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Chair’s Welcome

I am delighted as Chair of the Friends to welcome you to our website. Bushy Park and Home Park are two wonderful large green oases in the south west corner of London. Feeling wild, they are natural places with ancient histories, fascinating heritage and superb wildlife. Both are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) containing rare species. These are places to be enjoyed and conserved. Which is why the Friends exist, campaigning, supporting and protecting the parks, and enhancing visitors’ enjoyment with information, advice and guidance.

We are always pleased to receive feedback. You can contact us by clicking here.

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Latest stage in the restoration of the Water Gardens - take a look

Latest stage in the restoration of the Water Gardens - take a look

Water Gardens

The Water Gardens Restoration started with an initiative by The Friends of Bushy and Home Parks in the 1990s. They set up The Water Gardens Trust to fund some archaeological research to discover what the gardens may have looked like. After many years The National Heritage Lottery Fund granted The Royal Parks money to restore these 18th century gardens. In 2008 the work on the main structure was completed and in 2009 the gardens were opened to the public for the first time in 300 years. As one of our annual projects in 2011, the members donated enough money to install the finials and a year later the reeds were put in place. The next stage in the restoration has just been completed. In June 2015, the trompe l’oeil paintings have been inserted into the arches to create the illusion that there is a tunnel which leads from one arch, under the cascade to the other arch. This follows the original 18th century plan shown in a painting on which the restoration was based. The picture, now known as “A View of the Cascade, Bushy Park Water Gardens” by Carlo Ricci was painted in about 1715, within two or three years of the completed Water Gardens. It clearly shows the effect then, and there is evidence that they were originally painted on wooden panels which were removed during the winter months to protect them from the weather. The new panels are made of weather proof material, so can be permanently displayed, thanks to a most generous donation from a former committee member.

There is one final part of the restoration to be completed, if the Friends can raise the money. This is to replace the hoods over the stoop basins which can also be clearly seen in the 18th painting, which usually hangs in Hampton Court Palace. Until 11th October 2015 it can be seen at the Queen’s Gallery in London. It is the key painting in an exhibition called “Painting Paradise – The Art of the Garden”.

The Water Gardens are open from about 09.00 every day except Mondays. When there is a Bank Holiday, they will open on Monday but will be closed on the Tuesday.

Pieter Morpurgo
July 2015

Why we need more Friends

With more members our voice is stronger when we campaign to protect the Parks, and with more subscription income we can do more to provide information and education about the Parks, their wildlife and their history.

Join us today!

Walks & Talks

Forthcoming event

Latest report

On Saturday 8 June 2019 from 11am to 3pm members of the Friends of Bushy and Home Parks will be at the SHAEF memorial (near SHAEF Gate) and at Teddington Gate to help you envisage the scene 75 years ago when General Dwight D Eisenhower and his staff in Bushy Park were planning the campaign to liberate occupied Europe.

Full report...

Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre next to the Pheasantry café is where our volunteers help visitors find out more about the parks and where visitors can purchase souvenirs of your visit to support our work.

Click this panel to visit our Visitor Centre section and also to find out how you can get involved as a volunteer.