Richmond Park Deerkeeper retires
The Park diary usually resists articles about people, but an exception is made for John Bartram.
Born and bred in Ham, John retired on 31 October having completed over 30 years of service as a Deerkeeper in Richmond Park, following six years service as a gamekeeper at Kew Gardens.
During that time he saw a lot of changes but believes the reduction of the speed limit in Richmond Park from 30mph in 2004 was a huge benefit to the welfare of the deer. Previously there were many deer killed each year, but when it dropped to 20mph there was just one death in the first 18 months. His career highlight was being promoted to Senior Deerkeeper in 2002 and his dedication and hard work managing the deer health and welfare has resulted in one of the finest captive herds in England.
John’s biography is due to be published next year and is anticipated to be an entertaining and poignant read.
Common tern migration
There are 2 floating rafts on Pen Ponds that have been placed there to encourage terns to breed and raise young. They tend to breed successfully raising a small number of chicks each year which successfully fledge.
This year one of the chicks that had an identity ring attached to its leg was discovered in a survey in Senegal where it was on its spring passage in April this year. It would have migrated much further south for the winter.
It is heart warming and amazing to know that a little bird born in Richmond Park and weighing 130g makes a journey of almost 5,000 miles, twice every year.
Major events in Richmond Park
The Royal Parks recently reviewed its approach to hosting major events in the Royal Parks which followed consultation with stakeholders in the context of a need to generate revenue in response to reduced government funding. The subsequent document was produced in May 2015 and is available on the Royal Parks website.
Richmond Park has hosted 2 major events a year that require park road closures (the London Duathlon and Ride London) and 3rd running event with partial road closures. In 2017, the 3rd event will be a much larger running event and will require a full road closures the date is yet to be confirmed.
These three events raise significant revenue for the Royal Parks which is necessary to continue to maintain the management standards that visitors rightly expect and the Royal Parks are internationally famous for.
Deer cull reminder
With no predators and 200 births annually, the deer population would increase beyond the park's carrying capacity without human intervention. To prevent starvation and malnutrition, the deer are selectively each year starting on the 1st Monday of November and February and lasting for up to 6 weeks on each occasion. The herd is maintained at 630 animals with the correct balance of ages and sexes. During the cull the park is closed to pedestrians and cyclists overnight from 20.00hrs until park opening at 07.30