Caution – Deer birthing season
Take extra at this time of year as new born deer are often hidden by their mothers in bracken or long grass. Female deer are very protective of their young and can act defensively if disturbed.
All park users are advised to keep at least 50m away from deer, never get in between two deer and never feed or photograph the deer at close range.
At this time of year, dog walkers are advised to stay away from the parks. If using the parks please:
- keep your dog on a lead at all times
- let go of the lead if pursued by a deer (the deer are less likely to charge if the dog runs away from them) and;
- stick to busier areas at the edge of the park and avoid nursery areas in the quieter interior.
The bright red markings on the black wings of this moth are the same colour as 'cinnabar' which is the naturally occurring mineral containing the mercury ore.
Cinnabar has been used as a pigment since Neolithic times and mined for the production of Mercury since the 1500s. The name cinnabar is also used for dyes and pigments made from other sources. Indeed the Dragon's blood tree, which produces bright red roots used for dying, has the scientific name of Dracaena cinnabari.
The moths are easily seen in Richmond as they are numerous; fly during the day and easy to spot. The bright colour warns potential predators that they are unpalatable and the caterpillars, which are bright orange and black, absorb the toxic alkaloids from Ragwort to protect them from predators.
So successful is the moth's ability to thrive on ragwort (which is problematic to live stock farmers) that it has been introduced to New Zealand, Australia and North America to help control the plant in pastures.
The perimeter road in Richmond Park is 7 miles long but including the links and the 1.8 miles only used by cyclists there are 11 miles of roads – or 22 miles of roadside verges. Road posts are installed along most of the verges to discourage cars from driving off the road and every day before the park gates open, the verges are cleared of discarded litter. Keeping the verges cut discourages litter louts and makes it easier to spot items. They also serve as a pedestrian path in some places. The grass is cut by the Park's Shire horse team in the spring but by June the road posts become concealed and are strimmed by the parks estates maintenance team. In various places there are swales – gaps where any rain water can flow off the road into the ditches and drains and these also need to be kept clear of obstructions such as leaves during the wetter moths.
Richmond Park Open Day – 13 September
The Royal Parks will be hosting an open day at Holly Lodge on Sunday 13 September. The day is an opportunity for members of the public to meet a variety of people and organizations that work, manage or provide services in the Park. Entry is free but a charge will be made for parking at Holly Lodge. Watch out for more information and SAVE THE DATE!