'Winter Warmer' talks are a series of online talks which take place from October to March, and are designed to bring a little light, community and learning to you during those long winter nights!
Each month offers a new theme and explores a variety of topics from hidden parts of the parks, learning more about some of the fantastic heritage and wildlife within the parks.
During these 1-hour sessions, you’ll have a chance to tune in to a live talk where you can ask questions and have them answered by our experts and enthusiasts.
Please note: Our online talks are usually presented via Microsoft Teams, so you will need a Microsoft account in order to access them. Sign up free for a new Microsoft account (or sign into your existing account) here.
Our ‘Winter Warmer’ online talks are free to join but please consider making a £5 donation to support our organisation. The Royal Parks is a charity that supports 5,000 acres of green space in London for 77 million visitors each year. Your support makes all the difference.
Women in Horticulture (featuring Q&A with Head Gardener Beth Handley)
Tuesday, 14 March 2023, (6:30pm-7:30pm)
Women have played a role in The Royal Parks’ horticulture scene for a long time, but their stories have often gone untold.
This Women's History Month, join Anna Barry as she spills the dirt on the roles of women gardeners and brings us up to current day.
If you have any questions, you would like answered on the night, please email Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Past 'Winter Warmer' talks (from December 2021 to present) can be watched below, or on the Royal Parks' YouTube channel.
Tales from the Catacombs
Catacombs are hugely intimate, poignant and reflective places that were only ever seen by a very limited number of people. Today, those who lie on the shelves or in loculi are as enigmatic as they are unknown.
Who were these people? Why did they choose a catacomb? What can their coffins tell us about how they lived? Following on from his video series in October, Sheldon Goodman highlights further lives from the vaults and reflects on how to interpret and research a history that is right in front of you.
9th December 2021
The Secret Pet Cemetery of Hyde Park
This talk uncovers the unusual history of this chilling space with Laura Ashfield, Community Learning Officer for The Royal Parks, Jonathan Grun, tour guide of our Pet Cemetery and Eric Tourigny, lecturer at University of Newcastle who is currently researching Britain's pet cemeteries.
We look inside the cemetery, learn how such a unique place came about, and hear the sweet and sometimes quirky stories of the animals who are interred there.
16th December 2021
European Starlings in London
Starlings are one of the UK’s most gregarious birds, with a strong reputation for dazzling displays; the murmuration. Despite being one of the most common garden birds, there has been a decline in numbers and they are on the UK red list of birds of conservation concern.
Join Rachel Dowse, Royal Parks volunteer officer and friend of the starlings, as she examines our long history with this bird and the importance of common species to our lives. She will explore the great murmuration and why we need to pay special attention to these beauties before it's too late.
12th January 2022
How to Identify Tree Species
Identifying trees in winter is a honed skill. Bud shapes and bark feature highly when leaves, fruit and flowers can’t be seen.
This talk will be delivered by former Royal Parks Tree Officer, Greg Packman, who highlights good spots for you to practice your new identification skills within the parks.
25th January 2022
Bugs In the Parks (The Benefits of Dead Wood for Wildlife)
Explore the various and wonderful beetles we have living in the Royal Parks and find out more about how they are ingrained in folklore and have featured in art and culture throughout our past.
The types of beetle that we find in our parks today can also tell us about the history of the land.
1st February 2022
All About Butterflies
Did you know that butterfly wings are actually transparent? or that butterflies taste with their feet?
Join May in this fascinating talk and explore the hidden world of butterflies. From migration to mimicry, we will uncover the intricate world of butterflies and their important role in our ecosystems.
8th February 2022
Brompton Cemetery and the LGBTQ+ Community
Join Sacha and Sheldon, queer historians and cemetery tour guides, for an online talk exploring Brompton Cemetery and the stories of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and nonheteronormative people buried there.
Join us as we step back in time and immerse ourselves in these incredible stories that can still resonate with our lives today.
21st February 2022
Marvellous Moths In the Parks
Learn about the marvellous moths that we have in the Royal Parks, in this passionate and engaging talk.
Often misunderstood, they play a vital role in our ecosystem. From pollination to indicating a warming climate, moths are hugely diverse and make up a large proportion of insect species on this planet. Prepare to be bamboozled by their beauty and intricate life cycle.
28th February 2022
The Wonderful Women of Brompton Cemetery
For International Women’s Day, the team at Brompton Cemetery pay homage to the cemetery’s often overlooked permanent residents.
Join us as we explore the lives of suffragettes, campaigners, artists, music hall artists and the first person buried in the cemetery who, incidentally, was a woman.
8th March 2022
The Royal Parks remembers the World Wars
History buff Scott Smith provides an inside look at the monuments and commemorations to service personnel within the Royal Parks.
Cosy up, grab a cup of tea and immerse yourself in the fascinating stories brought to life over the decades.
8th November 2022
Community Archaeology in a Royal Park
Meet Andrew Mayfield, the first in-house archaeologist for The Royal Parks.
He discusses the Greenwich Park Revealed project and all that it aims to uncover - from an amazing collection of Roman buildings to Anglo-Saxon burials, huge 17th century landscape features and buried World War Two archaeology.
17th January 2023
Speaker’s Corner 150th Anniversary
In celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Speakers’ Corner, we take a step back in time and meet suffragette icon Christabel Pankhurst through a costumed historical interpretation.
This talk was possible through a collaboration with Zoom Through History.
9th February 2023