Christmas Trees are available from Roehampton Car Park. Purchasing one through our concession 'Pines and Needles' will help to look after the parks as a percentage of sales is paid to the Royal Parks. They are open every day during park opening hours up until Christmas Eve and trees can be delivered. See www.pinesandneedles.com
The tradition of decorating the home with evergreen foliage symbolises eternal life through the darkest months, often dating back to pre-Christian times. The tradition of bringing an entire tree into the home may be linked with the 8th century German Saint Boniface who in 723 is said to have cut down 'Donar's (Thors) Oak. The tree was sacred to the pagans and by replacing it with a pine tree, Boniface was said to have converted the pagans to Christianity. In this context the triangular shape of the pine tree is seen as a representation of the Trinity and the tall pointed shape of a tree is said to be pointing to Heaven.
Special Constable Recruitment
The Royal Parks are policed by a dedicated team of Metropolitan Police officers who only cover the Royal Parks. They enlist support from Special Constables who are uniformed volunteer police officers.
Whilst they currently have 'Specials' working in the central royal parks, the Met police are currently looking to recruit specials who would like to work across Richmond and Bushy Parks.
If you are interested, please take a look at the Met Police web site and if interested contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a friendly chat.
As the mild autumn continues fungi are still showing. The issue of picking fungi was recently featured on ITV local news as taking fungi causes 3 concerns:
- It can deplete the population from the park, causing detriment to important deadwood habits.
- The deer and other animals rely of fungi for food and nutrition.
- Misidentifying fungi is a problem as some are poisonous.
The Police have, in recent years, issued over 80 cautions to fungi pickers and prosecuted several people under the Park Regulations.
Feeding the Deer
Problems with the deer's health in the 1980's, lead to advice that the park could sensibly sustain a breeding population of around 650 deer.
Whilst the deer browse on trees and grass during the summer they really do rely on seeds such as acorns, chestnuts and conkers to build up fat reserves for the winter. The available food varies from year to year, so to ensure the deer are always in optimum health they are given supplementary feed in the winter - which also ensures they receive all their essential vitamins and minerals.
If it has been a good year for browse and seeds, they come to the feed less readily than a poor year. They also lose interest in the feed earlier in the spring if it's mild and grass starts growing earlier. Likewise if we experience heavy snows and food is less available, the feed is increased to ensure their health and welfare.