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Chair’s Welcome

I am delighted as Chair of the Friends to welcome you to our website. Bushy Park and Home Park are two wonderful large green oases in the south west corner of London. Feeling wild, they are natural places with ancient histories, fascinating heritage and superb wildlife. Both are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) containing rare species. These are places to be enjoyed and conserved. Which is why the Friends exist, campaigning, supporting and protecting the parks, and enhancing visitors’ enjoyment with information, advice and guidance.

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Farewell to Ray and Suzanne

Farewell to Ray and Suzanne

Ray Brodie receiving picture (photo: David Ivison)

Members of the FBHP committee and the Wildlife Group along with guests gathered at the Stockyard on 12th August to bid farewell to Ray Brodie, Manager of Bushy Park. As a result of structural changes within the Royal Parks Ray will be moving to Kensington Gardens and Simon Richards who is currently Manager of Richmond Park will take on responsibility for both parks.

Pieter Morpurgo, FBHP Co-Chair said:

“For the past 13 years Ray has been an enthusiastic committee member and during his time as manager Bushy has been transformed. Ray has overseen more major changes in a single Royal Park than probably anyone else.The National Heritage Lottery Fund provided funding for some 60 odd projects in the Park, all of which were overseen by Ray. The Welcome Centre – although perhaps for some not so well named, but there is no doubt that it is a huge success and pays a fair amount of money to the Royal Parks. This was a difficult project for Ray. There were many concerns about it, to say nothing of a meeting there before it opened when we all had to leave the building as the floor wasn’t safe.

“The other major projects were the completion of the Water Gardens and the first restoration for 300 hundred years of the Diana Fountain, All of these overseen by Ray, and I remember his great relief when on a freezing January morning, when the sluice gate was opened to refill the Diana pond.

“Ray has given us some brilliant talks and led interesting walks – occasionally having to deal with hecklers – many MPs could learn from his example in how to deal with them! But his knowledge and enthusiasm comes across in everything he does. He has been a great Friend to us all and we will miss him very much. Kensington Gardens don’t know how lucky they are. In fact the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge only decided to move to Kensington Palace when they heard that Ray was going to manage their gardens!

“Thank you, Ray for all your support and friendship, We all owe you a great deal. And good luck at Kensington Gardens – they don’t deserve you.”

Annie Murray, FBHP Co-Chair, added:

“We will all miss Ray a man who is passionate about the park he named ‘the Cinderella of the Royal Parks’ and who has dedicated the past 13 years to caring, nurturing, protecting and developing this wonderful space.

“On a personal note I have been immensely grateful to Ray for all his support and words of wisdom and his promise of continued involvement with the Friends.”

The Friends were pleased to present Ray with a framed print of one of the winning photos in the FBHP wildlife photography competition. See FBHP Photo Competition Galleries

Suzanne Edwards, Office Manager, is also leaving White Lodge and moving to Hyde Park. She has been a great friend to the Friends, always helping us out wherever she could, supporting the volunteers, always happy to let us know what’s going on around the Stockyard and the Park, and answering any questions we might have. Our thanks and good wishes go to her too.

Walks & Talks

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A perimeter walk of Home Park led by Nicholas Garbutt was enjoyed by over 45 people on 2nd September.

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