Project launched to make parks more sustainable and boost biodiversity

A hoverfly in St John's Lodge Gardens in Regent's Park

A hoverfly in St John's Lodge Gardens in Regent's Park - Credit: Royal Parks

Funding has been announced for a project to make some of London's biggest parks more sustainable and biodiverse.

The Royal Parks charity – which is responsible for Regent's Park and Primrose Hill, as well as Hyde Park and others in the capital – has launched Help Nature Thrive.

The initiative is backed by grants from the People's Postcode Lottery, from which the charity has received £900,000 so far this year.

The Royal Parks said the funding will "begin a transformation of the parks to become more sustainable, improve biodiversity and protect our natural resources for future generations".

An aerial view of Regent's Park

An aerial view of Regent's Park - Credit: Royal Parks

Andrew Scattergood, chief executive of The Royal Parks, said: “As custodians of 5,000 acres of historic green space across London, we want to ensure that we’re enhancing every possible acre of our landscape to boost its biodiversity value, as well as its appeal to visitors. We know from the past two years just how important parks and green spaces are to people, particularly in cities where nature is at a premium, so increasing the amount of natural habitat throughout the parks will not only benefit wildlife but will also enrich visitors’ experience of these beloved green spaces.

“We would like to thank players of People’s Postcode Lottery for all their support and we’re delighted to announce the continuation of our partnership. This award will help secure the parks’ future in a changing climate so that Londoners and visitors can enjoy them for decades to come.” 

An egret

An egret - Credit: Astrid Tontson

The charity said that as custodian to some of the largest green spaces, it will be a "key player in helping the city adapt to climate change".

It is responsible for Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Richmond Park, Bushy Park, St James's Park, The Green Park, The Regent's Park and Primrose Hill, and Greenwich Park.

Help Nature Thrive will begin with a programme of expert-led research across the Royal Parks to understand the contribution that its natural resources make to the local environment, and identify how they can be restored, strengthened and developed.  

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The team will also deliver habitat creation and enhancement works to help wildlife to thrive.

Outreach workers from The Royal Parks

Outreach workers from The Royal Parks - Credit: Royal Parks

For information on free activities including expert-led walks, talks and wildlife-spotting tours, and on volunteering opportunities and engagement activities with local schools and communities, go to www.royalparks.org.uk