Monthly bulletin January 2022

Friends’ trustee Janet Bostock receives conservation award

We are thrilled to announce that Friends’ trustee Janet Bostock has been awarded the Jeanette Lawton Bowl for an outstanding contribution to wildlife conservation in the Royal Parks by the Royal Parks Guild. This is ‘in recognition of her outstanding contribution, as a volunteer, to wildlife conservation in Richmond Park, including her leadership of the Friends of Richmond Park Conservation Volunteer Group.’ In the photo featured left Janet is being presented with her award by Mike Fitt, Chairman of the Royal Parks Guild, and Simon Richards, Park Manager of Richmond Park.

Christmas cards, calendars and Royal Oak prints

Sales of our Christmas cards were much higher than we expected and we ran out of stock of all but one of the six cards in early to mid December, both at the Visitor Centre and our online shop. We know that many people were disappointed that they were not able to get their chosen cards and we apologise to them. We’ll be ordering more next year!

The Friends 2022 calendar is still available both online and at the Visitor Centre as are the Walks with Remarkable Tree set 2 and the small Royal Oak prints. We’ll be closing the online shop on 15 January, so please get your online orders in soon.


Photo © Nigel Jackman

Hanging baskets

At the top end of Upper Pen Pond you may see that a number of large wicker baskets have been installed in a tree by Tony Duckett, the Richmond Park Wildlife Officer. Major works to the island are planned for this year, thus temporarily displacing the Grey Herons which nest there; hence the baskets are intended to tempt the herons colony to use them for nesting this season. They have been introduced successfully at Regent’s Park, so we are hopeful that they will be a success here too.

Help produce our beautiful calendar

Our Richmond Park calendar has once again sold in record numbers and now raises over £10,000 each year for conservation projects in the Park. Would you like to be part of producing our calendar, including by processing the photos received?

Do you have a desktop or laptop (Windows or Mac)? Do you have 3 hours a week from early March to early May? Are you methodical and familiar with entering data into spreadsheets? Are you happy to meet on Zoom?

If your answers are all ‘Yes’, please email Vivienne at


We will be holding a birdwatching event for Discoverers at the end of January, to coincide with the RSPB Big Birdwatch. Excellent birdwatchers will be available to help us spot woodland and water birds which are around at this time of year. Keep an eye on the website for details.

Signage trials in Richmond Park

Members may have seen some new signs in Richmond Park in the last few weeks. These are part of a trial by The Royal Parks to establish which types of signs would be most effective in changing the behaviour of visitors. The temporary trial signs are in different locations (Roehampton Gate, Sheen Gate, Pen Ponds, Pembroke Lodge) and at each location there are three signs – each in a different tone of voice. Volunteers from the Friends have been helping The Royal Parks by carrying out a survey. If you would like to give feedback on the signs, then each sign has a QR code that enables feedback or email the Friends at The more feedback the better the final signs will be!

Photo © MPSRoyal_Parks

Road Traffic Collision

Last week, the Royal Parks police reported an incident of a cyclist going through the back window of a car when it slowed to let some geese across the road. The cyclist was taken to hospital but fortunately was not seriously hurt.

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:

  • 5th February 2022; walk is from Roehampton Gate car Park at 10.00am. Note: motor vehicle access only via Roehampton Gate.
  • 5th March 2022; walk is from Kingston Gate Car Park at 10.00am. Note: motor vehicle access only via Kingston, Ham or Richmond Gates.

See the full programme of details here.


Richmond Park Diary – January 2022

Photo © TRP

Greenwich Park’s herd of fallow and red deer relocate to Richmond Park

The Greenwich Park team has worked closely with a specialist deer vet from the British Deer Society, who is highly experienced in deer relocation, to move their herds of fallow and red deer to Richmond Park. This will ensure they are not disturbed while works to improve the deer’s habitat and create community facilities take place in Greenwich Park.

The deer will remain in Richmond Park in the future. This will diversify the herd’s bloodline and avoid the need for the deer to undertake a return journey. In two years’ time, a new herd will be introduced to Greenwich Park.

Isabella Plantation in January

© TRP Erica x darleyensis

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

Trees and shrubs with coloured and textured bark
The pollarded willows on the banks of Peg’s Pond, are forms of Salix alba, with amber and red stems. Yellow-stemmed dogwood, Cornus sericea Var. ‘Flaviramea’, grows nearby under the weeping willow, and in the Bog Garden. Red-stemmed dogwood, Cornus alba ‘Siberica’, is set back behind the heathers, Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ has orange and red stems which show throughout the winter months and can also be found in the Bog Garden. The “River Birch”, Betula nigra, has papery shredding buff coloured bark. One grows on the north side of the Main Stream, above the Heather Garden there are also three younger specimens in the newly planted area between the Bog Garden and the Main Stream. The “Tibetan Cherry”, Prunus serrula, has gleaming mahogany-red bark beginning to peel into curly shreds. One is set back on the lawn to the north east of Thomson’s Pond. Other good specimens may also be found in Wilson’s Glade. Acer hersii, at the north end of the Acer Glade path, is one of the many ‘snake bark’ Acers in the garden.

Heather Garden
Erica x darleyensis comes into flower in its pink and white forms. Tawny seed heads of Erica vagans remain decorative all winter. The tall “Portugal Heath”, Erica lusitanica, bears slightly fragrant tubular white flowers opening from pink buds throughout winter. Clumps may be found towards the top of the Heather Garden, near the junction of Thomson’s Stream and the Main Stream. The “Sacred Bamboo’, Nandina domestica, planted behind the heather in several places, is truly a plant for all seasons. Decorative evergreen leaves are tinged purple in spring and autumn, panicles of white flowers open in the summer to provide orange red berries throughout winter.

Flowering shrubs
Hamamelis mollis, the “Witch Hazel”, has fragrant yellow tassel flowers. Two large shrubs stand by the gate to Broomfield Hill. Another hybrid variety, called ‘Jelena’, has ginger coloured flowers and grows in the woodland ride to the west of the garden. Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’ grows close to the Top gate and also set back in the glade behindHamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’. It produces semi-double, white flowers intermittently throughout the winter months. Lonicera X purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’, is a shrubby honeysuckle which bears tiny white fragrant flowers throughout winter. A group of these shrubs grows by the Acer Glade path. Rhododendron dauricum ‘Midwinter’, also beside the Acer Glade path, has small rose-purple flowers.

The Isabella Plantation Team wishes you a Happy New Year.