Your opportunity to comment on proposed new parking charges
The Royal Parks have just announced a consultation into the introduction of car parking
charges in Richmond and Bushy Parks. The proposal is:

  • Parking charges of £1.40 per hour Monday-Saturday and £ per hour 2/hr
    on Sunday
  • Applicable from 9am to 6pm only, whenever the car parks are open
  • A maximum of 6 hrs parking in any one car park
  • Spaces reserved for Blue Badge holders will remain and holders will be
    exempt from the charges
  • The money will go towards the maintenance and upkeep of related park

TRP say that this brings them in line with local authorities surrounding the Park, discourages commuters from using the Park’s car parks and encourages more sustainable means of visiting. The 8-week consultation closes on 1 November.

The Friends understands the rationale for car parking charges, especially given the numbers now visiting the Park and the increasing congestion in car parks. We will be preparing a response to the consultation and would like to hear your views. Please write to us at [email protected] as soon as possible. We will publish our conclusions in the next few weeks, well before the consultation ends. Read more here and find the consultation Questionnaire (5 questions) and email address for responses.

Through traffic restrictions
It’s now three weeks since The Royal Parks introduced through-traffic restrictions in the Park on a 6-month trial. As a reminder, through-traffic is not allowed:

  • on the east side of the Park, with the road closed to cars between Broomfield Hill Car Park and Robin Hood Gate Car Park;
  • between Sheen Cross and the turn off to Sheen Gate Car Park;
  • on weekends between Roehampton and Richmond Gates (this road is open on weekdays); the road between Kingston Gate, Ham Gate and Richmond Gate is still open at all times.

Read more

Our monitoring since then suggests that the restrictions have created a surprisingly more relaxed and tranquil atmosphere in the east side of the Park (and at weekends in the northern part); even the cars accessing the car parks and cyclists are going more slowly than before, and it appears deer are crossing the road more leisurely. There has not been a noticeable increase in traffic on the Kingston to Richmond Gate road. The barriers themselves are effective in that almost no cars are going through them and they also slow cyclists to some extent. The situation may change with schools returning and greater commuter traffic and we’ll continue to monitor it.

Visitor Centre reopening
After a successful 3 day trial opening over the Bank Holiday weekend, the Visitor Centre will now open every Fri, Sat and Sun in September 1pm to 4pm. Further openings will be announced at the end of the month. The set up will be different from usual. There will be a table across the entrance and customers will be served from there, without entering the shop. We won’t be taking cash. It’s debit or credit card only. Work has already been completed for when we are able to allow customers inside. There’s a Perspex screen in front of the counter and the interior has been rearranged to create a large open space.

Buy your Richmond Park calendar 2021 and Christmas cards online at (available from 10 Sept)

The Richmond Park Calendar is more than just a calendar! Our 2021 edition has 45 beautiful photos of the Park and its wildlife. A pleasure throughout the year and a wonderful gift or memento. Wall calendar, stapled, punched hole, size when open: width 29.7cm, height 42.0cm. On FSC-certified paper. Price £8.50

Richmond Park Christmas Cards show beautiful images of the wildlife and scenery of Richmond Park. Packs of 8 of one design. Plastic free packaging and glitter free card on FSC-certified paper. Size 14cm x 14cm. Price per pack £4.50.

The Calendar and cards will also be on sale at the Visitor Centre from Fri 11 Sept.

Sales of the calendar and cards help to fund conservation projects in Richmond Park

Friends’ Members Newsletter now available online 
Our printed Newsletter magazine, posted to your home every Spring, Summer and Autumn, can now be sent to you as a PDF document instead of a printed copy. It saves production and posted costs, and is kinder to the environment. If members would like to receive the online version instead of a printed copy, please reply to [email protected] 

The Friends AGM was held on Saturday 22 August using Zoom.  We discussed a wide range of subjects including the increase in litter and the recently announced trial of restrictions on through-traffic. A report of the meeting will feature in our next printed Newsletter and we will publish the full minutes on our website in due course. 

Friends funds more veteran tree protection.
As part of our Year of the Tree conservation campaign, the Friends has agreed with TRP to fund protection for another 14 veteran trees in the Park. The trees are scattered across the Park and comprise eight oak, two hawthorn and one each of hornbeam, hazel, ash and sweet chestnut. The fencing, which will be done this autumn, will protect the trees from compaction and damage by visitors’ walking, barbecues and climbing as well as protecting visitors from falling branches. The Friends funded similar protection for twenty veterans last winter and these latest works are partly funded by the sale of prints of Mark Frith’s Royal Oak artwork.

Summer Tree Photography Competition – closing date 30 September
The overall theme is images that show the character of the Park’s trees.  Photos can be of any part of a tree, whole trees or groups of trees. Entrance is free. See here for details of how to enter, the prizes and Terms and Conditions.

This competition is one of a series that we are running in 2020 – one for each season.  Our Autumn Tree photo competition will open on 1 October.

Hawthorn – September’s Tree of the Month
Hawthorn is the 7th tree in this family friendly series of monthly factsheets. Hawthorn is the second most common veteran tree in the Park after English oak. Its branches twist and turn and its trunks often divide into several twisty, gnarly parts, and it has a sometimes scary folklore!
This factsheet, and all the others in the series, are free to download: Watch out for a different tree every month for the rest of the year.

Walks with Remarkable Trees – New! Set 2
Our Walks with Remarkable Trees are 1.5 – 3.5 miles long and Set 2 walks start from the four southerly car parks in the Park. Set 1, with walks from the northern car parks, is still available and has been very popular – we have received lots of excellent feedback; ‘Brilliant, well written, superbly laid out, good levels of information.’ Plastic free cover, packed in an attractive and sturdy string and washer envelope. Buy at the Visitor Centre – see website for opening days and times. £5 per set of 4 walks.

Richmond Park Quiz
How well do you know Richmond Park? Test your knowledge, our 8 Lock-down quizzes are here 

Pied Flycatcher – rare sighting
With over 400 species of flycatchers worldwide, only the Spotted
Flycatcher and the scarcer Pied Flycatcher, both the size of a House
Sparrow, are seen regularly in the UK, arriving here from Africa in late
Spring to breed before departing late Summer and early Autumn. Although
neither bird breeds in the Park it is not unusual to see a few Spotted
Flycatchers here on their return migration at this time of the year.
These birds of the woodland edge hunt from a prominent position, flying
out to seize an airborne insect before returning to the same perch or
nearby. After no Park sightings of a Pied Flycatcher since 2011, a pair
were observed for three days in August this year, between Kingston Gate
and Thatched House Lodge.

Pied Flycatcher, by Nigel Jackman

Discoverers – Bat Watch
We are awaiting confirmation from TRP for when we can organise the next Bat Watch. No date has been confirmed yet, but watch out for an announcement on the Discoverers’ web page

Isabella Plantation in September

© The Royal Parks

The Heather Garden
The summer flowering Ericas and Callunas continue to bloom.

Late flowering shrubs and trees
Magnolia grandiflora, situated on the secluded lawn to the south of Thomson’s Pond, has a few last buds opening into large, fragrant, cream coloured flowers, while its decorative fruits form. Look out for Heptacodium miconioides growing below Thompson’s Pond and also the Birthday Mound it is a vigorous shrub which bears lightly scented clusters of white flowers throughout the summer and early autumn. Clerodendron trichotomum has white and maroon fragrant flowers which are followed by bright blue berries, it can be found growing behind the toilets.

Autumn fruits
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 nearby 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, below 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. 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.

Wheelchair available
A motorised wheelchair, which makes the job of pushing considerably easier, may be loaned for use within the Garden on weekdays between 9.00 and 15.00. Please ring 0300 061 2200 to book the chair by noon on the day before it is required.

Viburnum betulifolium                                                                                           ©The Royal Parks