About the Friends
Founded in 1961, The Friends of Richmond Park is a charity dedicated to “the conservation and protection ...of Richmond Park and its peace and natural beauty for the benefit of the public and future generations” and to “advance public education about the Park”.
In April 2017 the Friends launched a new film: Richmond Park-National Nature Reserve, featuring Sir David Attenborough. The 21 minute film (and its 4 minute short version) shows through magnificent photography the sheer splendour of the Park and its wildlife, and it explains how we can all help to protect it now and for future generations.
The Friend’s activities include:
We fund conservation projects in the Park (2-3 a year), undertake practical conservation work and work with Park management on conservation.
We operate the Park Visitor Centre with its annual 55,000 visitors, organise 25 walks and courses a year open to the public, provide education activities for young people, and have a Tread Lightly public campaign to encourage greater respect for the Park.
We are involved in lobbying on issues such as policing, traffic including cycling, local planning issues and control, of sporting events
Publications and products
For the future, we see three large threats to the Park
Increasing visitor numbers (and the increasing intensity of how they use the Park); the Park is a National Nature Reserve, with a fragile ecology.
Reduced public funding, which threatens increased commercialisation. In 1961 public funding was 95% of the Park’s income, now it is below 50%.
Changes to Richmond Park’s ecology and wildlife. Since 1961, the Park has lost many species of wildlife. We have to stop the loss, and indeed reverse it. In addition, half of the Park’s trees are under serious threat from climate change and diseases.