Isabella Plantation, Richmond-upon-Thames

4.9
#2 of 24 in Wildlife in Greater London
Must see · Park · Hidden Gem · Garden
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Isabella Plantation is a woodland garden in Richmond Park in south west London. It is managed by The Royal Parks.

Originally located in a boggy part of Richmond Park, it was labelled on a 1771 map as Isabell Slade. Slade, or sleyt, meant a bog or open space between woods and or banks, and isabel meant dirty or greyish brown, referring to the colour of the soil there.
The Isabella Plantation was established in the early 19th century when Lord Sidmouth, who was Deputy Ranger of Richmond Park and a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, fenced it as an area of woodland to keep the park's deer out. After World War II it was transformed into a woodland garden. It is now organically run, resulting in a rich flora and fauna. Opened to the public in 1953, it is now a major visitor attraction in its own right.

In October 2012 it was reported that about 40 per cent of the Isabella Plantation is covered with Rhododendron ponticum, a non-native and invasive variety of rhododendron introduced by the Victorians, and that this would be removed over the next five years.
In 2014, improvements were made to the Plantation to incorporate new direction signs, wheelchair-accessible pathways and toilets and a new shelter and gazebo through a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The works also incorporated de-silting of all three ponds (Peg's Pond, Thomson's Pond and Still Pond) in the Plantation and establishing new waterfalls in the streams, funded by The Royal Parks with contributions from the Friends of Richmond Park.
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Isabella Plantation reviews

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Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • The paradise on earth . If you ever wish to feel the joy of being in paradise on earth - this is answer to your prayers . The sheer beauty of the colours strewn on every inch of the this place will... 
    The paradise on earth . If you ever wish to feel the joy of being in paradise on earth - this is answer to your prayers . The sheer beauty of the colours strewn on every inch of the this place will...  more »
  • Truly amazing. I spoke to a few people all of whom agreed with me that there should be a charge for entry or at least some way of donating. As I was leaving I chanced on a postbox type effort where....  more
    Truly amazing. I spoke to a few people all of whom agreed with me that there should be a charge for entry or at least some way of donating. As I was leaving I chanced on a postbox type effort where....  more »
Google
  • One of the most spectacular places in the world in late April and Early May when everything is flowering. Still beautiful rest of the year too. I'm lucky to live 20 minutes walk away so go almost every week and never get bored. Several nice ponds, wildlife, ducks, tees, plants, etc. Plenty of interest.
  • End of April - Beginning of May - this period is the best for spotting everything in colorful bloom. The place is fabulous, like a fairy-tale. Couldn’t even believe that such thing may exist in London. So many beautiful paths, streams with lots of plants, which are so great for the wildlife. Wonderful bushes of rhododendron. Highly recommend to have a visit in this time of the year - you won’t be disappointed.

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