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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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Thursday Talk: Wildlife photography

Wildlife Photography on foot and by bicycle. Talk given by Barry Hilling on Thursday May 27th 2010

Report by Jane Cliff, 6th June 2010

Barry started by stressing that it is possible to travel on foot, by public transport or bicycle and travel to areas where wonderful photographs can be taken. Panniers hold Telephoto lens, wellingtons, lunch, water etc. and his tripod fits on the back of the bike.

There were so many amazing photographs taken in Dorset and Hampshire and more locally in the Lee valley, and at the Wetland Centre. There was even a Cormorant drying its wings on top of the (pre-restoration) Diana fountain.

Some interesting facts about some of the bird photographs were the increase in the Bittern population from 11 breeding males in 1997 to 82 in 2009; the quarrelsome Coot which might kill some of its young if food is short; the promiscuous female Dunnock; the 20 million Pheasants bred to be shot; the Grey Heron with 14,200 nests in Great Britain; Canada Geese introduced in St. James Park by Charles II and stories about the 7,000 Green-necked parakeets roosting in Esher.

Many flower photographs included Coltsfoot used as a tobacco substitute; Dog Violet as a food source for the larvae of the Fritillary butterfly, the one crematorium in the Greater London area where the Green-winged Orchid can be found; the origin of Daisy being ‘days eye’ as it opens during the day and closes at night and the early spider orchid which produces pheromones attracting a male wasp as a pollinator.

Butterflies included the Orange tip, the Adonis Blue, the Common Blue, the Wood White, Pearl bordered Fritillary; the Duke of Burgundy whose population is sadly declining and the Comma which is doing well in the warmer summers.

We saw Mayflies, Hoverflies, Crane flies, an emerging Club tailed dragonfly and several other dragonflies and damselflies.

Barry doesn’t ignore mammals such as squirrels, hares, rabbits and weasels also fungi, beetles, a ladybird, several spiders, mating Roman snails and the infamous leaf miner.

Barry uses a Contax camera system with a manual tripod and an infinite supply of patience!

Many thanks for such an interesting and informative talk to accompany the remarkable photographs.

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.

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Walks & Talks

Forthcoming event

Thursday, 23rd Nov 8:00 pm

The Royal Parks in the Great War. Talk by David Ivison

Latest report

A perimeter walk of Home Park led by Nicholas Garbutt was enjoyed by over 45 people on 2nd September.Walk in Home Park- 2nd September

Full report...

Information Point

The Information Point next to the Pheasantry Welcome Centre café is where our volunteers help visitors to 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.