Photo: Osprey by Loki Odinsson
- 11 Sep Roadworks start – see RP Diary below
- 13 Sep Deadline for responses to Heathrow consultation. See below
- 21 Sep Discoverers Autumn Bat Watch
- 21 Sep Talk & Walk – tour of the Beverley Brook Project (Toby Hull)
- 05 Oct Walk – meet at Sheen Gate Car Park (Deer + Walk the Wall)
- 06 Oct Palace to palace cycle ride
Beverley Brook tour.
A reminder that the ‘talk and walk’ this month will be a tour of the restored and ‘re-wilded’ Beverley Brook by Toby Hull of South-East Rivers Trust, who was project manager of the restoration. He’ll take us along the brook and show us the changes to its flora and fauna since the restoration. Meet at 10.15 on Saturday 21 September at the front of the Roehampton Gate café (not at Pembroke Lodge). It will be outdoors and over rough ground so be suitably prepared!
New Friends Treasurer needed.
David McLaughlin is stepping down as voluntary Honorary Treasurer of The Friends, after nine years in the role, and we are looking for his replacement. The role requires the skills of a qualified accountant, competent in both Excel and Word, and able to devote between 15 and 20 hours per month. The duties and responsibilities include: managing the general ledger; processing of payments by online banking; preparation of monthly management accounts and annual budget and year-end financial statements; Gift Aid claims; and general financial support to trustees and volunteers.
The Treasurer is also involved in some important Friends’ activities, such as funding of conservation projects and the Visitor Centre. It is an exciting and rewarding role, working closely with the Chairman and other trustees on a wide range of issues and projects. The successful candidate will become a Trustee at the next Friends AGM.
If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, providing some information on your background and interest in the role (3-4 sentences is sufficient). We will send you a more detailed description of the role and arrange a first discussion.
Help with Friends campaigns and major projects. The Friends are looking for 3-4 volunteers to join our campaigns team and our large projects, led by Nick Coleman and Richard Gray. Heathrow is the main campaign at present but there are others (such as Tread Lightly). We also have an exciting education and conservation-related project starting this autumn. We’d particularly like help with various admin tasks, analysis of public documents, communications (to members and externally) and organising events; computer skills such as excel would also be very helpful. The time commitment can be varied to suit the person. It’s a chance to be involved in an area where you can make a real difference to protecting the Park. If you are interested contact email@example.com.
Calendar and Christmas cards
The Visitor Centre has a variety of new items on sale:
- Richmond Park 2020 calendar – just arrived!
The Friends’ 2020 calendar is more than just a calendar! It has 50 beautiful photos, showing the wonderful diversity of wildlife throughout the year in this National Nature Reserve. Sales raise funds for projects in the Park. Price same as last year – £8 each.
- Friends of Richmond Park charity Christmas cards at £4 for 6 cards each with different stunning winter images of Richmond Park.
- Christmas tea towel which makes a great gift especially for those wanting to send a gift in the post.
- Flutterby butterflies which fly when wound up, little wooden nut bugs and 3D butterfly stickers.
The Royal Parks will start repair and resurfacing work on the park roads on Wednesday 11 September between Robin Hood Gate roundabout and Pen Ponds car park (which will be closed), with later work between Roehampton Gate and Robin Hood Gate, between Sheen Cross and Holly Lodge and at Richmond Gate. Advance signage will have further detail once the dates and scope of work is confirmed.
Remember to check our Discoverers web pages for details of families events – next event Autumn Bat Watch on Saturday 21 September at 6.45pm.
Osprey sighting: One early morning last week, an Osprey was spotted in the Park flying north to south over Upper Pen Ponds. Ospreys are summer visitors to Britain and have to pass over the south of the country at this time of year on their passage back to their winter quarters in Africa, but it is rare for one to be seen so close. A large escort of parakeets was mobbing it, as birds of prey usually are, just to make sure it didn’t stick around.
Foraging: Autumn is almost upon us and articles are appearing in the media about the attractions of foraging, including a large piece on the BBC News site entitled “Can you survive on foraged food?”. Foraging is banned in all the Royal Parks, and for good reason. Mushrooms, acorns and sweet chestnuts are a vital food source for deer and other animals and a habitat for many invertebrates. Fungi play a critical role in recycling nutrients to trees and other plants. The Parks police issue 25 – 30 warnings a year to foragers and regularly prosecute ‘commercial’ foragers who collect mushrooms for sale to restaurants. Please help the Park and its wildlife and don’t forage. You can see more on The Royal Parks website.
Next 3 months
All are welcome to join our walks. Start at 10.00am from the designated car park.
- 05 Oct Sheen Gate Car Park (Deer + Walk the Wall)
- 02 Nov Pembroke Lodge Car Park (Fungi)
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. The talks are usually 45-60 minutes, followed by an optional 90 minute walk, unless otherwise indicated.
- 21 Sept Tour of Beverley Brook restoration and re-wilding project led by Toby Hull of South-East Rivers Trust, project manager of the work. Meet at Roehampton Gate café.
- 12 Oct Deer – an “all new” talk (Peter Burrows Smith)
- 16 Nov Fungi (Janet Bostock)
Richmond Park Diary – September 2019
©TRP / PAC.
In September contractors are installing bases and signage for a donation box in each of the 7 main car parks. The donation boxes themselves are due to be installed by early October. We are using pay and display machines, but the signage makes it very clear that payments are voluntary and not compulsory. The P&D machines can take cash or card donations. They use solar power and mobile phone technology, so rely on sunlight and signal or power even in the more remote and tree covered locations.
Park roads closed Sunday 8th September for London Duathlon
The event attracts about 3000 participants who run, cycle and then run again on the park roads over a variety of distances. The event starts and finishes near Roehampton Gate and this area will be busier than usual. Whilst the park gates, roads and car parks are closed to vehicles, the park is still open for walkers and generally quieter than most weekends.
Deer rut – advice for walkers
The stags and bucks now sport fully-grown antlers. They may be seen thrashing them about in the vegetation to build up their neck muscles, as towards the end of the month they will start establishing territories for the rut. The deer also indulge in dust wallows to assist the shedding of their summer coats as their winter ones grow through. They are vulnerable to disturbance during the rut and the large number of spectators can affect them.
Recently the numbers of owners choosing to walk their dogs in Richmond Park has increased considerably. Deer can feel threatened by dogs even over long distances and when the dog is not behaving in a provocative manner. This is particularly so during the rutting (September – October) and the birthing (May – July) seasons. We recommend walking your dog outside the Park at these times. If you choose, at your own risk, to walk your dog in the Park at these times, it is advisable to keep your dog on a lead and consider an alternative route, such as following the wall line of the Park, close to exit gates.
Contractors working for the Royal Parks are due to repair and resurface the park roads. Initially they will start on Wednesday 11th September between Robin Hood roundabout and Pen Ponds car park (which will be closed). Further resurfacing works are being planned between Roehampton Gate and Robin Hood Gate, between Sheen Cross and Holly Lodge and at Richmond Gate. Advance signage and Facebook posts will advise further detail once the dates and scope of work is confirmed.
Palace to palace cycle ride Sunday 6th October
The ride will pass through the park between 06.30 and 11.00. The route from Sheen Gate to Ham Gate via Pen Ponds car park will be busier than usual and we advise motorists to avoid Pen Ponds car park until 11.00.
September in the Isabella Plantation
Set back from Thomson’s Pond, are two stands of Viburnum. Viburnum opulus, the Guelder Rose, bears clusters of glossy red berries at this time of year and differs slightly from the near Vibunum sargentii, which has bright red translucent berries.
Viburnum betulifolium near the northern entrance to Wilson’s Glade, has pendant bunches of bright red-current-like fruit.
In the wild fringes of the Garden, fruits of native trees and shrubs, such as the Rowan and Spindle; Blackthorn and Hawthorn; Wild Rose, Dogwood and Blackberry, all provide food for wildlife at this time of the year.
Euonymus planipes Peg’s Pond, displays its red seed capsules, while the purple cones of Abies koreana, nearby in the heather garden, are encrusted with white resin.
Look out for the Euonymus latifolius set back in the lawn to the left of the path leading from the Top Gate towards Acer Glade. This shrub has long slender leaves that turn red or purple in autumn. At the same time abundant pink clusters of ripe reddish pink, 4 lobed fruits appear which open to reveal white and orange seeds.
The Bog Garden
Nandina domestica ‘Fire Power’ grows in the Island bed in the lawn area looks particularly stunning, with its broad leaves that colour scarlet at this time of year. Ornamental grasses look very attractive at this time of year; look out for Stipa gigantea in the large bed on the lawn side of the middle pond, with its tall golden panicles that last into winter.
Growing nearby is Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’ which has narrow erect leaves which are red tipped and become blood red at this time of year. The feathery flower panicles of Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Goldshlier’ catch the wind in the streamside bed above the top pond. The tall purple-brown feathery panicles of the grass Miscanthus sinensis ‘Malepartus’ show in the Garden’s central and island beds.
Ponds and Streamsides
The last flowering spikes of Purple Loosestrife, Joe Pye Weed and Pickerel Weed provide a late source of nectar for insects.
Isabella Plantation Garden Walks 2019
You are invited to join the gardeners for guided walks
throughout the year.
Walks will take place on:
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.