Ride London 100 (the ride for 24,000 amateur cyclists) and the Classic (for professional riders) passed through the Park on Sunday 2 August. There were barriers along the route to prevent deer straying onto the course and the massed spectators straying off it onto the surrounding acid grassland. The Royal Parks staff successfully herded the deer into the centre of the Park (with some problems of wayward fallow deer), but few spectators turned out. The riders were well-behaved, helped by a new bank of temporary toilets in Pembroke Lodge car park.
However, as last year, there were a lot of discarded energy gel packs and the opening strips torn off them lying in the grass. One of our members collected 96 in a 600m stretch of the route on the day after the race when the litter pickers had already passed through! These were the obvious ones and there were probably many more hidden in the grass.
These strips are dangerous for deer. They are small enough that they can get hidden in or trampled into the grass and are easily eaten by the deer. They are indigestible and gradually clog the stomachs of the deer, leading to them being unable to eat properly and so starve. Examination of deer that have died unexpectedly often shows the contents of their stomach full of litter.
We will be taking up this problem with the Ride London organisers.
Below is the FRP monitoring report on this event, with a picture of the 96 packs/strips. You can read the local and cycling media reports, which include comments by Park management and photos of the 96 gel packs at