Be considerate during the lockdown!
The latest restrictions are impacting on the park and all our visitors. We are experiencing unprecedented visitor numbers and at times it can be difficult. Car parks fill up quickly and become grid-locked, the roads then develop traffic jams and pedestrians and cyclists become as frustrated as the motorists. Queues for toilets and catering are at times excessive and it is difficult for staff to meet the standards we expect at peak times. Various contractors and concessions staff have developed symptoms and tested positive for the coronavirus and the situation can change without any notice. Even when enjoying the park, the visitor numbers are much higher and it can be difficult to social distance on busy paths and gardens. PLEASE be mindful of how difficult the situation is and be mindful of others and the pressure on park staff. Some people are at greater risk if they catch coronavirus and may feel more anxious.
We really do appreciate how vital the parks services and infrastructure are to your visit and are doing our best to deliver a good service – but we are struggling to balance services with extreme visitor pressure and there will be times when toilets or catering may be temporality impacted at short notice during the current period of restrictions.
Risk of ice
January and February are always the coldest months of the year and temperatures will often drop below freezing at night. Park staff monitor the predicted forecast and apply salt to the park roads when necessary. This reduces the likelihood of ice but cannot eliminate it in all areas. Do take extra care especially this year whilst hospitals are so busy.
The Wild Service Tree
This winter the tree team have continued to do some woodland thinning and maintenance in 2 Storm Wood which is one of the few places that Wild Service Trees can be found in the park. This is a lesser known and scarce tree that is more commonly known for its edible red berry that only become sweet when bletted (over ripe). Historically children would eat the berries as sweets in winter. Historically the fruit was used to flavour beer but this declined once the use of hops was introduced. The drink was known as ‘chequers’ and this is thought to have derived from the pattern on the tree’s bark being a little like the board game. Pubs and Inns called The Chequers have taken their name from the drink (as does the Prime Minister’s country residence!) and quite often have signs painted as the black and white chequer board. The Latin name torminalis means ‘good for colic’ denoting a medicinal use for the fruit on horses.
Movement Strategy consultation - Last chance!
A final reminder that the consultation period closes on 10th January so please submit your comments soon if you have not done so already. Details can be found via the following link : - Richmond Park - The Royal Parks