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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.

We are always pleased to receive feedback. You can contact us by clicking here.

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Professional dog walkers to be licensed

The Royal Parks have issued new regulations requiring that professional dog walkers and fitness operators purchase licenses and pay a car parking charge.

From 2nd April 2013 all professional dog walkers will require a license to operate in the Royal Parks and will be limited to walking four dogs per session.

Licensing ensures that:
• the parks and wildlife are protected
• access to and use of public open space is maintained for all visitors
• commercial dog walkers are complying with current health and safety and best industry practice for the safety and enjoyment of their dogs and staff
• all commercial dog walkers are fully insured and hold liability for participant’s safety
• commercial activities that are undertaken in the Royal Parks help contribute to the costs of the infrastructure

Licensed commercial dog walking businesses will be listed on the Royal Parks website. The police will be doing spot checks and anyone found to be in contravention of the regulations will be asked to leave the park.

Go to royalparks.org.uk/business/commercial-dog-walking-licences for more information and an application form or contact the Stockyard at Bushy Park on 020 8979 1586.

Richmond Council commented: Following a public consultation in 2006, dog control orders were introduced, requiring people to clean up after any dog in their charge, keep their dog on a lead in certain areas, and restricting access to a small number of sites within the borough. However due to the rise of complaints by members of the public regarding professional dog walkers acting irresponsibly by often walking up to 15 dogs at a time, residents are being consulted on Town Hall plans to extend existing dog control orders, in a bid to ensure that problems with irresponsible dog walkers can be tackled swiftly and effectively.

If the orders are introduced it would mean that dog walkers in the borough would be banned from taking more than four dogs onto any Council land – including parks and open spaces. This will have the effect of forcing more professional dog-walkers into Bushy and Home Parks (which are not council property) so the Royal Parks’ regulations are even more necessary.

Professional advice is that five or more dogs together creates a “pack mentality” which means they’re less likely to obey a human command so it is advised that a maximum of four dogs can be walked at any one time by a single person.

Walks & Talks

Forthcoming event

Friday, 25th Jan 8:00 pm

Talk by Ian Jones-Healy “Dr John Langdon Down and the history of Normansfield“.

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...