Extensive works in the Park

Photo: Work underway on a new raised crossing near Sheen Cross

There is extensive work underway in Richmond Park with contractors on site in several locations.

New raised crossings are being built at various locations. These are intended to make the park safer and more accessible for pedestrians. The Friends supports pedestrian priority in the Park, so we welcome this intention and will be monitoring the impact of these crossings.

Further work is expected shortly to replace the temporary plastic cones with wooden fences now that the Movement Strategy trial has been made permanent.

Work underway on the path between Oak Lodge and Pen Ponds

The Royal Parks have been undertaking extensive path works in the Park including the path from Broomfield Hill car park to Isabella plantation and significant work on the path from Oak Lodge to Pen Ponds.

The Friends understands the issues caused by increased visitor numbers over a long period of time, climate change and the desire to restore areas to natural habitat creating the need for works on paths. However, we have expressed our concerns to park management about the extent of these changes and the impact that has on the essential character of the park.

Work on the refurbishment of the toilet block at Kingston Gate has begun; with work on the Ham Gate toilets to start soon. The Friends welcomes the reopening of the WC facilities at Ham Gate, although we are concerned by the potential litter from the new grab’n’go catering facilities.

Protecting Skylark breeding areas

Early March sees the start of the Skylark breeding season and this year, Park management is raising greater awareness. Skylarks are a wonderful and now quite rare and threatened bird species, particularly in London. The Royal Parks and The Friends are asking visitors to please observe three areas in the Park clearly marked with larger, more impactful signs and with more tactically placed fencing.

Friends’ Patron Clare Balding CBE

Walkers in the Skylarks area are asked to:

  • keep to the main paths only
  • keep all dogs on short leads.

These areas will be regularly patrolled by Volunteer Rangers and, occasionally, by the Park police to ensure compliance and help and advise people.

Richmond Park SOS: Save Our Skylarks – YouTube

The Queen’s Green Canopy – Discoverers join the Community Planting Day

On Monday 13th February The Friends’ Discoverers joined the The Royal Parks community planting day at the new plantation at Ham Cross. The Friends’ Discoverers welcomed over 100 children who came along and had fun making a little tree of their own out of clay. Tremendously creative, they were delighted to take their designs home to cherish and remember this special day.

The Queen’s Green Canopy – The Friends’ Conservation volunteers

On the following Saturday, the Friends’ Conservation volunteers continued the planting of hedges around the Queens Green Canopy. The new hedge will provide nesting space and food for insects and birds.  The hedge is planted with native species: euonymus, hawthorn, sloe, rowan and dog rose.

The Friends fund an electric bike for Richmond Park police

Roger Hillyer, Chairman of the Friends of Richmond Park, Sgt Pete Sturgess and Nick Coleman, Friends of Richmond Park representative on the Safer Parks Panel, with the electric bike the Friends have donated to the Park police

The Friends have donated an electric bike to the Richmond Park police. While patrolling the 2,500 acres of Richmond Park, the police carry body armour, handcuffs, baton, Pava Spray, radio, camera, various books and paperwork. So, especially with an area that includes places like Broomfield Hill and Dark Hill, the electric bike is a great help. Compared to a car or the police buggy, it makes the police more approachable and accessible to visitors to the Park.