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

NEXT EVENT - Fascinating Fungi Workshop

Sunday am - October 23rd

Click on the Events Page for more details.

Isabella Trail You can still download our popular Trail Leaflet and follow the clues. It's a lovely time to visit and see the beatiful Autumn colours.

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

See below for our final activities for 2016


Events to come 2016
Sunday am October 23 Fascinating Fungi
Saturday eve November 12 Moon Watch

Please note

Last event

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 " and informative. Thank you so much and we're we lucky the bats were so busy last night!"

We will put up some pictures from the event as soon as possible.

Past Events

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)


Spring Birds 2016 (b)


Spring Birds 2016 (c)


Spring Birds 2016 (d)


Spring Birds 2016 (e)


Spring Birds 2016 (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!


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 in motion


Portrait with a difference

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

‘Fascinating Fungi’ on Sunday, October 25th 2015

Nine Discoverers families enjoyed perfect autumn weather for this event based at the Holly Lodge Centre. The workshop was led by Janet Bostok and Elizabeth Cheeseman. Adults and children alike learned a huge amount about the mysterious Kingdom of the Fungi. This is an event we will be repeating next year!

Web of tights

A web of tights demonstrates the extensive root system of fungi

Looking for mushrooms

Looking for mushrooms in the Holly Lodge Centre Nature Trail

Lots to see here

Lots to see here

What has Elizabeth Found

What has Elizabeth Found?

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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