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”.

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Photo by Szymon Bakota

Film

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:

Conservation

We fund conservation projects in the Park (2-3 a year), undertake practical conservation work and work with Park management on conservation.

Public education

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.

Volunteering

Friends members staff the Visitor Centre, do practical conservation work, organise our Discoverers education programme and monitor events in the Park

Public issues

We are involved in lobvbying on issues such as policing, traffic including cycling, local planning issues and control, of sporting events

Publications and products

We have published two books (The Guide to Richmond Park and Family Trails) and each year produce a wonderful calendar and Christmas cards. We also have a range of products from maps and guides to mugs, caps and hats. See the full range in the Visitor Centre (by Pembroke Lodge); all profits from sales go to conservation projects.

Communications

We have three printed newsletters a year and a monthly e-mail for members giving news on the Park, a website and Facebook/Twitter.

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.

Find out how to join and help us to to protect the Park and its wildlife for future generations

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