Picture left: Still Pond, Isabella Plantation April 2024

Photograph: Amanda Boardman

Wildlife Survey update

Friends volunteers with Chris Carbone (far right) of ZSL Zoological Society of London

We were delighted by the response to our requests for volunteers to help with our Wildlife Survey in Richmond Park. More than 70 volunteers set out 150 camera traps in the Park. All of them have now been collected.

Dogs on lead for the deer birthing season

A reminder that dogs should be kept on leads during the deer birthing season (1 May to 31 July) in Richmond Park. This is a mandatory rule and applies to all areas of the park.

Paul Richards, Park Manager, 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.”

To increase public awareness during deer birthing season, Volunteer Rangers will host an additional pop-up information point on the Causeway between Pen Ponds on Sunday, 5 May, from 1pm onwards. Additionally, Volunteer Rangers will be available daily from 9am to 7pm throughout the week to offer information and support to visitors.

The Richmond Park Shire Horses

Photograph: Roger Hillyer 

The shire horses at work is a much loved sight in Richmond Park. The photograph above shows them in action last week near Sheen Cross.

Richmond May Fair – Saturday 11th May 2024

The Friends will have a stall at Richmond May Fair at Richmond Green on 11th May. Our stall will have information about Richmond Park, the Friends and our work, items for sale from the Visitor Centre and a Discoverers activity table.

Changes of bird species breeding in the park

Common tern. Photograph: Nigel Jackman

Sixty five species of birds have bred in the park over the past decade, but as the bird breeding season progresses it is sad to reflect that so many species that nested here just fifty years ago no longer do so.

They include common partridge, pheasant, woodcock, probably cuckoo, barn owl, house martin, spotted flycatcher, meadow pipit, bullfinch, yellowhammer, common redstart, tree sparrow, house sparrow and starling.

However, other species are now breeding here. They include mandarin duck, Canada, Egyptian and greylag goose, water rail, black-headed gull, common tern, grey wagtail, sand martin, sparrowhawk, buzzard and regrettably, ring-necked parakeet. The lesser spotted woodpecker is just holding on in the park, but has not bred for several years.

The losses outweigh the gains, and other breeding losses might occur in years to come. The future is uncertain, but tomorrow’s new breeders might include Cetti’s warbler, firecrest, and even little egret, raven and red kite.