Ham Ponds Work will start soon on the Ham Ponds; it involves de-silting, new sluices and margin improvements and should be completed before Christmas. The work is funded by the Friends, the Visitor Centre, Healthy Planet and TRP as part of the Ponds and Streams Programme.

Other construction work Work has started on the next stage of the Isabella project, involving more accessible paths, waymarking, a new toilet block and redesign and resurfacing of the disabled car park. Work will also start soon on improvements to the Pembroke Lodge rose garden and will start in the New Year on changes to the Pembroke Lodge car park and the surrounding area, including new disabled parking, re-alignment of the Tamsin Trail, redesign of the entrance area to Pembroke Lodge and changes to the perimeter road there.

Bird walks Peter Burrows-Smith is planning to offer a series of birdwatching walks in the park again over the winter. They will start from the Pen Ponds car park coffee kiosk at 9.30am on the 2nd and 4th Fridays each month through to at least the end of February, the first walk being on 22 November. He is hoping to include a feature on a particular species each walk, e.g. winter ducks or the crow family. There is no need to book – just turn up. Any queries to Peter on 0208 392 9888 or peterburrows-smith1@virginmedia.com? ?

Vacancy in the Visitor Centre team We have a small team of 4 people who run the Visitor Centre and its volunteers. One member has just left and we are seeking a replacement. The role is largely administration/housekeeping, including volunteer uniforms, arrangements for training days, office stationery and supplies. It is a 'hands on' role, liaising with volunteers, and requires a weekly visit to the Centre; the work is not time consuming, and can mostly be done when convenient for you. If you are interested, contact Brian Baker at briangbaker@greenbee.net or 020 8546 3109 ? ?

Holly Lodge Centre volunteers needed The Centre, which provides activities for groups of children and adults, particularly those with special needs, and is located in the middle of the Park, is looking for volunteers for its maintenance team, to drive its minibus, to help in organising fund-raising and for marketing and communications. If you are interested, please contact the Centre Manager, Anna King, on 020-8940-8730 or aking@thehollylodgecentre.org.uk.

Commercial dog walking survey The Royal Parks is doing a survey of people’s views of the current pilot scheme for commercial dog walking licensing, which was introduced in April. So far, 16 licenses have been issued for Richmond Park. TRP want input from all types of Park users. If you would like to take part go to the link below, which will open a page of TRP’s website giving the background to the survey, which is worth reading. In the middle of the page is a link to the survey itself. Note that the maximum of 4 dogs is not under review.?http://www.royalparks.org.uk/business/commercial-dog-walking-licences/review-of-the-commercial-dog-walking-licence-scheme

This is an extract from the current Friends' bulletin.