Photo credit (Cuckoo): John Strachan
2022 calendar and Christmas cards
We will soon be launching our 2022 calendar and Christmas cards, with stunning images of the scenery and wildlife of Richmond Park. These will be available to purchase both online for delivery and in person at the Visitor Centre. Look out for further details.
Let’s Discover with Olly the Little Owl!
Join Olly the Little Owl and his friends as they come to life in a new booklet about Richmond Park’s trees and the wildlife that rely on them. Olly and his new booklet (£1.50) will be launched with a free event for children and their parents, starting from the Visitor Information Centre by Pembroke Lodge on Saturday and Sunday 18 and 19 September, both between 10am and noon. Look out for more information shortly on the Families part of our website.
Musical Roots hosted by Dana Gillespie in Richmond Park on the 22nd September
The Holly Lodge Centre is organising a Musical Roots event, hosted by Dana Gillespie. World-class professional artists will perform Jazz, Blues, ‘Boogie-Woogie’ and Ragtime. The event will take place at The Belvedere, Pembroke Lodge, Richmond Park, TW10 5HX from 7pm to 10.30pm. This is priced at £45 and includes welcome drink and buffet supper with wine. Get your ticket here.
Annual autumn bat watch
The Discoverers annual Autumn Bat Watch will be taking place soon – on Saturday 25th September (or 2nd October). Further details will be confirmed on our website shortly.
Volunteer to help care for the Holly Lodge Meadow
Beside the Holly Lodge office building there is a small orchard underplanted three years ago with a wild flower mix. As with all “gardens” this needs care and maintenance and we are looking for someone who would like to lead a small group of volunteers to take on this seasonal task (spring through to autumn) with the programme being something like this:
Early spring: cut back and remove winter growth.
Mid to late April: weed removal (nettles, dock, bramble, goat’s rue, for example)
Late June: weed removal (as above)
Mid August: cutting summer growth followed a week later by removal of cut material.
There would be scope for the group to cut this meadow with scythes (with appropriate training given!) Tools (spades, forks, gloves, loppers, scythes) would be provided. This would be a great way to learn how to manage a meadow and record the visiting wildlife. Do not be put off if you have no experience as Joe Scrivener, Assistant Park Manager, would be able to give guidance. Please contact Janet Bostock [email protected] if you are interested.
Honey now available at the Visitor Centre
A new delivery of Richmond Park honey has arrived at the Visitor Centre. Small clear or set £7.50, large clear or set £12.00 and chunk honey (clear honey with honeycomb) £9.50. We also have pollen enriched honey available at £10.50. The Visitor Centre is open 6 days a week from 10am until 4pm (Tuesday to Sunday). Opening is subject to volunteer availability.
Cuckoos are in decline, and so it has been especially pleasurable to observe juveniles in the Park in the past two years. One or more juveniles have also been seen this year including this individual, photographed last month prior to making its maiden solo flight to Africa.
Update on Richmond Park Adopt-an-Area litter picking scheme
The Friends’ Adopt-an-Area litter picking scheme began 4 years ago after a very successful ‘Spring Clean’ exercise in the Park. It complements the small team of full-time litter contractors who empty all the bins in the Park daily and carry out litter sweeps. Under the scheme, the Park has been divided into 29 areas, each of which has dedicated Friends volunteers, currently 50 in total. In addition, there are 126 ‘roamers’, volunteers who pick up litter wherever and whenever they are in the Park. Over 20 of the roamers are pupils under 18 working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Scheme awards. The Friends provide kit (a litter picker, a vest designed with Friends insignia, gloves and bags) for each volunteer. Steve Sandham, who launched the scheme, passed over its administration to Nigel Sherwin in July 2021. Sadly the Scheme remains very necessary to keep the Park clean, with the remains of picnics, cans, bottles and dog bag deposits still prevalent even if footfall in the Park is far less than it was at the height of lockdown last year.
Our free guided walks do not need to be booked ahead. Walks begin at 10am on a Saturday morning and finish around midday at the same car park or gate. Please keep dogs under control. The next two walks are:
- 2nd October Sheen Gate Car Park (deer plus walk the wall). Note: Motor Vehicle access only via Sheen Gate.
- 6th November Pembroke Lodge Car Park (fungi). Note: Motor Vehicle access only via Richmond, Ham and Kingston Gates.
The Friends’ membership is continuing to grow at around 10% per year. It now stands at more than 3,500 members (assuming 2 people for each household membership). Please encourage your friends, family and neighbours to join us frp.org.uk/membership
Richmond Park Diary – September 2021
Changes in temperature and rainfall, combined with extreme weather events (such as Storm Ciara in February 2020 when extreme winds resulted in the closure of all our parks) are a threat to habitats and wildlife, and present challenges for the management of open spaces. Read more from The Royal Parks here.
This 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 is generally quieter than most weekends.
The causeway will be closed for approximately 8 weeks. Contractors will be undertaking work to raise the height of the causeway. This will improve the structural integrity of the reservoir to hold back water in the event of a ‘one in thousand year’ flood. Contractors will need to close the causeway to enable work as machinery will be in operation and aggregates and other material will be delivered. The Royal Parks appreciate that the causeway provides a very desirable section for many routine walks. However, pedestrians will not be able to walk through the work site for obvious safety reasons. Read more from The Royal Parks here.