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  • Jasper Danz

Richmond Park and Its Attractions

Richmond Park was established in 1625, when King Charles the First moved to Richmond Palace to escape the plague in London. He made the park to a hunting area to hunt deer. It was originally called “The Manor of Sheen” by King Edward the First, but today’s name was decided on by King Henry the Seventh in 1501.

Richmond Park is known for its old oaks, open grasslands and its wildlife. Some attractions in Richmond Park are the Isabella Plantation, Pembroke Lodge and White Lodge. The Isabella Plantation is a 40-acre woodland set within a Victorian plantation. It was established in the 1830s by Lord Sidmouth. It first opened to the public in 1953. The Isabella Plantation is full of colourful native and exotic plants. It was refurbished in 2011 and 2015 with the help of the Heritage Lottery and the Big Lottery. It is especially worth a visit in spring, when the rhododendrons and azaleas are in full bloom.

Pembroke Lodge was built in 1754 for a mole catcher who patrolled the park and captured moles to prevent them from digging holes. The Countess of Pembroke later took a liking to the lodge. King George the Third granted her the use of the building and by her death in 1881 the lodge had greatly expanded.

White Lodge is a Royal Ballet school and about 125 boys and girls attend it. The Lodge used to be a royal hunting lodge.

Richmond Park is the biggest of the 8 royal parks in England. It covers 2500 acres of land and has herds of deer walking freely around in it.

Deer grazing protects the Nature Reserve because the deer prevent tree seedlings to grow so we can have these open spaces. Richmond Park is home to 630 red and fallow deer.

In a tree count in 2020, Richmond Park had over 130 000 trees. The oldest tree in Richmond Park is about 750 years old. It also has 30 lakes and ponds. The most famous ones are called the are the Pen Ponds. These ponds were dug in 1746 and are still in good condition. The Pen Ponds were dug to drain a marshy area. They were both drained in the Second World War because they formed a landmark for the Luftwaffe.

The pedestrian gates are open 24 hours a day unless culling is taking place. Culling is when hunters reduce the size of the herd by killing deer. During that time, the pedestrian gates close from 8pm to 7.30am. Access for cars varies throughout the year. During hours of darkness, cars are not allowed to enter or drive through the park.

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