If you have never been to Bushy Park or Home Park, then you might want to start at the Visitor Centre to find out all about these two historic parks, which are both Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The Friends operate the Visitor Centre in partnership with The Royal Parks and provide a welcoming and friendly source of advice and guidance to visitors to the two parks. Talk to our knowledgeable volunteers. They will be delighted to tell you what they know about the parks’ histories and the parks’ flora and fauna.
It will be an outside only opening (hence it will be weather dependent) for the time being, in order to keep visitors and volunteers as safe as possible. You will be able to seek advice from volunteers, pick up our informative leaflets, and purchase Greetings cards and other souvenir items, including the new Bushy and Home Parks Calendar for 2021. Please note we will be operating Contactless card payments only.
We look forward to seeing you at the Visitor Centre again.
The Visitor Centre is operated by our uniformed volunteers.
Please see this map for details: Map of Bushy Park
Children have a dedicated “Discovery Zone” where they can draw pictures and examine specimens. Our unique display barrow contains deer antlers, bird nests, and the Big Pine Cone which can weigh up to 2.5 kilograms. Younger children will receive a sticker to wear when they show interest in our displays.
Visitors can also purchase locally produced honey from hives in the park, greetings cards, fold-out information leaflets from the Field Studies Council, and other Friends’ souvenir merchandise. All the profits from sales go towards the Friends appeal funds which are used to support projects in the two parks.
Deer Rut – advice for walkers
The stags and bucks now support fully-grown antlers. They may be seen thrashing them about in the vegetation to build up their neck muscles, as towards the end of the month they will start establishing territories for the rut. The deer also indulge in dust wallows to assist the shedding of their summer coats as their winter ones grow through. They are vulnerable to disturbance during the rut and the large number of spectators can affect them.
Recently the numbers of owners choosing to walk their dogs in Bushy Park has increased considerably. Deer can feel threatened by dogs even over long distances and when the dog is not behaving in a provocative manner. This is particularly so during the rutting (September – October) and the birthing (May – July) seasons. We recommend walking your dog outside the Park at these times.
If you choose, at your own risk, to walk your dog in the Park at these times, it is advisable to keep your dog on a lead and consider an alternative route, such as following the wall line of the Park, close to exit gates.
Dog waste left in the park is unpleasant for other park users, unhygienic and causes serious ecological damage to plant life and animal communities. It is an offence under The Royal Parks Regulations to fail to clean up after your dog including within the areas of long grass. Dog waste should be placed in a tightly sealed bag and taken home or deposited in the marked dog waste bins. Anyone failing to clean up after their dog may face prosecution.
Migration is now in full flow with those summer visitors that have nested further north in the United Kingdom now being joined by others from Northern Europe. The chances of seeing Common Swift, one of our shortest staying summer visitors becomes very difficult. The early mornings or evenings are the best times as this is when birds may be at the end of the day head towards water bodies, this could be the nearby reservoirs or may be the Diana Fountain or nearby ponds as this is where they will feeding on an abundance of flying insects. This autumn the migration has been taking place, but the numbers of migrants involved is lower than most years. We need the direction to come from the northeast down to southeast, that way birds will be pushed across the North Sea.
The Woodland Gardens
This month the gardeners are tidying up Birch Glade and cutting the wildflower meadows.
The Bog Garden is worth a visit, the late flowering Asters and Monkshood will be flowering this month to finish off the long flowering season in this area.
We are looking forward to welcoming back the volunteer workforce this month, their assistance in the garden has been really missed.
Further information can be found on The Royal Parks web site or via email firstname.lastname@example.org