Internationally renowned broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough, has formally opened the Attenborough Pond and launched a conservation appeal for Beverley Brook in Richmond Park.
The new Attenborough Pond, created as part of an on-going Richmond Park Ponds and Streams Conservation Programme, is located beside the road that runs from the Pen Ponds car park to the park's perimeter road near Robin Hood Gate. The programme, launched in May 2012 by The Royal Parks and Friends of Richmond Park, aims to restore existing ponds and streams and create new freshwater habitats.
Sir David said:
"I am thrilled to have the pond named after me but, more importantly, to be part of the continuing conservation project to improve and upgrade ponds and streams, the lifeblood of Richmond Park.
"It gives me great pleasure to launch the appeal to raise funds for improvements to the wildlife habitats of Beverley Brook."
The new pond folds around a single black poplar tree, one of the UK's rarest native trees. For a number of years The Royal Parks has been planting new black poplar trees in the park with the aim of re-establishing this once common species. Native species of plants will colonise the pond and the marshy areas near the pond are likely to be inhabited by newts and other amphibians.
Sir David also launched the public appeal to raise £16,000 to improve wildlife habitats across the historic Beverley Brook. The project, another member of the Ponds and Stream Conservation Programme, will see the building of kingfisher nest tunnels in the river bank, and creation of fish shelters and spawning grounds with branches and gravel. Donate here.
Richmond Park Manager Simon Richards said:
"We are delighted that Sir David Attenborough has lent his name and support to our new pond in Richmond Park. As a naturalist Sir David understands all too well the value of ponds to biodiversity in Richmond Park. Ponds support a wide range of wildlife species including the azure damselfly, common toad and smooth newt, provide foraging opportunities for bats such as the soprano pipistrelle, and are a watering point for our herd of deer and over 100 species of birds.
"With some 30 ponds in Richmond Park, we are especially thankful to the Friends of Richmond Park for their continued support in helping us maintain and restore existing ponds, and create new freshwater habitats."
The Attenborough Pond was funded by The Royal Parks, The Friends of Richmond Park, Healthy Planet, and the Richmond Park Charitable Trust.
For more information, visit the Ponds and Stream Conservation Programme website.