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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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The Colin White Tree Appeal

The Colin White Tree Appeal

Friends and family of Colin White plant trees in his memory

Throughout the late summer and autumn FBHP has been collecting donations for trees to be planted in Colin White’s memory. He had been a member of the Friends since the group started in 1990 and had acted as one of its Treasurers. He had written books and articles and recently had collected an important archive of maps of Bushy Park and the area. This collection will be archived in the Curatorial Department at Hampton Court Palace and known as ‘The Colin White Collection’.

Many of his friends and family, together with the Friends of Bushy and Home Parks, contributed enough money to pay for twenty four trees with crates to protect them from the attentions of the deer. On Monday 5th December the planting took place with a short ceremony as friends and family gathered to listen to a delightful reading about Hawthorn trees, and to watch the first tree planted in Bushy Park.

It was decided to place four whips – small trees about a metre high – in each of the crates. The most expensive part of the process is the crates themselves, so by planting the whips in groups, we will have more trees and fewer crates. Although only made of soft wood, the crates have to be sturdy enough to withstand the weather and the wildlife. There are two groups of trees. One is to the southwest of the Diana Fountain, fairly close to the backs of the houses that run along Hampton Court Road. In fact, they are visible from Colin’s office window. The precise area was carefully selected to avoid any disturbance to the ant hills or the acid grassland. The second group is planted to the south of Heron Pond, carefully placed so that when they have grown a bit, they will hide the view of the John Lewis roof in Kingston, which at certain times of the year reflects the sun light into the Diana Car Park area.

In each of the six crates there is a Crab Apple tree, a Blackthorn bush and two Hawthorn bushes. It was the Hawthorn bush which was responsible for the naming of the park in Tudor times when Bushy Park was planted with them, to make hunting and coursing more enjoyable and challenging for the court of Henry VIII. Each whip is protected by a rabbit proof sleeve which also helps the tree to grow straight and is designed to split once the trunk of each tree has grown enough. The crates will last for about fifteen years, so the trees will be well developed by then.

Pieter Morpurgo

Walks & Talks

Forthcoming event

Thursday, 27th Sep 8:00 pm

TALK by Adam Curtis, “Bats in Richmond and Bushy parks”.

Latest report

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

Full report...