Richmond Park Open Day
The Richmond Park Open Day takes place on 13 September at Holly Lodge. It is open to the public from 11.00 until 16.00hrs, is free to enter but parking is charged at £5 per car.
Displays will be put on by all the organisations that work and help the park or fit within the countryside and garden theme.
Come along to find out about the history of the park, the wildlife, see the shire horses, have a pony ride, enjoy the displays of cars and machinery, traditional woodworking or educational activities.
Bracken is a fern that spreads by underground 'rhizomes' gradually increase in area every year. It shades out other species and becomes a dense monoculture that compromises the wildlife value of the park. Left unchecked, bracken would take over the parks grassland by about 1-2 hectares a year.
The Royal Parks control Bracken by rolling with the Shire horse team and treating with herbicide where rolling is not possible. Areas previously treated quickly establish as grassland and wild flowers can be seen once again. In September look out for Hare Bells. These delicate blue flowers were said to chime to warn the Hares of danger. Well, not loudly enough as the last hares were seen in the park in 1972.
Deer ticks continue to be present in higher than normal numbers during September and the dense bracken offers them ideal conditions to transfer onto humans and animals. The ticks feed by piercing the skin to suck blood, which can transmit an illness called Lymes Disease.
The risk is very small and should not deter people from enjoying the park, but it is advisable to take the following precautions:
- Keep covered in long grass and avoid walking through bracken, or use insect repellent if bare-legged.
- Check your skin and pets fur for the presence of ticks, which may be removed by gently twisting and pulling to ensure that the mouthparts are not left behind. Carefully wash the area after the bite.
- If you do get a tick check for a 'bulls-eye' rash and consult your doctor.
- In case of difficulty, consult your doctor.
Water Boatman are small brown bugs that live in the park's ponds.
Two of their legs are adapted to form small paddles that they use to swim through the water. They are vegetarian, live near the bottom and come to the surface to take a fresh air supply.
The name Greater Water Boatman was used for a very similar bug that swims on its back. In recent years these tend to be called back swimmers to avoid confusion. Backswimmers are carnivorous and eat tadpoles – they can also give people pond dipping a bit of a nip!