Information from the Royal Parks team in Richmond Park

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Road closures. September will see some disruption to Park roads.  The Park will be closed to all road traffic on Sunday 13th September for the entire day to allow annual London Duathlon to be staged.  Road repairs will also be undertaken in September.  Crack and pothole repairs will be undertaken in the week 7th-11th September which will require single lane traffic with stop/go boards for short periods of time.  The in the week 14th-18th September some stretches of road will be closed (1 stretch at a time) to allow new surface dressing to be applied.  They will be closed for no more than 1 day.  Plans are all susceptible to change depending on weather etc but we trust you appreciate the need to improve the badly degraded roads.

Bat survey results in May and late July this year member of the London Bat Group and a specially licensed bat ecologist carried out 10 nights of surveying.  They caught bats to enable accurate identification before releasing them, unharmed, back into the Park.  139 bats were caught, the most common being Soprano and Common pipistrelles. Also present where Daubenton's, Noctule, Natterers, Nathusisis pipistrelle and Serotine bats.  The most positive news is that the Park supports a very healthy population of Brown-long eared and Leislers bats.  However, Whiskered and Brandt's bats where not identified suggesting that they may have been lost from the Park as the surrounding London area became more urbanised over many years.

New Shire horses: William and Massey, the new Park Shire horses have now arrived at their new home.  They can be seen in their paddock near Holly Lodge and are brown or 'bay' coloured horses.   They will start to take up Park duties this autumn and gradually be introduced to the range of work that the Park requires of them, having only been used for recreational carriage driving until now.  The 'old-boys', Jed and Forte are still carrying out light duties and fulfilling their commitment to an events programme, visiting other Royal Parks and meeting the public.  If a suitable position can be found that does not require them to perform haulage work, they may be offered to an organisation that can offer them a fulfilling 'retirement job'.  Ideally they would benefit from somewhere they can still meet the public, live with other horses and enjoy good grazing in their well earned retirement. 

Parking charges: A reminder to everyone that has been following the consultation process regarding the proposed amendments to the Park regulations – The result of the consultation is available from the Royal Parks website.  If you are unable to access the internet a hard copy can be printed and made available from Holly Lodge, the Park office. Telephone 0208 948 3209

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 Lymes 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 Holly Lodge – 0208 948 3209.


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

Late Flowering Trees & 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 & 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.

You are invited to join the gardeners for guided walks throughout the year.
Walks will take place on:

  • September: Friday 4th, Sunday 13th and Friday 25th
  • October: Friday 2nd, Sunday 18th and Friday 30th

Walks last about 1.5 hours and are free of charge. Meet inside the Garden by the gate from Broomfield Hill car park at 11:00am

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