Campaigners call for fewer concerts after Hyde Park is turned into “barren, muddy eyesore” by Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna and Madonna gigs
Large swathes of Hyde Park are effectively being removed from public use by commercial events, environmental campaigners say.
A summer which saw more than one million visitors for the Olympics, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and a star-studded concert line-up destroyed the grass in the eastern section of the park.
And now the Winter Wonderland festive funfair and market has seen the middle of the park closed to normal park users, while Crossrail works have seen part of the northern end near Marble Arch fenced off for a short period for works on waterpipes.
Susanna Rustin, chairman of West Central Greens, said: “The eastern side of Hyde Park has been reduced to a barren, muddy, woodchip-strewn, rainwater-flooded eyesore.
“This autumn it is an unsightly mess; from January it will be under repair, and fenced off for re-seeding and the next season of concerts starts in the spring.
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“Now with Winter Wonderland arriving as well, it just seems like one thing after another. Commercial events are taking quite a big slice of the park out of public use. ”
Bruce Springsteen, Rihanna and Madonna were among the stars to appear this summer, as well as 17 continuous days of live events during the Olympics.
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A Royal Parks spokeswoman said woodchip was laid to ensure the safety of visitors after a summer of heavy rainfall.
She added: “A programme of planned restoration work will begin early in the New Year to take advantage of the spring growing season – it will be completed during spring 2013.
“In hosting events on the Parade Ground, which forms less than 10 per cent of Hyde Park and nearby Kensington Gardens, The Royal Parks raises money to protect, conserve and enhance the parks for generations to come.”