in the city's heartland
One of London's four Royal parks, Richmond Park is the largest open space in
the capital city, covering almost 1,000 hectares of natural habitats.
It is home to a huge variety of wildlife and nature activities including deer
|Haven in the heart of
Although all 13 miles of the perimeter of Richmond
Park are surrounded by human habitation, the park has changed little over the
It was created in the 17th Century when King Charles I enclosed
the area as a royal hunting ground.
Today it remains virtually unchanged
after several centuries, making it a fabulous place to come and look at wildlife.
Richmond Park has a rich and varied landscape of hills, bogs
and bracken, woodland gardens, semi-natural acidic grasslands and ancient parkland
The park was named London's largest Site of Special Scientific
Interest (SSSI) by English Nature in 1992 and is a National Nature Reserve (NNR),
welcoming around 18,000 visitors a day.
The park is home to a rich variety
of plant and animal life, including deer, badgers and foxes as well as over 1,000
species of beetle - that's more than a quarter of the overall British beetle list!
is an important natural habitat for the Cardinal Click and Stag Beetles.
The Stag Beetle has declined in recent years, but London and Richmond Park, in
particular, remain one of its strongholds.
The males have antlers just like
the rather larger Red Deer who live in the park.
Park is a top UK site for ancient trees, particularly oaks, which have great historic
and wildlife importance.
The are nearly 1,000 oak trees in this nationally
It is estimated that 150 trees are planted each year in
open areas of the park to support nationally endangered species of fungi, as well
as the many rare insects which live at Richmond.
Visitors can also enjoy
the Isabella Plantation, a beautiful landscaped woodland garden with a stream,
ponds and magnificent floral displays including azaleas and flowering rhododendrons.
and smells of nature
Also popular with nature lovers are the herds of
approximately 300 Red and 350 Fallow Deer, which were originally brought to the
area by Charles I back in 1637 when he enclosed the land for hunting.
The eight miles of stone wall he commissioned for this purpose are now Grade I
listed and on the English Heritage Register.
Richmond Park is one of the
best places in Britain to watch Red Deer.
It's great to be able to get
up close to these impressive creatures, and to experience the smell and sound
of them, especially in the autumn during the rutting season.
is so green and lush that these deer are some of the biggest and best fed in the
The park boasts an impressive range of birds inclining some unusual
Look out for 100 pairs of Parakeets in the parkland.
They are characterised by their bright plumage, rosy beaks and the ring on the
necks of adult birds.
If you can't spot one, listen out for their noisy,