Ride For Free To The Teddy Bears' Picnic

If you go down to the woods tomorrow, you’ll be in for a big surprise!

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Visitors to Richmond Park can catch a free minibus service from Alton Estate in Roehampton to the Isabella Plantation on Friday 23rd August to join a Teddy Bears' picnic for young children and families.

Visitors are invited to bring picnics and teddy bears to the event which is being held as part of a programme of free community offerings to celebrate the Plantation’s 60th anniversary.

The minibus service from Alton Estate in Roehampton, will run every half hour from 10.00am until 3.00 pm, and return from the Plantation every half hour until 4.30pm.

It is being trialled as part of an access project to the Plantation, giving the public greater opportunity to visit the 40 acre ornamental woodland garden which is located in the south west area of the park. The minibus will take visitors to the gates of the Plantation, where they will be greeted by The Royal Parks Bear.

Visitors who wish to travel by car can park in the Broomfield Hill car park which is located on the main Richmond Park perimeter road between Robin Hood Gate and Kingston Gate.

The anniversary events are focused around the yurt by Peg’s Pond – a map is available here

The events will also showcase a number of recent improvements to Isabella Plantation which include enhancements to ponds and streams, upgrades to the existing path network, resurfacing and redesign of the Plantation’s disabled car park as well as the addition of a new fully accessible toilet block.

In addition to physical improvements to the site, the project’s Partnership and Community Engagement Officer has been working with community groups, schools and charities to develop a range of activities and resources associated with the Plantation.

Jo Scrivener, Assistant Park Manager said, “We want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to come and visit the Isabella Plantation and see the improvements made to date.

“We were very fortunate to be able to secure £1.5 million from Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund and a further £120,000 from Sita Trust to deliver a range of improvements to the Plantation projects.

“The ponds and streams element of the project has just been completed which included the desilting of all three of the Plantation’s ponds and the extension of Peg’s Pond with the addition of reed beds and pontoon decking, as well as improvements to the surrounding paths. Streams have also benefited from opening up to increase light levels, with the addition of more waterfalls and flow diverters to create pooling and scouring and add habitat value.

“The Isabella Plantation is one of the most visited attractions in Richmond Park and it is hoped these improvements will encourage education and community activities and be enjoyed by park users for years to come.”

A programme of free community events will run until 30th August 2013, details of which can be found at The Royal Parks website.

August 22, 2013