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.
You will see various tree surgery works taking place.
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 the 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 the latter 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.
The only black and white woodpecker now seen in Bushy Park is the Greater Spotted Woodpecker, who can be heard drumming.
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.
February in the Woodland Gardens sees the start of the Camellia flowering season, slowly at first but as the day’s move on more flowers can be seen. Camellia Walk in the Waterhouse Garden holds a fine collection of historic Camellias.
The volunteers have been working hard clearing areas in preparation for planting next winter, and also an area by River Lodge in preparation for a nursery extension so that we can propagate our own plants and grow them on in the ground. The mature plants will then be planted out in the Gardens.
The Gardeners have been busy tidying the streams and will be helping renovate the Bog Garden in the next couple of months.
Plants worth looking out for include Hammamelis mollis, Viburnum “Bodnantense Dawn” and the delicately scented Mahonia planted around the gardens.