Natural England's Executive Board announced on 5 September that it approved the designation of Bushy Park as a new Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
This will now be followed by a four month period for people with an interest in the site to make representations or objections to Natural England, before the board decides whether to formally confirm the site's new status.
SSSI status gives legal protection that ensures the nationally important wildlife and geology of a site is recognised in its management and future use.
Bushy Park, which received notification of SSSI status together with Home Park, is of special interest for its exceptionally large population of ancient and veteran trees, extensive areas of semi-natural lowland dry acid grassland, and its internationally significant populations of rare invertebrates.
Deer rut advice for walkers
The deer rut really gets under way in October and the advice given last month and on park posters continues to be important at this time. The Royal Parks often receive reports of incidents in Bushy Park where dogs sustain injuries, as well as deer being chased by dogs sometimes with fatal consequences.
We recommend walking your dog outside the park during October. If you choose, at your own risk, to walk your dog in the Park at these times, it is advisable to keep your dog on a lead and consider an alternative route, such as following the wall line of the park, close to exit gates. Even if you don't have a dog, keep at least 50m from the deer and stay alert.
By the end of September most of our summer visitors, park breeders such as Common Whitethroat, Reed Warbler and Swallow or migrating birds from further north in the UK and from Europe will now have departed on their long journeys to Sub-Saharan Africa. There is still a chance that a few stragglers may be found feeding up on the last of the blackberries or the few insects that haven't yet died as the temperatures begin to drop.
As this first wave of migrants move off it is the turn of several hardier species that have bred in Scandinavia or Eastern Europe to head our way. These are species that having already travelled thousands of miles may overwinter in the UK. They will stay as long as there are no prolonged cold spells and they are able to find enough food.
The first signs that tell you that autumn is on the way is seep seep call of the Meadow Pipit. This is their contact call that keeps the small flocks together as they head south west. They are closely followed by Starlings, Chaffinch, Redwing and species that you wouldn't necessarily have thought moved great distances, the Wood Pigeon. Well in fact on clear frosty nights with the wind in their favour, this species leave the Scandinavian coastline in their thousands and head out over the North Sea. They fly at a great height cutting across the south east corner of the UK with Spain being their intended destination. Many of these will not make it as the French Hunters will be waiting for them as they cross the Pyrenees. These are just the forerunners with other species to follow on later.
By Tony Duckett.
The Woodland Gardens
The banks of the streams are being tidied up for the winter to allow them to flow when the leaf fall starts in earnest next month as they have a tendency to block.
If the dry conditions continue the leaves will start to turn at the end of the month. This gives interesting colours in the Gardens and in particular in Fishers Field.
Birch Glade has just had its annual tidy up and is well worth a visit. Three Birches are to be planted in the late autumn to replace the ones that were lost last winter during the storms.
The Pheasantry garden at the Ash Walk end will be planted in early November by the Friends of Bushy and Home Parks with Narcissi Jonquil Single (known as Rush daffodil), Chionodoxa Luciliae (Glory-of-the-snow) and snowdrops (Galanthus). This is an area that has recently been cleared of Rhododendron ponticum.