Thursday, 11 June 2015

Visiting an old favourite park

We lived in Twickenham for over twenty years and enjoyed the fantastic local parks when the children were young. We continued to visit them often, just because...

I'm going to invite you to visit all of them, starting with the largest and most spectacular: Bushy Park.

Bushy Park is a royal park, rich in history:

Bushy Park extends over about 1,100 acres (445 hectares) of grassland to the north of Hampton Court Palace. Cardinal Wolsey began by enclosing farm land adjacent to the house when he took over Hampton Court and, when Henry VIII acquired the palace in 1529, the old oak fences were replaced by a high brick wall, traces of which can still be seen today. The park was originally of several distinct areas until the present boundaries were completed in 1620. The name “Bushy Park” was first recorded in 1604 and was probably a reference to the many thorn bushes. These were planted to protect the young oak trees which were being grown as timber for ships in the navy.
In Tudor times the parks were important as hunting grounds - Henry VIII stocked them with deer and there were rabbits in abundance. After the royal palace at Richmond was destroyed by fire, Hampton Court became increasingly important as a royal residence and the land we now know as Bushy Park was the adjacent hunting ground. Henry, and later his daughter Elizabeth, both enjoyed riding and hunting here.
There are formal areas, where the gardens are kept very neat, but there are also very rugged areas, where we find an abundance of wildlife. Actually, the wildlife is all over the park!

Jackdaws congregate in a grassed area::

A couple of coots, one nesting, the other going for a walk:

Another nesting bird:

An Egyptian goose:

A couple of ring-necked parakeets:

The famous Bushy Park deer:

I hope you've enjoyed the visit to this very beautiful place.

[Last three photos by Helen Carrington]