The Royal Parks' team in Richmond Park produces a monthly diary (September issue below) which is displayed on the Park's public noticeboards. If you are a member of the Friends and would like to receive these monthly diaries by email, please send your name and email address to

September in the Park

Richmond Park Open Day takes place at Holly Lodge on 19th September from 11.00-16.00. An enjoyable family day involving various organisations that are connected with the Park in one way or another. Entry is free but the £5 parking charge at Holly Lodge helps to cover the cost of the day. Alternatively, there will be a free heritage bus service on the Park’s circular road connecting many of the gates and car parks. (Donations will be accepted on board for the Holly Lodge centre for special needs education).

The London Duathlon The Park roads will be closed to all vehicles on Sunday 12th September for this annual cycling and running event. Pedestrian gates will be open and the Park is usually a little quieter on duathlon day – so if you travel by means other than car, a visit to the Park can be particularly relaxing.

Swallows are extremely agile in flight and spend most of their time on the wing. September is your last chance to enjoy these slender blue-black birds with their long tail streamers, as when they receive their migration call from Africa, they will disappear – instantaneously. These annual patterns were first understood in the 1700’s by Gilbert White, whose contemporaries believed they overwintered in mud at the bottom of puddles! Their habit of returning year after year to breed in the same outbuilding of our homes, earn them a special place in our hearts as life-long friends. To sailors they were often the first sign that land was near and became symbolic of a safe homecoming. Swallow tattoos represented great sailing feats such as five thousand nautical miles, surviving all seven seas, or crossing the equator. For landlubbers Swallow tattoos could represent a hardship overcome or, because they mate for life, were symbolic of eternal love.

Deer 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, for towards the end of the month they will start establishing territories for the rut. The deer also indulge in dust wallows to assists 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. Please keep well back from the rutting deer and show them the respect they need to behave normally.

Ticks Deer ticks continue to be present in higher than normal numbers during September and the dense bracken offers them ideal conditions to transfer onto humans and animals. The ticks feed by piercing the skin to suck blood, which can transmit an illness, called Lyme Disease. The risk is very small and should not deter people from enjoying the Park, but it is advisable to take the following precautions:
• Keep covered up in long grass or bracken, or use insect repellent if bare-legged.
• Check your skin and pets fur for the presence of ticks, which may be removed by gently twisting and pulling to ensure that the mouthparts are not left behind. Carefully wash the area after the bite.
• In case of difficulty, consult your doctor.
• A leaflet containing further information and advice may be obtained from the information centre at Pembroke Lodge car park or from Holly Lodge – 0208 948 3209 or from the Royal Parks website
© The Royal Parks. PAC 31/08/10

The Isabella Plantation in September

The heather garden The summer flowering Ericas and Callunas continue to bloom.

Late-flowering trees and shrubs 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 in the glade 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. 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.

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 020 8948 3209 to book the chair by noon on the day before it is required.

Isabella Plantation Garden Walks 2010

You are invited to join the gardeners for guided walks throughout the year.

Walks will take place on the following days:

September: Friday 3rd and 24th, Sunday 12th

October: Friday 1st and 29th, Sunday 10th

Walks last about 1.5 hours and are free of charge.
Meet inside the Garden by the gate from Broomfield Hill car park at 11.00.

The Royal Parks' News and Isabella News are copyright The Royal Parks