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.
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.
It is usual for the Park’s deer to give birth in May, June and July. The young are not ready to follow their mothers for one or two weeks and hide in dense bracken, with their mothers grazing in the vicinity.
Bracken is therefore important to deer to hide their young. However, if you find a young deer on its own outside of bracken, please leave it as its mother will know where it is and return to feed it later.
It is not advisable to walk your dog in the Park during this time. If you choose to, at your own risk, please keep your dog on a lead and consider an alternative route close to exit gates.
If pursued by a deer, let go of the lead. The deer are less likely to charge if the dog runs away from them. If a Red or Fallow Deer approaches you it is probably because she has a calf somewhere nearby. Walking away from her may inadvertently mean that you are walking towards the calf causing her to be more defensive. The preferred course of action would be to retrace your footsteps, back the way you came and take a wide berth on a different track.
Ticks and Lyme disease
Ticks are small creatures related to spiders and mites and feed on the blood of humans, dogs and other animals. They cannot jump or fly, so they cling onto vegetation and wait until host brushes past to attach to their skin. Whilst the risk is very low, they may transmit Lyme’s disease.
During spring, summer and autumn, ticks are more numerous and more active. Park visitors are advised to guard against tick bites by avoiding tall vegetation (especially if you are wearing shorts) and by staying on well worn paths. Insect repellent can also be used. Check yourself after walking in the Park and remove ticks immediately. If concerned, you feel unwell or a rash appears; consult your GP immediately. For more information, please see The Royal Parks website, notice boards within the park.
Bird News – Important information
Bushy Park has 2 small colonies of Skylark, the colony in the south-east corner of the park have been gradually squeezed into a smaller and smaller area by the spread of the Bracken. In the last couple of years we have taken measures to control it, this has worked well and now the birds had began reclaiming old nesting sites. We are doing this because this species is in decline nationally and within the park, so needs your help. These measures were working, with numbers increasing by 3 or 4 pairs. If you are in control of a dog, please follow the instruction on the signs and put your dog on a lead. The other Skylark area is to the south of Upper Lodge Road, here the grassland is much healthier and is what the birds require.
Please adhere to our signs in the park.
Keep dogs on a short lead
Stay on the path
Skylarks have declined by 61% in the UK
Further information can be found on The Royal Parks web site.