Thirty one members and one guest convened at Richmond station on Easter Saturday for an enjoyable walk along the Thames through Petersham Meadows and on into Richmond Park. Fortunately the tow path was not too busy despite the glorious sunny day. There was some discussion, not entirely resolved, about the identity of a water bird. Some thought it was a juvenile Egyptian Goose, which I have now discovered is actually a duck! We walked along between the trees of Elm Walk, where disease resistant elm trees have been planted to re-establish the species in the park after it was decimated by Dutch Elm Disease. Sir Richard Attenborough planted the first one. Just before we arrived at the Isabella Plantation we saw a large herd of deer grazing, with one practically greeting walkers in the middle of the path. We stopped for lunch at the plantation where members dispersed to find a bench in a quiet spot for their picnic. Although only a couple of rhododendrons were out, we were able to admire the heather and camelias. The stream was ablaze with bright yellow American Skunk Cabbage (yes, I had to look it up) and Marsh Marigolds and a family of ducklings was to be seen on the pond. After recuperating two members who couldn’t find their way back to the entrance, we proceeded via Pen Ponds to Pembroke Lodge. Here we stopped, some at the kiosk and others at the cafe on the terrace, for tea before returning down into Richmond and the station. It was altogether a very enjoyable day in the good company of so many members, some of whom I for one had not seen for a while.
Susan. Photos by Stuart and Jill.