Discoverers is the Friends of Richmond Park activities programme for families and young people.
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Discoverers Programme 2016

Talk at Bat Watch

Latest News

Moon Watch!

The Moon Watch on 12th November was the last event of 2016. See the report below.

Click on the Events Page for some useful links.

Isabella Trail You can still download our popular Trail Leaflet and follow the clues. This magical place is beautiful in all seasons.

Go to the "Out and About" page to download the Isabella Plantation Trail Leaflet and for more information.


We are currently planning activities for 2017

 

Events to come - 2017
At the planning stage - watch this space!

Please note


Last event

‘Moon Watch’ on Saturday, 12th November 2016

Novemberís Full Moon was a Super Moon Ė closer to Earth than at any time since January 1948. Thirty two children and parents gathered at the Cambrian Community Centre to take a look at our nearest neighbour with the help of the large telescope brought along by our visiting astronomer, Dr. Robin Scagell. However, as so often happens, our weather had other ideas and the skies remained cloud-covered until half-an-hour or so after the end of our session! Very disappointing, still, we learned a lot about our Moon and Robinís telescope was a big hit. We will be giving this event another go early next year!

Dressed for the occasion

Dressed for the occasion

Demonstrating Captured Rotation

Demonstrating Captured Rotation

Image of telescope

Telescope demonstration

looking through telescope eyepiece

Trying the eyepiece

Useful links: Web site for the Society of Popular Astronomy. See http://www.popastro.com/
To see the International Space Station viewing times go to http://www.heavens-above.com/
To learn more about Stellarium, the free software you can download to find your way around the night sky, go to http://www.stellarium.org/en_GB/


Past Events

‘Fascinating Fungi’ on Sunday, 23rd October 2016

Fungi are Nature’s recyclers and Autumn is the season when they are at their best - eight Discoverers families enjoyed a most interesting event based at the Holly Lodge Centre. The workshop was led by Janet Bostok helped by Elizabeth and Eleanor, not to mention our team of volunteers. Adults and children alike learned a huge amount about the mysterious Kingdom of the Fungi. This has now become a popular annual event.

Hard at work

Working hard trying to identify the parts of a mushroom

Posing by their find

They've found some!

Fungus

Found one! Now can you spot it too?

Demonstrating parts of mushroom

Janet shows off a fungus


Bat Watch on October 8th 2016

Our bat watch had to be postponed a week this year, thanks to bad weather. The session was led as usual by Philip Briggs of the London Bat Group and Bat Conservation Trust. Seven families accompanied by the Discoverers' team watched athletic Daubenton's Bats and Common Pipistrelles catching insects at Adams Pond in the park. When it was too dark to see the bats their sounds were picked up on our bat detectors. One family wrote "..fun and informative. Thank you so much and we're we lucky the bats were so busy last night!"

Before the start

Discussions with Philip Briggs before the start

Starting Out

Starting Out

Darkness Falls

Darkness Falls

Watching Bats at Adams Pond

Watching Bats at Adams Pond

Sounds on Bat Detectors

Picking up sounds on the bat detectors

Deer Listening

Are the deer listening too?


Spring Birds Trail on May 8th 2016

Our base was the Holly Lodge Centre's Nature Trail. After a brief introduction, the group set off with Hugh Bradshaw, our expert birder, to see what was out and about on a beautiful spring day.

Talk before walk

Spring Bird Trail - Talk before walk

On the Trail

On the Trail

Looking for Tadpoles

Looking for Tadpoles

Finding a Blackbird's egg

Finding a Blackbird's egg

Birds get up early in the morning to feed. By the time we got going it was their siesta time! Here are photos of some we spotted - can you name them?

Spring Birds 2016 (a)

(a)

Spring Birds 2016 (b)

(b)

Spring Birds 2016 (c)

(c)

Spring Birds 2016 (d)

(d)

Spring Birds 2016 (e)

(e)

Spring Birds 2016 (f)

(f)

(Answers at the end)


‘Bones and Feathers’ Workshop on Sunday, March 20, 2016

Ten families celebrated the first day of Spring, learning about the rich wild life of Richmond Park with Susanna Ramsey and the Nature Collection [link]. After exploring this unique display of animal bones, feathers, antlers and much more, Discoverers had great fun taking apart Barn Owl pellets - the indigestible remains of an owl’s meal, regurgitated by the bird. The task was to reconstruct the skeletons of tiny mammals e.g. voles and field mice!

Logo

The Workshop Leader was Susanna Ramsey (of The Nature Collection). Her unique and unforgettable hands-on display of animal bones, feathers, antlers etc., represents the rich wildlife of Richmond Park.

 

Looking at display

Looking at the display

Dissection begins

Dissection begins

Separating bones from fur

Separating bones from fur

Could be a skull here

Could be a skull here!

After the dissection, some people made pictures and patterns from the bones discovered

Bones say Joe

JOE was here

Bone Art

Bone Art

Bones

Bones in motion

Portrait

Portrait with a difference

This is definitely a workshop we will be repeating next year!


Autumn Bat Watch on Saturday, October 3rd 2015

We had excellent weather for this popular annual event, calm and warm. This meant that there were plenty of bats around in the evening twilight. We saw pipistrelles and Daubentonís bats swooping over the water at Adamís Pond, and picked up their sounds on bat detectors. Here are some pictures:

Bat watching

Watching bats (and swans) on Adam's Pond

Watching bats

Waiting for the bats!


Spring Birds Walk on May 10th 2015

We started off at the Holly Lodge Centre for a short talk about the birds of Richmond Park from our expert, Hugh Bradshaw.

The group then set off into the Park towards Pen Ponds, keeping eyes and ears open.

One of the most interesting sightings was a pair of Great Crested Grebes beginning their courting (see the picture below).

Spring Bird Watch Grebes

A courting pair of Great Crested Grebes on Pen Ponds

Spring Bird Watch Boot Trouble

A spot of boot trouble!

Looking for Skylarks

Looking for Skylarks

Mallard duck and family

Mother Mallard Duck and family


Meet a Tree on April 26th 2015

Here are some pictures taken on a very cold morning spent meeting Park visitors next to one of Richmond Park's oldest Oaks. This particular veteran is an estimated 515 years old.

If you want to prove it for yourself, just measure around its massive trunk with your arms -
an adult 'hug' = about 100 years
a child's 'hug' = about 75 years

Susanna Ramsey's Nature Collection also provided close-up views of some of the Park's bird and insect life dependent on trees like this one for food and shelter.

Meet a Tree Group and Nature Collection
Meet a Tree Measuring
Meet a Tree Checking Measure
Meet a Tree Collection Gazebo

Spring Bird Quiz Answers
(a) Siskin
(b) Wren
(c) Young Nuthatch
(d) Ring (or Rose)-necked Parakeet
(e) Jackdaw
(f) Green Woodpecker in flight

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Want to find out more about Discoverers? You can contact us at discoverers@frp.org.uk

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