Dogs on leads compulsory during the deer birthing season

The Royal Parks is reminding visitors that ‘dogs on leads’ will again be mandatory in Richmond Park from 1 May until 31 July, to protect both dogs and deer during the deer birthing season.

Richmond Park Manager, Paul Richards, says: “Although deer are instinctively frightened of dogs, they will overcome this fear if they believe their young are at risk. This means female deer may chase and attack, even if the dog is at a distance, on a lead and not acting provocatively. This can be extremely frightening to witness, especially for the dog owner.”

The Royal Parks also urges all visitors to give female deer respect, privacy and space, and not to go in search of young deer.

Paul Richards adds: “This is the fourth year we’ve had ‘dogs on leads’ during the deer birthing season and it’s been an important step for deer welfare during this vulnerable time.”

TRP Advice to dog walkers:

  • It is compulsory to keep your dog on a lead at all times, and in all areas of the park, from 1 May until 31 July.
  • Avoid the areas shaded in orange on the map. These are typically areas of long grass and bracken where newborn deer could be concealed.
  • If a deer charges, let the dog off the lead so it can run away and doesn’t get hurt.
  • Consider walking your dog elsewhere.

TRP Advice to all park visitors:

  • Give deer plenty of space. Always keep at least 50 metres away.
  • Avoid deer nursery areas where possible. Give female deer privacy and respect.
  • Never touch or handle a new-born deer under any circumstances, even if it’s on its own. It is not abandoned and its mother will be grazing nearby.

 New Priority Road Signs near Roehampton Gate

The Royal Parks has installed two new priority road systems near Roehampton Gate. This one is designed to help pedestrians going to/from Crown Field who have previously had to walk in the road to cross Beverley Brook. The other one manages traffic at the pedestrian heavy area near the cafe.

Ring ouzels

(c) Nigel Jackman

Of the six members of the thrush family (Turdidae) that either breed in the UK or over-winter here, the least common and a rarity in Richmond Park is the ring ouzel. Slightly smaller and slimmer than a blackbird, male ring ouzels are particularly distinctive with their black plumage, a paler wing panel and striking white gorget (breast band). They over-winter in the Mediterranean basin before migrating here to the uplands where they breed mainly in steep-sided valleys, crags and gullies.  Not Richmond Park terrain at all, but we are sometimes lucky enough to see one or two stopping off to refuel on their inward or outward journey. This April two males spent five days in the paddocks at Holly Lodge before departing north.

Pete Lawrence, Assistant Park Manager

Congratulations to Pete Lawrence who has been appointed an Assistant Park Manager at Richmond Park. Pete knows Richmond Park well through his previous role as Biodiversity Manager for The Royal Parks. Pete joins Paul Richards, the Park Manager, and Jo Scrivener, the Assistant Park Manager who focuses on the gardens of Isabella and Pembroke Lodge. Pete will be focused on the wider estate.

New tree crates trial

The Royal Parks is trialling a new design of tree ‘crate’. Tree crates protect young trees from deer eating the leaves and remain in place for up to 10-20 years until the trees become established. The new design has the upper part of the crate bowing outwards so that it is more difficult for deer to reach the leaves.

Teenager jailed for violent robberies

A teenager who carried out a series of violent bike robberies in or near Richmond Park in October 2021 has been convicted. He admitted two counts of moped-enabled robbery, one count of attempted robbery and possession of criminal property. He was sentenced to 12 months (six months’ imprisonment and six months on licence) on 18 April.

Further information here:

Teen jailed for violent robberies in Richmond | Metropolitan Police