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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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Guided walk in the Paddocks area of Home Park

This lovely walk was led by Nicholas Garbutt who is the Tree and Wildlife Officer at Hampton Court Palace.

Starting from Lion Gate, 42 of us walked through the formal gardens towards the gate leading into Home Park noting some fairly recent planting along the canal to increase biodiversity.

Hampton Court yews

We entered Home Park, walked down the tree-lined avenue and out onto Barge Walk overlooking Ravens Ait. Nicholas explained that the outlet of water into the Thames was where eels enter the water system in the Paddocks area. We could also observe the Sand martin bank which was created last year and birds have been seen to be nesting. Back into the Park, the walk continued into the Paddocks where we found 2 small elvers (the first of the season) in the eel trap; these were measured and released. Home Park is working with the Zoological Society of London to record numbers of elvers and the box is examined 2/3 times a week.

Elvers release

The Friends are funding some eel passes which will ensure safe passage for the eels in the water meadows.

As we walked through the Paddocks we had an added bonus as 2 Shire Horses were mowing one of the meadows. This is part of the Operation Centaur – more information can be found under ‘Latest News’ on the website.

horse cart and FBHP

The last part of the walk led us to the Ice House which was opened for us to see inside and finally to Kingston Gate, exactly 3 hours from beginning to end!

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, 25th Oct 8:00 pm

TALK by Kate Canning, “Friends to nature – the wonder of bees”

Latest report

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

Full report...

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.