It is usual for the Park’s deer to give birth in May, June and July. The young are not ready to follow their mothers for one or two weeks and hide in dense bracken, with their mothers grazing in the vicinity.
Bracken is therefore important to deer to hide their young. However, if you find a young deer on its own outside of bracken, please leave it as its mother will know where it is and return to feed it later.
It is not advisable to walk your dog in the Park during this time. If you choose to, at your own risk, please keep your dog on a lead and consider an alternative route close to exit gates.
If pursued by a deer, let go of the lead. The deer are less likely to charge if the dog runs away from them. If a Red or Fallow Deer approaches you it is probably because she has a calf somewhere nearby. Walking away from her may inadvertently mean that you are walking towards the calf causing her to be more defensive. The preferred course of action would be to retrace your footsteps, back the way you came and take a wide berth on a different track.
Ticks and Lyme disease
Ticks are small creatures related to spiders and mites and feed on the blood of humans, dogs and other animals. They cannot jump or fly, so they cling onto vegetation and wait until host brushes past to attach to their skin. Whilst the risk is very low, they may transmit Lyme’s disease.
During spring, summer and autumn, ticks are more numerous and more active. Park visitors are advised to guard against tick bites by avoiding tall vegetation (especially if you are wearing shorts) and by staying on well worn paths. Insect repellent can also be used. Check yourself after walking in the Park and remove ticks immediately. If concerned, you feel unwell or a rash appears; consult your GP immediately. For more information, please see The Royal Parks website, notice boards within the park, or visit the Bushy Park Office for a leaflet.
June is a month when nearly all our summer visiting migrant birds will have arrived in the United Kingdom. However if the weather has been against them there could be a few stragglers. A species that often arrives late and is worth looking out for is the Spotted Flycatcher once a common parkland species. This year’s warm weather in early spring encouraged many migrating species to arrive early. One with a very distinctive call that you may have heard is the Cuckoo, at least one of these has been present for several weeks. There will already be lots of juveniles present, species like the Blackbird, Mistle and Song Thrush will have benefitted from the recent wet conditions. However with the temperature now dropping members of the tit family, species of warbler such as Blackcap and Chiffchaff may find it hard to find small caterpillars. With luck the warm weather will return and the skies on calm days particularly during the evenings will be filled with insects. The smaller species will attract Swifts, Swallows and House Martins, the larger ones i.e. Mayfly, Damselfly and Dragonfly will attract one of our top park birds of prey, the Hobby. As well as eating these insects they will eat the birds and even the bats that are attracted to the abundant supply of insects.
Mowing has now started. The naturalised bulbs have now died back so it is the right time to cut them along with the grass. The Bog Garden plants are starting to flower starting with the candelabra Primulas and Astilbes, Purple Loostrife will flower later in the year.
The Volunteers have been busy weeding in the Bog Garden, pulling out Himalayan Balsam (a very invasive weed) in both Woodland Gardens and tidying beds and stream sides. The Garden team have been tidying beds in the Pheasantry, pruning hedges and tidying up the car park. New beds have been designed and planted up around the Witches Pond in the Waterhouse Gardens.
Further information can be found on The Royal Parks web site or via email firstname.lastname@example.org