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 Roy Berriman at

The Park in September

Bracken control The bracken control conducted this summer is now complete. The areas that have been rolled by the Shire horses are self evident but the areas sprayed with herbicide are difficult to see.

The herbicide is slowly absorbed into the plants underground rhizomes as the plant stores ‘sugars’ to overwinter. The only visible sign at the time of spraying is slightly paler tips but the bracken will go into senescence as usual (gradually turn yellow and the brown before the leaves dry out).

Next spring the young shoots simply do not emerge in such abundance and a reduction of 80-90% is expected.

Ham Ponds The two ponds near Ham Gate are in poor condition. Although the surface of the ponds looks the same as they have done for many years they are both heavily silted with just 20 per cent of the depths of the ponds now open water.

The wildlife that can survive in these conditions is limited and they are also suffering from three different non-native aquatic plants dominating the margins and shallow areas. This autumn the ponds will be drained and the invasive plants treated with herbicide.

The ponds will stay drained and the silt removed. They will refill with water once all traces of invasive plants have gone and this may take some time. Eventually we will restore these features to attractive wildlife rich areas of the Park.

The London Duathlon The Park roads will be closed to all vehicles on Sunday 15 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.

Vehicle counts at Kingston Gate The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames has installed a car counter at Kingston Gate to monitor traffic flows in and out of the Borough. It provides interesting information on park use.

In 2011 a grand total of 1,627,148 cars entered Richmond Park at Kingston gate with a slightly lower number exiting at the same location. During the morning rush hour between 700-900 cars per hour will typically drive into the park but this will quickly reduce by about half for the rest of day. In the evening there is a similar rise in traffic exiting the park.

Reminder – deer rut advice for walkers Deer are wild animals and can be unpredictable. Richmond Park is a nature reserve with herds of wild deer roaming freely.

Recently, the number of owners choosing to walk their dogs in Richmond Park has increased considerably. Deer can feel threatened by dogs even over long distances and when the dog is not behaving in a provocative manner. This is particularly so during the rutting (September – October) and the birthing (May – July) seasons.

We recommend walking your dog outside the Park at these times. The Royal Parks continue to receive reports of incidents in Richmond Park where dogs sustain injuries, as well as deer being chased by dogs sometimes with fatal consequences.

If you choose, at your own risk, to walk your dog in the park at these times, it is advisable to keep your dog on a lead and consider an alternative route, such as following the wall line of the park, close to exit gates.

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, four-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.

Isabella Plantation Garden Walks 2013

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

September Friday 6 and 27, Sunday 15
October Friday 4 and 25, Sunday 20

Walks last about one-and-a-half hours and are free of charge. Meet inside the Garden by the gate from Broomfield Hill car park at 11am.