BY SHUJAUL AZAM
Greenwich Park already has some stunning views, however now some of the hidden gems it boasts are set to be uncovered as it moves a step closer to receiving a multi-million pound investment for a project called Greenwich Park Revealed.
The Royal Parks has applied for a grant of £4.8m through the Parks for People scheme, jointly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund (BIG).
The charity has successfully been awarded development funding to work up proposals over the next 18 months, and is then invited to submit a Phase 2 application to secure the full £4.8m grant.
Greenwich Park Revealed is described as a project which will enable The Royal Parks charity, which manages the 183-acre park, to conserve and improve the World Heritage Site and Grade I Listed landscape for the 4.8 million people who visit every year.
Loyd Grossman CBE, chairman of The Royal Parks Board, said: “Greenwich Park is London’s oldest enclosed Royal Park and this award will help restore and conserve the Grade I listed landscape as well as provide outstanding new visitor facilities. I am grateful to all of our partners who have supported us in putting together this visionary project and I look forward to continuing to work with them to deliver this transformation.”
Cllr Denise Hyland, leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: “This is not only marvellous news for the many people from around London, the UK and the rest of the world who visit the park, but also for residents of the Royal Borough of Greenwich for whom Greenwich Park is a much loved local jewel.”
The investment will conserve and enhance the natural environment, uncover historical gems within the 590-year-old park and develop community projects for a growing and diverse local audience.
The plans include proposals which aim to:
- Revive historical features from Andre Le Notre’s original 17th century baroque design for the park. Among the ideas are restoring the park’s ancient tree avenues which have been affected by disease and are at risk of disappearing within a few decades if no action is taken.
- Reinstate the Edwardian landscape at the Flower Garden and Wilderness Park to its original glory, including improving water quality in the lake, providing better views of the deer and providing refuges for nesting birds. These areas are especially popular with local residents and families with young children.
- More opportunities for the local community to get involved with the park, including through events and education programmes for local schools, volunteer and apprenticeship placements, and work experience opportunities for students studying tourism, leisure and event management.
- Improve visitor facilities including story boards bringing to life the historical and natural story of the park, improved refreshment facilities, toilets, viewing points and better access across the park for those with disabilities, helping all visitors enjoy one of London’s finest green spaces.
Graham Dear, Greenwich Park Manager, said: “We’re delighted to be a step closer to securing this crucial investment.
“Our top priority is to make sure Greenwich continues to be the local community park for nearby residents and families, but we also want our millions of visitors to have a fantastic experience. Some of the natural and historical features in this unique park are tucked away or hidden. And we want to bring them out of the shadows. This grant will allow us to provide a park that millions of visitors can enjoy, now and for the next 100 years.
“Our next task is to build on the proposals we’ve submitted, and we look forward to a successful final result in the months to come.”