Tread Lightly in the Park

Header photo by Petra Mannooch-Riggs

Tread Lightly in Richmond Park: National Nature Reserve

Sir David Attenborough says in his recent film,

“Richmond Park is London's own National Nature Reserve, with thousands of wildlife species. I’ve lived here for over 60 years and it’s been an inspiration to me. But with 5.5 million visitors a year, there is increasing pressure on the Park.

There are simple things we can all do to help protect the Park so that it will remain a very special place for generations to come.

Please love it like I do, and Tread Lightly in Richmond Park.”

Richmond Park -National Nature Reserve’ presented by David Attenborough

Photo by Will Coleman

How to follow David Attenborough’s request to Tread Lightly in Richmond Park:

Take nothing from the Park

  • Wildflowers, nuts, acorns, chestnuts and fungi are essential food sources for birds, bees and deer.  Please don’t take them
  • Fallen wood is home to many insects — please leave it where it is.

Leave nothing behind

  • Take home or clean up anything not naturally found in the park
  • Clear up after your dog
  • Take home your litter or put it in the bins provided so deer don't eat it!

Respect the wildlife

  • Give deer plenty of room, especially during birthing and the rut
  • Keep your dog on a lead in sensitive areas and near animals
  • If you’re on foot, stay on established paths and away from the anthills
  • If you’re on a bike, stay on the roads and bike trail
  • And please, don’t light a fire or barbecue

Nearly all the above are also Park regulations. Not following them may incur a fine or prosecution See the regulations on our website  

600 red and fallow deer roam free in the Park. Please remember that deer are wild animals. It’s dangerous to approach them as they see humans and dogs as a threat. This isn't surprising since dogs off-lead sometimes attack and even kill deer.

Deer get nervous and behave unpredictably when people and dogs get too close. At birthing time (May to July) mothers can react very aggressively to protect their young. At the rut (Sept to Nov) male deer can attack people or dogs that get too close.

So, please keep your distance and keep your dogs on leads when deer are nearby. And please don’t feed the deer — if you do, they will start pestering picnickers for food.

The Friends of Richmond Park have produced a new leaflet with all the information you need to help us protect the park and Tread Lightly. See the leaflet HERE.

You can also pick up a copy of the Tread Lightly leaflet from the Visitor Centre in the Park.