Photo left by Nigel Jackman

A lot of time and effort is spent on controlling the bracken in the Park, and this stag surely deserves recognition for unselfishly taking time off from the rut to make its own contribution last month.

The Friends Adopt-an-Area litter picking scheme

Photographs: Amanda Boardman

The Friends Adopt-an-Area (AaA) litter picking scheme, the largest of our voluntary schemes, now has just over 200 members. A group of volunteers recently met up by the Visitor Centre and targeted the area opposite. The meet-up was both successful and enjoyable. They also brought the litter they had collected individually earlier, notably from around the Sheen, Roehampton, Petersham and Ham Gates. Viewing all the litter together, it made everyone realise the volume of litter left in the Park and how much AaA continues to be needed to help keep the Park clean.

Autumn fungi

Burgundy Bonnet and Trametes gibbosa

Photographs: Janet Bostock

 Autumn’s cooler weather and morning dew sees the arrival of fungi in both meadows and woodlands. They are amazingly diverse in shape and colour and are beautiful. Fungi are also very important for insects who lay their eggs in fungi which provide a good source of food for their larvae.

There are two main groups of fungi that we find in the park:

  • Those that break down dead material and wood, recycling its nutrients into the soil. By doing this they “feed the soil”. These are called Saprophytes. Wood needs to be moist or wet for fungi, lichens, mosses and insects to use it as a habitat. Leaving fallen branches and logs on the ground where they stay damp is very important.
  • The other group attach to plants’ roots. These fungi feed plants with nutrients and water in exchange for sugars. They also help to take carbon, from the sugars, into the soil, sequestering carbon. These are called mycorrhizal fungi.

Enjoy looking for fungi but don’t pick them as they are an important player in our diverse ecosystem.  (And it is forbidden to pick fungi in Richmond Park.)

City Hall debate over flight path options over Richmond Park


On Thursday 2nd November, The London Assembly will be discussing the threat to Richmond Park from Heathrow airport’s plans for new flight paths as part of national plans to modernise airspace on Thursday 2nd November. A motion put forward by Caroline Pidgeon and Hina Bokhari, the two Liberal Democrats on the Assembly, notes:

“concern that Heathrow has chosen to include numerous flight path options that would clearly impact Richmond Park profoundly in its shortlist to be carried forward to Stage 3. This is in contradiction with CAP 1616, as Heathrow had identified Richmond Park as a specific area that should be avoided by low flying aircraft where possible.

The impact that around 60,000 aircraft flying only 1,500-2,000 feet above Richmond Park would have on the area’s tranquillity and biodiversity is substantial due to the expected significant increases of noise and air pollution.”

News of the debate, including some of the analysis by the Friends, has featured in The Standard and on the BBC news website.