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With camellias, bluebells, and evergreen azaleas all in bloom, the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park is well worth a visit this spring! To help even more people enjoy its tranquil beauty, The Royal Parks is running a free minibus service that will transport passengers directly to the gates of this enchanting woodland garden.

Every Wednesday until the 26 August 2015, the minibus will drive a complete circuit of the park stopping at Richmond Park car parks and the Isabella Plantation. It will also stop outside the park at Ham Common crossroads (65 bus stop) and the barrier in Danebury Avenue, near Roehampton Gate. Download a timetable from here

The minibus service is part of an access project and will give the public, especially those without cars, a greater opportunity to visit the Isabella Plantation. The vehicle is fully accessible and can accommodate wheelchairs. Wheelchair users wishing to use this service should contact Malcolm Childs in advance by emailing vmchilds@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk.

Jo Scrivener, Assistant Park Manager at Richmond Park said: "The beautiful Isabella Plantation is nestled in the middle of 2,500 acres of Richmond Park, making it a significant walking distance from the park gates. This free minibus service will afford more people the opportunity to visit this oasis."

The Royal Parks will also be offering a free electric buggy service on a Saturday, on the following dates: 11 and 18 of April and 2 and 9 of May. It will run between Broomfield Hill Car Park and the main entrance to Isabella Plantation at the Broomfield Hill Gate between 10.30am and 15.30pm. Return journeys back to the car park will also be available. The buggy service is specifically aimed at those who find the walk up and down the steep path difficult.

The access project, run by The Royal Parks, and funded by a £1.5million grant from Heritage Lottery (HLF) and Big Lottery Funds has delivered a number of improvements to the plantation including: enhancements to ponds and streams, clearance of overgrown rhododendron and extensive re-planting, upgrades to the existing path network, resurfacing and redesign of the plantation's disabled car park as well as the addition of a new, fully accessible toilet block.

In addition to physical improvements to the site, the project has delivered a number of community and educational benefits. These include horticultural apprenticeships, guided walks, an online database of plants and a film about the Isabella Plantation produced by young local aspiring filmmakers. The film will be available to view on www.royalparks.org.uk

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