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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.

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A vicious fight that conkers can't win

Britain’s beloved horse chestnut tree is in danger of disappearing from our parks forever. It is being infected by the leaf miner moth ( Cameraria ohridella), it was first reported in Wimbledon in 2002 and since that time has wreaked havoc, spreading an estimate 60 miles per year. Trees appear unsightly with brown withered looking leaves and dried up seed cases.

Dr Glynn Percival of Harlett Tree Research comments “The horse chestnut will not be a major tree species in 15 years. I have to be pessimistic but, with time, they’re just going to become rarer and rarer”.

With rapid defoliation the leaf miner causes makes each infected tree appear unsightly it won’t necessarily kill it. However, it faces another threat as they become susceptible to bleeding canker, a bacterial pathogen which causes the bark to split and starves the tree of moisture thereby killing it.
It is recommended that the leaves of affected trees should be burnt to try and stem the production of further moths.

The Royal Parks have been looking to the future and increasingly find embargoes on the importation of a number of tree species , the latest being the sweet chestnut. Some difficult decisions will need to be made for future planting and at this time Chestnut Ave looks to be under threat.

Walks & Talks

Forthcoming event

Friday, 25th Jan 8:00 pm

Talk by Ian Jones-Healy “Dr John Langdon Down and the history of Normansfield“.

Latest report

On the morning of Saturday 3 November a group of members of the Friends assisted Sharon Evans, the Bushy Park Head Gardener, in planting an area of the Woodland Gardens.

Full report...