London's Largest Royal Park

Did you know Richmond Park is London’s biggest royal park and for one day we have it all to ourselves!

Richmond Park was created by King Charles I in the 17th century as a deer park. The largest of London's Royal Parks, it is of national and international importance for wildlife conservation.

Originally created for deer hunting, Richmond Park now has 630 red and fallow deer that roam freely within much of the park.

The park is an important refuge for other wildlife, including woodpeckers, squirrels, rabbits, snakes, frogs, toads, stag beetles and many other insects plus numerous ancient trees and varieties of fungi.

Richmond Park supports a large population of what are believed to be ring-necked parakeets. These bred from birds that escaped or were freed from captivity.

It played an important role in both world wars and in the 1948 and 2012 Olympics. In the early days of the London Marathon, race officials worked out of an office by Richmond Gate. Infact London Marathon founder Chris Brasher lived locally and ran many miles with his Ranelagh Harriers team mates.

Please watch the amazing video below for more information about the amazing wildlife that exist in the park.

Deer and dog warning:

For hundreds of years Richmond Park has been home to herds of Red and Fallow deer, currently numbering more than 600.

They may stay well away from the race route, however, given that they are not averse to crossing the road when cars are travelling along the road, they will not consider runners an insurmountable obstacle.

Competitors must give way to the deer. In the event that they do choose to cross in front of you, give way and do not attempt to move them on more quickly, as they may react aggressively if they feel threatened.

Equally you need to be aware of dogs which may be off their leads. The landscape of hills, woodland gardens and grasslands gives a taste of medieval England and a haven for visitors to relax and connect with nature.

PLEASE RESPECT RICHMOND PARK!

We hope you enjoy the AIR:RUN, and find time to enjoy the majesty of this 350 year-old Park – home to 130,000 trees and numerous rare species of beetles, bats, butterflies, spiders, fungi, birds, bees and wasps.

While you're with us:

  • Watch out for the 600+ deer: they’re wild – and potentially dangerous at this time of year as the rut is just starting. So they may not give way to you. And please avoid the temptation to feed them, or, birds & the other animals;

  • Please be super-careful with all litter, however small. Not just things like Energy Gel packs but their tear-offs too – they kill deer; There is a disqualification rule for anyone littering in the event and only gel sachets with non-removable tops are permitted in the event

  • Do cycle on roads & cycle tracks (shown on the maps) – but not XC, that’s for walkin;

  • Help us protect the trees – all 130,000 of them. This is a leading UK site where oaks, and others, can be over 500 years old and have great historic importance;

  • And watch out for the ant hills… they’re a feature of the very rare Acid Grasslands in the Park, and are of special ecological importance.

Do encourage your friends and family to visit Richmond Park – but please persuade them to leave the banners and noisy things like clackers at home. Help us keep Richmond Park serene and peaceful: “Leave nothing, take nothing away”

Want to do more?

You can help Richmond Park further but joining the 'Friends of Richmond Park' conservation charity that exists to conserve and protect Richmond Park for future generations. With patrons including Sir David Attenborough, we fund conservation projects, organise walks, talks and events for young people, and publish The Guide to Richmond Park and Family Trails in Richmond Park. Join us or volunteer at www.frp.org.uk

LYME DISEASE:

The deer in Richmond Park can attract ticks. Ticks are small creatures that feed on the blood of animals, and sometimes people, and can spread a bacterial infection called Lyme Disease. Whilst human infection is very uncommon, it is important to familiarise yourself with the signs and symptoms so that you can seek medical treatment if necessary. Read our handy guide here.

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