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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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Report on Arboriculture Talk

Report on Arboriculture Talk

The Crows' Home by Caz Buckingham

Arboriculture
A talk by Mike Turner, Royal Parks Arboricultural Manager
April 26th 2012

Arbor is Latin for tree and Culture means to care for and grow.

Seven years ago each Park had its own manager for trees, now a team of 4 oversee all the Royal Parks, the gardens of 10 and 11 Downing Street, Canning Green and Poets’ Green: in total 2035 hectares of parkland and 13 Km of the Longford River. 485 are woodland with 150,000 trees of which 1500 are veteran trees. To put this in perspective, the London tree population is 8 million giving an average of 38 trees per hectare. Bushy Park has 32 trees per hectare but Richmond Park has 88 per hectare.

Trees have many benefits; they have landscape value, reduce the risk of flash flooding, reduce noise, provide shade, provide a habitat for wildlife and reduce air pollution.

There has been a review of street trees by the London Assembly. Assessment is based on 4 variables: basic value based on size (trunk area, nursery prices, planting costs); functional value; adjusted value (location, amenity value, appropriateness); full value or life expectancy.

Sensors on trees in the Parks have shown a 4degree lower temperature than outside the Parks. Also the trees help reflect heat from the ground.

Priorities for inspections in Bushy Park are the main paths, roads and hotspots followed by areas where the public pass through but do not linger. Less busy areas and those with no or restricted access have lower priority. Approx. 90% of Bushy Park has been inspected with the addition of an aerial view.

Where trees are damaged, sound sensors are used to check the extent of the decay. It is possible to allow fungal growth and still keep the tree. The current legal framework protects all wild birds, nest, bats etc. Most small holes where branches may have broken off or been removed are bat roosts.

Veteran tress have a higher biodiversity value but require more care and can also be dangerous. Each tree has an individual management plan with a total score indicating the effort needed to conserve it.

Unfortunately there are new pests and diseases such as Oak Processionary Moth, Massaria (a fungus on London planes), Bleeding Canker, Leaf Miner, acute Oak decline.

You may well see some of us with binoculars inspecting Oak trees during June and July.

Report by Jane Cliff

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

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.