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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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Saturday Walk: Spiders

A Spider Foray in Bushy Park Led by Mick Massie on May 23rd 2010

Report by Jane Cliff, 4th June 2010

This was a fascinating 2 hours and we saw at least 10 different species of spider.

We had only got as far as the pedestrian gate out of the Welcome Centre when we saw a mat web belonging to a relative of the garden spider. Out in the grassland area spiders were shaken from the trees and others were seen running on top of the grasses. We also discovered a rare Leaf Hopper and some bright green (mating!) weevils. Most of the time a woodpecker was happily eating ants only yards away from our group.

With the aid of tubes and hand lenses to examine them, non web spinners seen included Hunting, Crab and Jumping spiders. One Hunter is the Nursery Web spider – the female carries the egg sac in her jaws until the eggs are ready to hatch. She then protects the eggs in grass, stays until they hatch and for 2-3 weeks afterwards.

Tangle web spiders weave a messy web which traps insects whereas Orb web spiders climb into their web and hang on by their back legs.

All spiders have a season so that at the moment small garden spiders are evident and the eggs will have over-wintered. Large garden spiders will appear in the autumn.

All spiders are carnivorous and often the prey is bigger than the spider. Male spiders may need to distract the female with a present of food so that he can mate and avoid being eaten!

As the day got hotter, we moved into the Pheasantry and saw different species near the water including a Cricket bat spider and Long-jawed spider. An exciting discovery was a Tangle web spider with a parasitic wasp larva attached to its back. The larva feeds by penetrating the digestive system of the spider, eventually pupates and drops off, the spider will then die.

There are spiders everywhere if you know where to look and walks in the park will never be quite the same again!

Many thanks to Mick and his friends.

Report by Jane Cliff June 2010

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

Friday, 24th May 12:10 pm

Talk by Jamel Guenioui ‘ Reptiles and Amphibians’.

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Information Point

The Information Point next to the Pheasantry Welcome Centre 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 Information Point section and also to find out how you can get involved as a volunteer.