October sees the nights draw in, the change to GMT and the park can be dark in the evenings when many people are visiting or commuting home.
It is thought that around 1500 gas lamps still exist in London and many of these are in the ‘central’ Royal Parks such as St James’s Park and Hyde Park.
In Richmond the street lamps at Ham Gate are still fuelled by gas. They are also kept to preserve some of the historical context of the park and sit on top of the gate pillars. They cast a gentle light which is sufficient to see well enough when using the pedestrian gate but unobtrusive in the surrounding area.
Road cycling isn't for everyone. Some people feel uncomfortable with the pace and children or inexperienced cyclists want to practice and gain confidence on quieter routes away from cars.
'Leisure' cycling is permitted along c. 14 miles of routes away from cars. The Tamsin Trail shared user path is a circular path of 7.35 miles around the perimeter of the park, plus the 1 mile link between Ham and Petersham Gate.
Cyclists may also ride on the closed roads between Ham Cross and Sheen Cross via Pen Ponds car park. There are also paths that run parallel with the roads between Roehampton Gate and Richmond Gate, between Ham Cross and Kingston Gate and between Sheen Cross and Sheen Gate.
In addition the Park Regulations specifically state that ‘No person shall, unless he is a child of 10 years of age or under, use any pedal cycle except on a Park road or in an area designated and marked for that purpose’.
In practical terms, children can learn to ride anywhere safe in the Park when supervised by a responsible adult who is on foot.
Trick or Treat Run
This family running event takes place on Sunday 30 October starting and finishing at Robin Hood Gate car park. The route uses the following park roads that will be closed to traffic: Roehampton Gate, Sheen Cross and Pen Ponds Car Park and Robin Hood Gate. Roehampton Gate will also be closed to traffic for the day.
Star and Garter Hill - Road Works
There are a number of road works planned on a series of dates between October and December whilst utility companies conduct work in the road on Star and Garter Hill and outside Ancaster House. Traffic will be diverted or managed with lights. Please observe advanced warning signs or check the Richmond Borough Council website for updates.
The best autumn colour comes when a long hot summer suddenly ends by a sharp drop in temperature and Maples produce the best colour of all in the landscape. Close to Kingston Gate, above Gallows Pond a glade of Sugar Maples were planted to recognise the support of the Canadian Army during WWII. The bright red autumn colour jumps out from surrounding Oak Woodland during October. Elsewhere in the Park, the native Field Maple produces a subtle yellow leaf in autumn. The Field Maple is associated with the heart and love and is said to bring contentment to those who are burdened by responsibility. According to ancient wisdom passing a child through the branches of a Field Maple would ensure a long life!