Throughout the year members of the Royal Parks specialist arboricultural team monitor the trees in the park on a cyclical programme of inspection.
The inspection looks at the condition of the trees, their integrity from a safety point of view and the effects of any pest and disease. Tree work may then be prescribed which includes a variety of techniques from shortening of individual branches to felling or monolithing of trees that have died.
Arisings and deadwood from this work is kept in the park as far as possible as it is very important habitat for the special creatures that live in it.
This month work is being carried on the western perimeter of the park.
Bushy Park Bird News
Depending on how the winter is progressing has much to do with what birds and how many will be present in the park.
If we have been enduring a cold spell then we could have large numbers of those Scandinavian members of the thrush family, Fieldfares and Redwings feeding on any remaining berries.The Silver Birches and Alder trees in areas such as The Canal Plantation and the Woodland Gardens, particularly those close to the river, could also be hosting Siskin and Lesser Redpolls. It is worth closely checking through the redpolls for the slightly larger and paler member of that family the Common Redpoll.
If we happen to have some days with clear blue skies then birds like the Skylark will take to sky to sing their beautiful song; actually locating the bird can be very difficult but is worth the challenge. Our two black and white members of the woodpecker family can also be heard drumming; the smaller and rarer member, the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is at real risk of becoming extinct as a park resident. In 2013 there was only one pair left, none of whom were recorded after April of that year. It is worth familiarising yourself to the sounds of these 2 species' drumming, as it can be difficult to tell the difference.
There is another songster that can be heard and isn't dependant on fine sunny days, that is the Storm Cock or to give it its common name the Mistle Thrush. Males can be heard singing on the most atrocious of days.
For more bird news check out www.regentsparkbirds.blogspot.com which also covers Bushy Park.
By Tony Duckett
You may have noticed the primroses flowering on the banks near Fisher's Field.
It was not until after World War II and the appointment of Mr Fisher as Superintendent of Hampton Court and Bushy Park that the Woodland Gardens were completed with the addition of Fisher's Field, previously a livestock paddock. It is Mr Fisher who is credited with laying out much of the area as a woodland garden in the true horticultural sense. His name is commemorated in the naming of some of the areas after him and members of his family.
New Skylark Signs
New Skylark signs will be put out in Bushy Park by the end of February. This species had a good breeding season in 2014. We hope with the aid of these signs, numbers will continue to increase.