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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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Bushy Park Manager's Report January 2012

Meeting notes for the Friends of Bushy & Home Parks.
18th January 2011.
by Simon Richards. Park Superintendent

Deer culls complete. No issues.

Playground gents’ lavatory vandalized. Main loos re-opened but disabled facility closed pending further repairs.

Catering contract renewal is due in 2012. Opportunity to improve the facilities for both customers and the Info Point. Look forward to proposals by Info Point volunteers regarding their ideas towards improving the facility. No change.

The Mayor has now announced changes to the governance of the Royal Parks. 2 new Board members still to be recruited.

Mark Camley has resigned and will be replaced by Linda Lennon as CEO from 3rd March.

Planning application issues current are: Hampton Hill CC, Teddington Town CC and NPL Sports Club, Whistle Stop, Seething Wells.

The scope of the Landscape Management contract will be reviewed next year due to the requirement to save some 25% of the existing budget. This work has now started and Bill and myself are involved in the work. No change.

Other maintenance requirements for the Diana Fountain are to be addressed. Funding for a new sewer from the Pheasantry to Teddington Gate has been approved. Design is complete construction has commenced.

Signage; new signs around main traffic gates and the Pheasantry Cafe in place. Other signs to be reviewed with the aim of eradicating ugly, over sized and unnecessary clutter around the Park. Review ongoing. Hampton Wick notice boards to be replaced if funding permits.

Tree planting sponsored by The Friends complete. Tree planting in Woodland gardens is complete along with replacements in the Pheasantry car park.
New bench funded by the Friends installed near Hampton Wick Gate.

Water Garden’s finials paid for by the Friends; TRP and The Friends have gained required consents Detailed fixings to be agreed to prevent theft.

Water levels are still low due to prolonged period of negligible rain. A management strategy for the future management of the Longford River is being developed by TRP

John Comfort intends to carry out a fish survey of Model Boat, Heron & Leg-of-Mutton Ponds during 2012. Older, big carp to be moved to Diana Pond where there is currently no fishing allowed to rest them.

Tree pests and diseases continue to seemingly worsen. Oak Processionary Moth will spread and Acute Oak Decline is evident in many areas of the Park. Plans under way to resource the control of OPM. Temporary re-structuring of the Arboricultural team has led to a pause in asking for volunteer support but this should happen shortly. It is expected that some spraying of affected trees will need to take place in April to control the pest. A trial of treatments to rty to reduce the impact of AOD will take place during the summer. 2 groups of trees along Sandy Lane will receive soil based and foliar drenches to promote vigour.

Chestnut Sunday is 13th May 2012. Usual programme. Contributions towards cost of event welcome! New ideas / proposals also welcome.

Olympic planning well under way. The proposals for the Time Trials are now known and we expect LOCOG to call stakeholder meetings shortly. No major problems expected but some infrastructure will be expected to remain on site between 29th July and 1st August.

SR and BS have considered the spreadsheet tabled at the last meeting regarding use of funds. We would like to suggest priorities for further discussion going forward as being:

• Drinking fountain restoration at Hampton Wick Gate. (Match funding)
• Interpretation boards regarding biodiversity for acid grassland.
• Interpretation boards for bird life around Heron Pond.
• Interpretation board regarding the history and management of the Longford River.
• Once finial are complete possibly restore hoods over the basins in the Water Gardens and/or the reeds at the base of the cascade.
• General planting fund for Woodland Gardens.

A further meeting was held on 11th January. SR agreed that we needed to get costs for a prospective horse trough for Teddington Gate area from the Drinking Fountain Assoc. Also to ask Nigel Reeve together with the artist who produced display boards for Richmond Park to originate a display board for Heron Pond. This then to be approved by the Friends before committing to manufacture.

Other winter works will include the clearance of the reed beds in the Brewhouse Fields by machine as reeds are too well established to remove manually. We are also hoping to do work to reduce shading of the Longford River within the west end of the woodland gardens as well as thinning out some poor specimen trees around the Pheasantry lawns to reduce competition and improve light levels. This will allow lawn repairs to be more successful.

A major programme to remove ivy from the park walls is under way. This has exposed many weaknesses and a section of the wall behind Hampton Wick cricket club has collapsed.

A major tidy up within the working yard side of the Pheasantry has taken place.

Walks & Talks

Forthcoming event

Thursday, 22nd Nov 8:00 pm

TALK by John Sheaf, “Bushy Park and the surrounding area in old photographs”

Latest report

On the morning of Saturday 3 November a group of members of the Friends assisted Sharon Evans, the Bushy Park Head Gardener, in planting an area of the Woodland Gardens.

Full report...