Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentonii)
There are 18 species of bat, which are nocturnal flying mammals, in the UK. Many of them roost, hibernate, breed or feed here in the park, one of which is the Daubenton’s bat. It is a medium-sized species that can live up to 22 years, weighs 7g–12g, has a wingspan of 240-275mm and has a steady flight, which is reminiscent of a small hovercraft. It usually feeds and takes insects such as small flies, midges, caddisflies and mayflies from close to the water. Therefore if you’re around any of the ponds or the brook at dusk then you may be lucky enough to catch sight of this bat in its natural environment, as the young bats also begin to catch insects for themselves in August, as they no longer need their mothers’ milk.
A new 3 metre Plastic Downstream Defender III System and access chamber is currently being installed onto an existing surface water drain next to Roehampton Cafe Car Park. This work should be completed in August, which will then prevent contaminated road derived sediment from reaching the Beverley Brook. The work is part of an on-going partnership project between The Royal Parks, The Friends of Richmond Park, the South East Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency, which aims to improve the quality of the water and enhance the Beverley Brook and the species that rely on this watercourse.
Bracken dominates large areas of the park so various management techniques will continue to be used throughout August, which includes rolling using horse-drawn bracken rollers, cutting and spraying. Bracken has the ability to smother more sensitive habitats such as the acid grassland areas so this work helps to control its spread and ensure other species are able to establish across the park.
Parks: Our Shared Heritage Exhibition, 27 July–11 August 2017
London is hosting for the first time ever, an exhibition entitled Parks: Our Shared Heritage, at The Mall Galleries, which is a collaboration between The Royal Parks, the Hearsum Collection and the Office of Public Works, Ireland. This free exhibition explores the rich history, with rarely seen artefacts including oil paintings, photographs, and historical documents spanning three centuries about the Royal Parks, which includes Richmond Park.
The male deer, which are the fallow bucks and the older stags, are currently marking their territories and cleaning the velvet off their newly-grown antlers by rubbing or fraying as its known, on trees and shelters.The antlers are fully-grown so the ‘velvet’ covering them becomes redundant. It dies and shreds and the deer thrash their antlers against vegetation to rub it off so the deer may be seen briefly with blood stained tatters of skin dangling across their antlers or faces. Please keep away from them and do not touch, feed or photograph them at close range.
Green Flag Award
Last month Richmond Park was awarded a Green Flag for the tenth year running. This award is given in recognition of achieving the national standard for parks and open spaces in England and Wales. It reflects positively on all of the excellent work, which is carried out by The Royal Parks staff, contractors, concessions and volunteers.
Park Road Closure
The Park will be closed to traffic on 17 September for the Duathlon.