Photo: one of the new Friends’ postcards and greeting cards, taken by Bartek Olszewski
- 15 Jun Pembroke Gardens (Jo Scrivener). Talk & Walk
- 30 Jun Bee Awareness Discoverers’ event
- 06 Jul Walk from Robin Hood Gate Car Park
- 06 Jul Butterflies (Nigel Jackman) Talk & Walk
Royal Parks Movement Strategy
TRP has started to develop a new long-term ‘movement’ strategy, setting out how park visitors will move within, access and experience the parks in the future. It will cover all types of movement – walking, cycling, public transport, car driving etc. They have issued a Discussion Paper which sets out seven Principles and are inviting comments on the Principles, any ideas you have for improving movement or indeed any other concerns you have. You can find the Discussion Paper and a questionnaire on the Movement Strategy webpage or you can give your input via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The consultation closes on 14 July and we encourage you to participate in it, whatever your views are on speeding, through traffic, cyclists, car parking, public transport etc. Please feel free to copy us on what you send TRP, as your input may be useful to include in FRP’s response to the Strategy. We will read every email but can’t promise to reply to every one!
We are now in the deer birthing season and park visitors are urged to steer clear of deer during this time, when over 300 red calves and fallow fawns are expected to be born in Richmond and Bushy Parks. Mothers hide their young in long grass or bracken for the first few weeks of their life to protect them and will act very aggressively toward people and especially dogs. Every year, several baby deer are killed by dog attacks, and the mothers will attack and kill dogs. Already there are reports of deer attacking walkers with dogs in Bushy Park. So please be very careful and stay away from deer. Also any human contact – touching, or even just approaching a baby deer may result in it being abandoned by its mother and failing to survive. Read more here
Further Heathrow consultation
Once again a big thank you to all those who submitted responses, whether by email or completing the questionnaire, to the Heathrow flight paths consultation in February/March. On 18 June Heathrow will publish their next consultation, on the Airport Expansion itself, including its masterplan for the airport, how it will be operated (including night flights), its impact on the environment (including noise) and how it will mitigate the impacts. There is a brief description of the consultation here. Once we have absorbed the details (give us 2-3 weeks!), we’ll summarise them for you and let you know what we’d like you to do. The consultation will last roughly 3 months so there will be time for you to give your views.
Visitor Centre News
The Visitor Centre has a new, more spacious look and is starting to offer a wider choice of cards and gifts – including the new Deer Society Colouring Book for Children, which is proving to be very popular.
Just in are new ranges of greetings cards (£2) and post cards (50p each or 3 for £1.20) with beautiful images of the Park and its wildlife. Some post cards include the wording “National Nature Reserve”, which not only shows where they have come from but also helps visitors to understand that this is a very special place. (See main photo above).
All photos have kindly been donated so we can raise funds for the Park.
At the May Fair our visitor centre gifts sold well, raising nearly £500 – the local honey was particularly popular, especially with hay fever sufferers.
The Visitor Centre is in the Pembroke Lodge car park and is now open every day from 10am to 4pm – come and see us
Bickering Green Woodpeckers
A rare sighting, by Nigel Jackman, of two Green Woodpeckers having some sort of stand-off. This conflict behaviour is peculiar to Green Woodpeckers and is rarely
witnessed. See the 30 sec video here.
Discoverers’ Bee Awareness Event
Discoverers are planning a Bee Awareness Event for families, on Sunday 30th June, 10am-12pm. Details here very soon.
Clearing Beverley Brook
Friends’ volunteers donned their waders again to clear rubbish from a stretch of Beverly Brook. See the volunteers and what they found here.
Manhattan Loft Gardens update
You may remember the Friends campaigned in 2017 against the construction of high rise buildings in the city which threatened to destroy the protected view of St Paul’s Cathedral from King Henry’s Mound. The campaign was set up when we became aware that a new building in Stratford, called Manhattan Loft Gardens (MLG), was nearing completion and appeared to be sitting on the shoulder of the cathedral, ruining the historic view. Whilst it was too late to do anything about MLG, the Friends succeeded in persuading Mayor Sadiq Khan to put a stop to any more buildings that would impinge on the view (as well as the 7 other protected views of the cathedral from different viewpoints around the capital).
Some objectors to the Friends’ campaign argued that MLG provided affordable housing for Londoners. We can confirm that affordable housing is not the objective of MLG with rents for flats ranging from £1,800 to £4,000 a month, and some penthouse lofts renting for £7,000 to £9,000 a month. A two-bedroom flat that had already been sold is back on the market for £2.3million. There is also a 145 room luxury hotel on the first 6 floors of the building.
Next 3 months
All are welcome to join our walks. Start at 10.00am from the designated car park unless stated otherwise.
- 06 Jul Robin Hood Gate Car Park
- 03 Aug Kingston Gate Car Park
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.
Usually 45-60 minutes, followed by an optional 90 minute walk, unless otherwise indicated.
- 15 Jun Pembroke Gardens (Jo Scrivener). Talk & Walk
- 06 Jul Butterflies (Nigel Jackman) Talk & Walk.
- Aug No talk
Richmond Park Diary – June 2019 ©The Royal Parks
OAK PROCESSIONARY MOTH: The caterpillars of this invasive moth are now on the move and visible “processing” around the trunk or branches of oak trees. The hairs of the caterpillars carry a toxin, which can be a threat to human and animal health, causing skin rashes, eye irritation and respiratory problems. If you come across the caterpillars or their webbed nests, please do not touch them and keep children and pets away.
BABY DEER: The deer are now giving birth to their young until July. The young are often hidden by their mothers amongst the tall bracken and longer grass and are vulnerable to disturbance from humans and dogs so please respect the following:
- Keep out of the nursery areas, which all have signs in situ.
- Keep at least 50 metres away from the deer and be aware of your surroundings so that you do not come between a mother and her calf.
- Do not touch, feed or photograph the deer at close range.
- Deer can feel threatened by dogs, even over long distances, so please use alternative places, if possible. If you choose to walk in the Park, please keep your dog on a lead or under close control and stay clear of the remote quiet places where deer are more likely to have young.
PARK ROAD CLOSURES: The Park will be closed to traffic on Sunday 4th August for the Ride London event and on Sunday 8th Sept. for the London Duathlon event.
BRACKEN and TICKS: – Bracken covers many open areas and continues to emerge, reaching ‘full frond’ by the end of June. Underground rhizomes interconnect the fronds, in effect, making it one big plant. It gradually creeps into new territory by expanding underground, pushing new growth through the grassland sward. It provides cover for ticks that can attach themselves to deer, dogs or humans and potentially pass on Lyme disease. If you find a tick on you and develop cold like symptoms it is a wise precaution to consult your doctor. Dogs can be prevented from getting ticks by using drops supplied in pet shops or vets. A leaflet is available from Holly Lodge or for advice contact NHS Direct on 111 or see their website. Deer also take cover in the bracken and baby deer need to find a safe haven from dogs.
DRAGONFLIES and DAMSELFLIES: – June is a good time to look out for dragonflies and damselflies in the reedy margins of ponds and streams. These are frequented by the Emperor dragonfly, the Brown Hawker, the Broad-bodied Chaser and the Black-tailed Skimmer, along with the Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Large Red damselflies.
Isabella Plantation in June ©The Royal Parks
RHODODENDRONS: The spectacular flowering of the evergreen azaleas is nearly over and the stage is left to the late rhododendrons and deciduous azaleas, many of which are fragrant.
BOG GARDEN: The huge prickly leaves of the Gunnera manicata conceal its stout flowering spikes, and contrast with delicate fern fronds and the ribbed, glaucous leaves of hostas. Here and elsewhere bordering the streams, you will find Primula japonica, a candelabra type, in its red, white and magenta forms; lilac-purple Primula beesiana and fragrant yellow Primula florindae. Several iris species are also in flower, including Iris pseudoacorus, our native yellow flag. The Day Lilly, Hemerocallis hyperion, with its lemon-yellow flowers also grows in the beds beside the stream. The new island bed looks stunning at this time of year with the fern Dryopteris erythrosora showing coppery pink young fronds and the Swamp Honeysuckle, Rhododendron viscosum, bearing its spicily fragrant, white flowers.
THE BIRTHDAY MOUND: Digitalis purpurea ‘Alba’, the “White foxglove” is naturalised throughout this area which was planted in 2003 to celebrate Isabella’s 50th anniversary. This european native produces spikes of white bell-shaped flowers with a maroon spotted throat from a rosette of rich green leaves.
STREAM SIDE: Along the Main Stream look out for Galax urceolata, a clump forming perennial with large, round, leathery, mid-green leaves which turn bronze in autumn. It has dense spikes of small, white flowers.
WILSON’S GLADE: Look out for Neillia thibetica which grows opposite the Beauty Bush, Kolkwitzia amabilis, with its profusion of small foxglove-like pink flowers. This medium sized shrub has slender terminal racemes of pink, tubular flowers. Cornus kousa chinensis also grows in Wilson’s Glade, its numerous flowers which have conspicuous white bracts poised on slender stalks cover its spreading branches in June.
FLOWERING TREES AND SHRUBS WORTH SEEKING OUT INCLUDE:
- Liriodendron tulipifera, the “Tulip Tree” stands at the Broomfield Hill Top Gate and other locations within the garden. As well as having odd shaped leaves which turn butter yellow in autumn. It has peculiar yellow-green flowers, with internal orange markings, which appear in June and are tulip-shaped.
- Calycanthus floridus, “Carolina Allspice” grows in the ”V between the Streams”, this Californian species produces aromatic red-brown flowers throughout the summer months.
- Stewartia pseudocamellia, grows by the path above the Heather Garden. This deciduous tree bears five petalled white flowers with orange-yellow centres.
- Kalmia latifolia, which can be found where the path to the Still Pond crosses the Main Stream. It is an evergreen shrub, whose intricate pink flowers, when in bud, resemble ‘Iced Gem’ biscuits.
- Styrax japonicus, the “Snowbell Tree”, has a profusion of small white bell-shaped flowers dangling below its slender branches. One of several can be found in the bay to the east of Thompsons Lawn.
- Azaleodendron ‘Govenianum‘ has trusses of funnel shaped lilac-purple flowers which are very fragrant. A group grows by the sandy path leading to the west of the Garden from the behind the iron ‘1831’ sign.
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 Walks in June & July
You are invited to join the gardeners for guided walks
throughout the year.
Walks will take place on:
Friday 7th and 28th
Friday 5th and 26th
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.