Before you visit us please read our advice on:

  • Risk assessments
  • The Holly Lodge yard
  • First Aid
  • Ticks and Oak Processionary Moth.

Risk Assessments

Risk assessments have been carried out for all our activities.  Details of the health and safety advice for Visitors are included at the end of our booking form

Visiting groups should have conducted their own risk assessments. We welcome teachers or group leaders for pre-visit tours.

Once our personnel have met you they will give an introductory talk that will include instructions about Health and Safety.  They will lead the activity in such a way as to minimise the risk of any accidents, and it is important that young people and adults in your group listen to and follow the instructions given by our personnel at the start of each activity.

We would advise all members of a visiting group to wash their hands after a visit to the Centre, especially if they have been outdoors and are going to eat any food.  Hand washing facilities are available.

The Centre and the Holly Lodge yard

HLC horsesThe Holly Lodge Centre and the Royal Parks welcome visitors to Holly Lodge, but would like to remind all visitors that it is a working environment, used by Park management, police and contractors and as such there are certain rules which should be adhered to for their own health and safety.

  • Please do not enter the yard without a member of staff or a volunteer from the Holly Lodge Centre.
  • Please bring a list of all people in the visiting group and remember that Richmond Park is open to the public. 
  • There are potential hazards in the yard from vehicles, machinery and horses, and in the Park from dogs, deer (which should not be fed or petted) and other wildlife.

Children or adults in the care of others are not be allowed to roam around the yard unless directed by the Centre’s staff or volunteers. Groups have to be accompanied by a member of staff or volunteer of the Centre or a member of the Royal Parks staff at all times when on site at Holly Lodge.  When you are in the yard, please:

  • Beware of moving vehicles both in the yard and on the approach road.
  • Follow the marked safe routes around the yard where available.
  • Keep away from all machinery and equipment.
  • Keep away from the large pieces of timber by the sawmill.
  • Do not climb on bales of hay or straw stored in the barns.
  • Take care when near the ponds.
  • Do not touch any of the horses or feed them – they may bite!
  • Do not enter the Shire Horse yard, particularly when the horses are tethered outside their stables, unless you are accompanied by a member of staff or volunteer.

First Aid

It is the responsibility of the visiting organisation to carry out First Aid if necessary for their clients and staff.  Please bring a First Aid kit with you and make sure that someone in your group is a trained First Aider.  First Aid assistance is available on-site in an emergency.  Please report any accidents to a member of staff or volunteer.  Please also make sure all open wounds are covered before you arrive.

Deer Ticks and Oak Processionary Moth

Deer Ticks

These tiny insect-like creatures may attach themselves to animals or people passing through long grass or bracken during the summer months.  The ticks feed by piercing the skin to suck blood. A small proportion of ticks can transmit an illness called Lyme Disease. The risk is very small and should not deter people from enjoying the Park, but it is advisable to take the following precautions: 

  • Keep legs and arms covered at all times in the park, or use insect repellent if bare-legged.
  • Check your skin for the presence of ticks, which may be removed by gently twisting and pulling to ensure that the mouthparts are not left behind. Carefully wash the area afterwards.
  • Lyme Disease initially presents as a red skin rash and possibly flu-like symptoms. If you have concerns, consult your doctor.
  • A leaflet containing further information and advice may be obtained from the Royal Parks. Click here.  

Oak Processionary Moth

The caterpillars of this moth shed toxic hairs which can cause unpleasant rashes, skin or eye irritations and sometimes breathing difficulties in people and animals.  Anyone experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention. The Holly Lodge yard and areas outside where activities take place are regularly checked for caterpillar nests, which are then removed by trained personnel.  Do not touch the caterpillars or their nests whether in the trees or off the ground.