Photo by Paula Redmond

Diary Dates

  • 08 May    Heritage Centre online auction starts
  • 10 May     Ranger recruitment opens
  • 11 May      Richmond May Fair
  • 11 May      Talk & walk – Richmond Park Flora
  • 19 May      Discoverers event (families)
  • 01 Jun      Walk – Pen Ponds car park
Cygnet and plastic bag
Over Easter the cygnet in our photo was spotted on Pen Pondtrying to eat a green plastic bag which had been blown into the water. Royal Parks’ staff retrieved the bag and prevented a potential catastrophe. The offending bag was from Pets at Home!
Recruitment for more Rangers
Recruitment for more Rangers
The Royal Parks recruitment for the second group of 25 Volunteer Rangers in Bushy and Richmond Parks will open on 10 May. Full details will be on the FRP website and Facebook page, as well as on TRP’s website and social media. So if you’re interested, keep an eye out for it! If you would like to have an alert when the ad appears, please write to
The Hidden Treasure of Richmond Park
The Hidden Treasure of Richmond Park – A film by Camille Munday.
Camille, 27, is a Zoology graduate turned amateur wildlife filmmaker, and this 13 minute film is her very first wildlife documentary.  It may not be not a polished professional production but she is completely self-taught and has made every aspect of it by herself including researching, storyboarding, script-writing, shooting, sound recording, editing and the narration. We think it is definitely worth watching. You can watch it here.
Online auction
Online auction
The auction is in support of Richmond Park Heritage Centre. Starts 8 May. An opportunity to bid for special lots, including some “money cannot buy” items relating to Richmond Park. The Friends support this project to raise funds for the building of a new Heritage Centre. The centre will encourage sustainable visitor use and support conservation projects in the park. The Hearsum Family are sponsoring all auction costs and so every £ raised will be used to construct the centre. The auction begins on 8 May.   Full details here.
Richmond May Fair
Richmond May Fair
The new May Fair is on Saturday 11 May from 10.00 to 17.30 and Sunday 12 May from 11.00 on Richmond Green. The Friends will have a stall there on the Saturday. There are lots of other charity and commercial stalls, music and entertainment and of course food. Entrance is free. Come and join us! Full details here.
Richmond Bark
Richmond Bark, a book by Pat Ealey
Tail wagging fun! The story of Richmond Park seen through the eyes of Gypsy the greyhound (the favourite dog of Charles I) and her best friends Rogue the spaniel and Hop the cat. The book for 8-9 year olds tells of the friends’ adventures through the centuries and is written by Pat Ealey who was until recently the Centre Manager at the Holly Lodge Centre in the Park. It’s on sale at the Visitor Centre, price £8.99.  See more details on our website here

Discoverers family event on 19 May 
Don’t miss the next Discoverers’ event for families on 19 May. Details available very soon. Please check Discoverers webpage.

Riverfly survey at Beverly Brook
A team of FRP volunteers, along with representatives from the South East River Trust, the Hogsmill and the Wandle, carried out their first riverfly survey on the Richmond Park stretch of Beverly Brook. They are one of four groups who will be carrying out monthly surveys along the 14 km of the Beverley Brook. The other 3 groups are at Barnes Common, Wimbledon Common and the Sir Joseph Hood Memorial. All the groups have been trained by ZSL London Zoo in a particular survey method so that the results are reliable. On Friday 12 April they found 105 Olives, 25 Gammarus, 1 cased Caddisfly and, amazingly, a caseless Caddisfly. It was tiny but an excellent find.  A rather splendid Damselfly larva was also spotted.

Developments at Roehampton Gate.
Two buildings going up just outside Roehampton Gate. Both 42 Roehampton Gate and 142 Priory Lane are large houses and the Friends objected to both on the grounds that they would be ‘a dominant and intrusive element in views from the Park’ and that there would be substantial light pollution. In spite of this, Wandsworth gave planning permission in 2016 and 2018 respectively. Recent photos of the construction, and the light pollution from 42 Roehampton Gate when the builders left all the lights on overnight, can be seen in the news feature here.

The two developments add to a list of inconsiderate buildings over the last ten years, for example near Petersham Gate and between Sheen and Roehampton Gates, that benefit the owners from overlooking the Park but adversely affect views out of the Park, add to the urbanisation of the Park’s fringes, and increase light spillage into what ought to remain a relatively dark area.


Events Calendar

Next 3 months

All are welcome to join our walks. Start at 10.00am from the designated car park unless stated otherwise.                    
  • 01 Jun    Pen Ponds Car Park
  • 06 Jul     Robin Hood 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.
  • 11 May    Richmond Park Flora (Mary Clare Sheanan). Talk & Walk.
  • 15 Jun    Pembroke Gardens (Jo Scrivener). Talk & Walk
  • 06 Jul      Butterflies (Nigel Jackman) Talk & Walk.


Richmond Park Diary – (from The Royal Parks)

Weekend pressures.
Pressures increase significantly in the summer months and the Park struggles to cope when visitor numbers are at their very highest.  Sunny weekends bring out the crowds to the UK’s countryside and it’s especially important to consider what you do.  Parks police have been known to issue over 100 parking tickets in a day, the risk of fire is heightened, wildlife can be disturbed, and staff are stretched.  PLEASE help to keep the Park special by remembering to –
  • Use alternative modes of transport – parking spaces will be full.
  • Always guard against fire – BBQs aren’t permitted.
  • Take litter home – the bins fill-up faster than we can empty them.
  • Stay back from the deer – observe the signs
  • Be considerate to other park users

Oak Processionary Moth 
The caterpillars of this invasive Moth are now on the move and towards the end of the month may start to become 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.

There are 600 Red and Fallow deer in the Park. From late May to July, the deer give birth to their young and can often be hidden by their mothers amongst the bracken and long grass. The young are vulnerable to disturbance from humans and dogs so please respect the deer and always keep at least 50 metres away from them and do not touch, feed or photograph the deer at close range. Deer can feel threatened by dogs so please respect the signs and keep your dog on a lead and stay clear of the remote, quiet places where the deer are more likely to have young.

Respect the dogs on leads signs
Several signs have been installed in sensitive areas around the Park, as it’s that time of year again when birds are nesting, which typically runs from February to August each year, and when the deer are starting to give birth. Please respect these signs and ensure dogs are kept on a lead to avoid disturbance to the deer, especially in nursery areas, and to birds in nesting areas such as the ponds and grasslands near White Lodge. Non-compliance could result in prosecution under The Royal Parks Regulations.

Kingston Gate closure
The road works being delivered by Royal Borough of Kingston contractors commenced on Monday 29th April – a little later than reported last month.  The work is scheduled for 3 weeks but will open earlier if the work is completed ahead of schedule. (The pedestrian gate can still be accessed).

Please ‘Tread Lightly’ in Richmond Park National Nature Reserve


May in the Isabella Plantation

Evergreen Azaleas

Easy to identify are:
  • ‘Orange Beauty’, the most orange of all
  • ‘Rosebud’, opening buds resemble tiny roses
  • ‘Palestrina’, white with a faint ray of green
  • ‘Vuyk’s Scarlet’, large flowers of a deep silky red
  • ‘Hinode Giri’, bright crimson, around the Still Pond
Deciduous Azaleas
These flower slightly later and often have a rich spicy smell, particularly Azalea
pontica, (Rhododendron luteum), which is yellow and to be found by the gate to
Broomfield Hill.
The Bog Garden
Look out for Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’, growing in the bed by the middle
pond it bares orange-red flowers and has a reddish tinge to the emerging young
shoots. Alongside the margins of pools and streams grows the “Japanese Primrose”,
Primula japonica ‘Millers Crimson’ with its whorls of crimson flowers which are
borne in profusion on tall stems, from May to July. Also present are the young fronds
of the “Shuttlecock Fern”, Matteuccia struthiopteris which show an attractive fresh
green. Growing either side of the main pool is the “Ornamental Rhubarb”,
Rheum Palmatum a robust herbaceous perennial with broad, architectural
foliage and pink flowers on large erect panicles.
The native tree the “Whitebeam”, Sorbus aria grows near the Broomfield Hill
gate and looks particularly attractive at this time of the year with its silvery-white
young leaves. Skimmia japonica can also be found growing near this gate along
the path that leads onto Camellia Walk and the Still Pond.
The “Foxglove Tree”, Paulownia tomentosa stands in the glade between the
Still Pond and Old Nursery Glade. This large leaved tree bares sprays of fragrant
foxglove-like pinkish-lilac flowers in Spring.
The “Pocket Handkerchief Tree”, Davidia involucrata, set back from the Camellia
Walk, has intriguing white hanging bracts. Another specimen may be found in a
secluded lawn to the southeast of Thomson’s Pond.
The “Snowdrop Tree”, Halesia carolina, with dangling white bell flowers, stands
by the path above Thomson’s Pond.Cornus nuttallii, whose white bracts appear like flowers, can be found set back
in the newly planted Magnolia Glade near the Ham Gate entrance. Also look out for
the pale lemon yellow fragrant flowers of Magnolia wilsonii ‘Yellow Fever’ and the
wonderful deep purple flowers of Magnolia liliiflora ‘Nigra’.
Bluebells carpet the wilder fringes of the Garden. Please keep to the paths to avoid trampling them.


Isabella Plantation Garden Walks 2019

You are invited to join the gardeners for guided walks
throughout the year.
Walks will take place on:
Sunday 12th
Friday 31st
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.