere in the country.  Sensible precautions should be followed to reduce the chances of ticks attaching themselves to you when visiting the park.  Check for ticks as soon as possible and remove them immediately, seeking medical assistance if you suffer any symptoms.  More information.

Isabella Plantation in August

Flowering shrubs worth seeking out include:

  • 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 wildflowers, 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.

Thompson’s Pond and the Bog Garsen, 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 2019

You are invited to join the gardeners for guided walks

throughout the year.

Walks will take place on: 

August
Sunday 11th
Friday 30th

September
Friday 6th & 27th
Sunday 15th 

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.