Oak Processionary Moth spraying
In April, the eggs of the invasive insect, Oak Processionary Moth, start hatching. The eggs over-winter on the twigs of oak trees and the young caterpillars emerge as the weather gets warmer and the leaves on which they feed unfurl. The caterpillars may cause extensive defoliation of the host tree and carry toxic hairs which can pose a threat to human and animal health. Early season management of this challenging pest includes targeted spraying of a biological insecticide in mid to late April in certain areas of the park. Some of this takes place at night to minimise inconvenience to park users. However, day-time spraying is sometimes necessary, particularly where ground conditions are unsuitable for night-time working. Please avoid the proximity of the spraying operation and follow any instructions given by the ground crew accompanying the spraying rigs.
Car parking charges
Following an 8 week consultation The Royal Parks will introduce parking charges in Richmond Park in all car parks, bringing them into line with its policy across the rest of the Royal Parks. In response to concerns raised in the consultation, it is proposed to charge on weekdays between 9am and 4pm, during park opening times, rather than 9am to 6pm. The charges will help manage an increasing demand for parking in a limited number of car parks and encourages more sustainable travel. Revenue raised will be spent on related infrastructure such as road surface maintenance, pedestrian facilities and other projects that aim to help visitors access the park without needing a car. The introduction of parking charges requires the approval of Parliament. The proposal can only be tabled when the Parliamentary timetable allows, which is unlikely to be in the near future.
Ticks and Lyme disease
Ticks are small, spider like insects that attach themselves to humans, dogs and other animals to feed on blood. Whilst the risk is very low, they can transmit diseases including Lyme disease. Ticks cannot fly or jump but instead they cling onto tall vegetation and wait for their host to brush past. During spring, summer and autumn ticks are more numerous, more active and the park vegetation such as bracken is in ‘full frond’. Park visitors are advised to guard against tick bites by avoiding tall vegetation (especially if wearing shorts) and stay on well-worn paths. Insect repellent can also be used. Check yourself after walking in the parks and remove ticks immediately. If concerned, you feel unwell, or a rash appears - consult your GP immediately. Please visit the Royal Parks website for more information.