Throughout the year The Royal Parks specialist arboricultural team monitor the trees in the park on a programme of inspection. This considers the condition of the trees 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 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.
As in previous years these will put out in the park at the end of February. This species had fairly good breeding season in 2015. We hope with the aid of these signs, numbers will continue to increase but we ask those of you walking dogs in that area to adhere to the signs.
Due to the relatively mild winter, we have had so few winter-visiting birds to the UK, as they have so far not felt the need to move from the continent or the farmlands of East Anglia. This has meant that the Redwing’s and Fieldfare’s are largely absent from Bushy Park.
We normally have to wait until Siskin and Lesser Redpolls arrive here but Siskin’s have been present in small numbers since November. If numbers of Lesser Redpolls increase it would be worth checking through them for the slightly larger paler member of that family, the Common/Mealy Redpoll.
If we happen to have some days with clear blue skies then birds like the Skylark will take to the sky to sing their beautiful song; actually locating the songster 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 The Regent's Park Birds Blog which also covers Bushy Park.
You may have noticed the primroses flowering on the banks near Fisher’s Field. The dogwoods are still worth looking at mainly Canada Glade near the Totem Pole. In October the planting of Dog Woods raised mainly in our nursery was continued at the far end to develop the winter stem colour and some River Birches planted Betula Nigra.
The height reduction of the Rhododendron Ponticum in the Waterhouse Plantation will cease before the nesting season; it is hoped that both sections of the Woodland Gardens will have been completed over the last two winters.
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.