As autumn weather gathers pace, the ornamental trees across the Park are displaying their glorious colours. Park Manager Clare Lanes recommends in particular the Liquidambar (Sweet Gum) close to the Dell and the Japanese Maples and Tulip Trees in the Flower Garden.
One of the many great volunteer services now in operation, the Volunteer Rangers, will continue to provide a presence in the Park over the winter months. However the Mobility Buggy finished at the end of October, but will return in spring 2024.
Keep an eye out for notices about closures in the Park - over the coming months there will be major works taking place between Blackheath Gate and the Grand Ascent.
Royal tree planting
To pay tribute to the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II, and to mark the coronation of King Charles III, the Royal Parks have agreed that the Friends can plant two trees in the Park.
Members are invited to join the ceremonies on Monday 13 November, meeting at the Park offices by Blackheath Gate just before 2pm. The tree for the Queen is a Mulberry (Morus Nigra) which will be planted near the cricket pitch - Buckingham Palace holds the National collection of some 40 kinds of Mulberry. An English Oak (Quercus Robur) to commemorate last year’s coronation will be planted near the remains of the Queen Elizabeth Oak.
Afterwards, if time permits, Friends can get together over a coffee at the Pavilion Café.
Be in the picture
Freshly fallen snow. December 2022 (trees defined in snow behind the Ranger’s House). One of Ian Welsby's award-winning pictures.
Calling photographers of all abilities! The popular Friends' photography group is relaunching under the guidance of Ian Welsby. Ian studied photography to degree level in the 1980s, becoming a photographer and tutor. In 1993 he started working in digital photography and layout design for magazines. In 2000 he changed career, working in the NHS as a therapist, integrating photography into a number of therapeutic and promotional roles. Since retirement his photography has developed further, leading to exhibitions.
If you'd like to join just email firstname.lastname@example.org, citing photography group in the subject field.
Starry starry night
If you're interested in astronomy and aged between 16 and 21, you can sign up for the Astronomy Ambassadors' Group at the Observatory. These free sessions aim to help students create and present their own planetarium show to friends and family.
All sessions are after school hours or during weekends and holidays, and members can drop in whenever they’re free, so don’t have to commit to attending every date. Further information is available here. Sign up here.
Top three tree
Thank you to everyone who took the trouble to vote for the Park's ancient sweet chestnut in the Woodland Trust Tree of the Year competition. The winner was Wrexham's Acton Park sweet chestnut, but we came a more than respectable third!
Our popular Sunday morning Bird Walks continue through the winter. The next is on November 29, and the December walk will be on the 17th. All you have to do is turn up at the Blackheath Gate at 8.30am. The talks are led by Julia Holland and last approximately two hours. Bring binoculars if you have them. There is no need to book.