ROAD WORKS: Towards the end of February contractors are due to conduct works on the park roads. They will be installing 3 raised crossing points at Ham Cross, Sheen Cross and Ham Gate, which will encourage road users to reduce speed where pedestrians cross. Improvements and calming measures will also be installed on the single width ‘closed road’ only used by cyclists and pedestrians that run from Pen Ponds Car Park to Ham Cross. Some disruption from 2-way lights and road closures will be necessary but we will do all we can to keep this to a minimum. This work is part of Transport for London’s ‘Quietways’ project.
PEN PONDS PLANTATION: As the Friends of Richmond Park volunteers continue to reclaim the native woodland from the Rhododendron cover, they are uncovering the fence line that has become dilapidated and unserviceable. Half the fence was replaced last year and contractors are now due to replace the rest of the fence, on the west side on the woodland.
THE GREAT BRITISH SPRING CLEAN: On Sunday 5 March between 12.00 and 16.00hrs the Friends of Richmond Park are organising a ‘spring clean’. This event is part of the charity Keep Britain Tidy’s campaign to encourage 500,000 people to get out and make sure their neighbourhood is one of which they can be proud. If you are interested in helping please contact the friends of Richmond Park at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out www.greatbritishspringclean.org.uk.
DEER CULL: With no predators and up to 200+ births annually, the deer population would increase beyond the Parks carrying capacity without human intervention. To prevent starvation and habitat destruction, the deer are selectively culled during November and again in February. This ensures a healthy herd of 600 with the correct balance of ages and sexes. The cull starts on Monday 6 February during which the Park’s pedestrian gates are locked overnight from 20.00hrs for up to 6 weeks.
WOOD PIGEONS (AND STOCK DOVES): Whilst wood pigeons are a resident bird to the UK, they have a tendency to fly from all over the UK and overwinter in the south. The counties surrounding London are very wooded with Surrey having the highest proportion of woodland in Britain (25%). It is presumed that pigeons move to where food availability is high such as the broad leaf woodlands of south east England. In the winter the number of wood pigeon in the Park can rise. To distinguish a wood pigeon from a stock dove look for their white collar and wing markings – they are absent on stock doves.