Park roads closed – Sunday 18 September
On Sunday 18 September the park roads will be closed all day for the annual Duathlon. This event involves running and cycling a variety of distances on the park roads and is attended by 4,000 participants, generating much needed income for the park.
Whilst the roads and therefore car parks are unavailable for regular visitors, the park is still open and those people that do visit will find it quieter and more peaceful than usual.
White Ash Lodge
White Ash Lodge is located in the centre of Richmond Park and is possibly one of the most isolated and rural residential properties in London.
Anyone who walks regularly past the lodge will be aware that the property has undergone substantial renovation over several months. Rather uniquely the property also has an outbuilding that includes 2 stables and is well located for riding in the park.
It is now been offered for rent and is listed on property websites through Savills Estates agents and is one of the 7 park lodges now rented out on a commercial basis.
The benefits of grazing grasslands of high wildlife value with cattle are well recognised and the trial run in Richmond Park in recent years has shown that the rarer, more delicate species increase when cattle graze.
Returning cattle to wider sections of the park would involve fences which can be problematic in some situations. They are intrusive to the landscape, require gates or stiles for access which can be awkward and, significantly for Richmond Park, they restrict the free movement of deer.
The Royal Parks work with Surrey Wildlife Trusts grazing team who have conducted initial trials using an invisible fencing system. It works by burying cables a few inches below the ground and they send a signal to remote collars that are worn by the cows. As the cows approach the boundary they receive an audible signal, acting as a deterrent before an electric shock, similar to electric fencing.
It’s early days, but the system could potentially make grazing with cattle in Richmond Park realistic in a way that is acceptable to deer and park users.
Tannins are a chemical compound found in some plants, notably oak bark and walnuts husks. They bind with proteins and if eaten have a dry, unpalatable taste. This helps to protect the plant from predation and is also what gives ‘dry’ wines their dry taste. In the case of seeds, tannins decompose as seeds ripen and are why birds and mammals suddenly eat seeds en masse at this time of year.
Tannins are valuable to humans as they bind to proteins in animal hides, preserving them and making them into usable leather, which does not decompose and is more duarable.
A side effect of some natural tannins is the ability to stain or dye the leather. Oak bark stains a deep black whilst black walnuts husks stain dark brown. So it’s also where the term tan comes from when referring to a change in colour - such as a sun tan. Anyone who has handled oak bark or walnut husks will have stained hands if they don’t wear gloves and it takes several days to wear off, as it can’t be washed away.