Oak Bush Crickets
Are common in parks, woods and gardens and our only truly arboreal species of grasshopper or cricket. The nymphs hatch in June and spend their nocturnal lives high in the canopy of oak trees making them hard to see. The females will come down lower in the tree in autumn looking for somewhere suitable to lay eggs and its then that may be found lower down on the trunk or on the ground nearby if dislodged by Autumn winds.
Underneath the park there are miles and miles of services including telephone lines, electricity, sewers, ground water drains and water mains. They all need to be maintained and repaired if they break. The sewer between Pembroke Lodge and Petersham Gate becomes blocked on a regular basis so this summer contractors surveyed the pipe with cameras to find tree roots had broken the old ceramic pipes and dislodged it in places. These were remedied and an additional service cover was installed for future maintenance. More recently a water main burst on Crown Field between the rugby pitches and White Lodge causing a very large muddy hole and stream of water. This was easy to repair because it was evident where the leak was but over the years the Royal Parks and contractors have placed water meters on all the mains and gradually tracked down leaks that have been trickling into the ground water for years. They have at last all been located, which is much less wasteful, saves money and is better for the park’s ecology.
Are a non-native flower that blooms in late summer and can be seen in Pembroke Lodge gardens. They get their name because they are in full bloom around Michaelmas Day (29th September) providing a late nectar source for insects. Traditionally Michaelmas Day marks the end of summer and more interestingly the end of one farming year and the start of the next. So, this means that all the crops should be in by 29th September and October should be the start of preparing the ground ready for next years’ crops. Curiously, tradition dictates that Michaelmas Day is the last day to eat blackberries. This comes from the Christian story that the archangel Michael defeated the angel Lucifer and banished him from heaven at which point he became the devil. When he landed on the floor of hell, he painfully landed in a blackberry bush full of thorns where he cursed the fruit, spitting, breathing fire and urinating on them. So, if you do choose to eat blackberries in October, they may taste sour with the Devil’s wee!!
This is a very important month, as the deer will be rutting so you will probably hear the stags bellowing across the Park trying to attract as many females as possible. Please respect the deer and this natural behaviour by keeping at least 50 meters away from them and do not touch, feed or photograph the deer at close range. Keep your dogs away or consider walking elsewhere.