Although the rain came down in stair-rods on 23rd September, it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of faithful Holly Lodge volunteers, who arrived swathed in macs and wellies to welcome the general public on Richmond Park Open Day.

Despite the horrible weather, a slow trickle of visitors started to come through the gates and the number increased to a steady stream as the relentless rain finally eased off a little and people sloshed their way over to us to find out more about the work that goes on behind the scenes in the Park.

Those who braved the elements were rewarded with a diverse and fascinating range of talks, demonstrations and activities, organised by the Royal Parks and affiliated charities – and the Holly Lodge Centre was right at the heart of the action.

Predictably, projects that took place inside where it was warm and dry were popular– our Victorian schoolroom and pharmacy attracted a lot of visitors and many youngsters enjoyed making seed bombs and peg dolls and poppies to commemorate the centenary of World War 1.

Hardier members of the community even ventured outside to inspect our kitchen garden and explore our award-winning nature trail.

Overall the total number of visitors was over 1100, which was an excellent result, considering the soggy conditions, which persisted until closing time, when the sun came out and we had a beautiful evening.

Frustrating - but then that’s nature for you!