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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 Report from Simon Richards, Park Superintendent

Project works.
Information Centre. Awaiting alterations to external tarmac to stop flooding. Contractor has been appointed work to be carried out in next couple of weeks.

TRP funding new tree crates during the winter. Aim to complete most of Lime Avenue. Currently out to tender.

Funds have been allocated to carry out a long overdue refurbishment of the gardeners accommodation at the Pheasantry which should give them facilities that are fit for the current age.

The setting for the catering kiosk at the Diana car park is due to be altered in the next couple of months to end the practice of standing in a lake while waiting to be served. This will be carried out by contractors working for Colicci.

Landscape works.
Tree planting programme for coming winter in preparation. A quantity of choice ornamentals are being sourced for growing on in the new nursery. These will be collected this week and grown on at River Lodge nursery.

Autumn and winter tree work programme commencing. Considerable damage sustained during recent storms. This will be cleared over next few weeks, with fallen trees on Ash Walk being taken out today.

Rhododendron ponticum clearance continuing within the Woodland Gardens

River Lodge nursery. First liners mainly camellia, received for growing on.

Planting design for the Woodland Gardens is complete last of plants being collected this week. £1500 of specific sponsored funding plus support from the Friends general planting fund. The plantings will include the boundary screen and will contain a mix of native shrubs. The yew were planted before Christmas and the Bog garden will be planted in January and February.

Sports Clubs.
TTSC sports club construction due to commence today. (Delayed due to issues with services on NPL side.)

General issues around licenses, vehicles, floodlighting and de-cluttering are ongoing.

Heritage developments.
Plans for the layout of new horse trough and drinking fountain at Teddington Gate have been received and will shortly be sent out for pricing – this is still delayed due to pressure of work.

An additional interpretation panel for wall mounting at the Information Point is still to be purchased.

Madeleine Smith, the artist who completed the interpretation panels is keen to carry out the artwork for the alcoves. A meeting on site with her is due to be arranged during January.

Planning.
Whistlestop site has been sold. New developer engaged in works licence. No change.

Lion Gate Hotel. Meeting with L.B. Richmond planners and the developer will be held on 10th January.

Ecology.

SSSI designation is still being pushed back as other more pressing issues take time within Natural England. Latest info was that this had been pushed back to December at the earliest.

An assessment of the Longford River within the park has been carried out by consultants from the Surrey Wildlife Trust to attempt to determine whether the river is suitable for the re-introduction of Water Voles. Internal assessments of the findings are being analysed.

Longford River is running very high at present and the general levels are of concern in some areas particularly outside the park.

Management.
Management plan review is nearing completion and will be consulted on by year end.

Look to co-ordinate a ‘litter pick’ next spring using publicity materials from Tidy Britain Group

A draft management agreement for the Information Point is in preparation, my apologies for the delay in taking this forward and cancelling meeting to discuss it.

The management of Richmond and Bushy Park is being de-merged and the effective date is likely to be 1st April when Ray Brodie will carry on where he left off! Pat Pritchard is likely to remain as Office Manager for both parks at least in the short term.

Assessment of the various bids for the landscape maintenance contracts are under way with a decision to be made by the end of January. The new contracts will go live in April 2014.

The next major procurement exercise for TRP will be the works maintenance contracts which cover the built landscape (and currently the Longford River) This is due to be complete by April 2015.

There have a been a series of incidents involving the fallow bucks that hang around the Diana Car Park area, which have been pushing up to people trying to feed waterfowl. As a result several people have been knocked over and sustained minor injuries. We are considering our options (preferably non lethal) but would welcome any ideas and support to try to reinforce the message that feeding deer is a bad idea.

Field Studies Council will resume operations shortly, awaiting dates.

Walks & Talks

Forthcoming event

Thursday, 23rd Nov 8:00 pm

The Royal Parks in the Great War. Talk by David Ivison

Latest report

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

Full report...