To keep our members informed about latest news and events we update this website frequently. News item headlines are listed in order of publication - most recent on top. Click the headline to see the full item.
Members also receive the Friends Newsletter, printed and sent out (or delivered - by Friends volunteers) 3 times a year. It presents the most relevant news items as well as details of forthcoming events. The front page of the most recent edition is on this website under Newsletter.
The Royal Parks creates car-free spaces for visitors
The Royal Parks creates car-free spaces for visitors
The Royal Parks charity (TRP) has begun five important trials to reduce cut-through motor traffic on park roads. This includes making The Mall car-free on weekends during daylight hours, and opening up new car-free spaces for visitors to enjoy the natural environment.
The trials across six of the Royal Parks to close sections of roads will begin on 15th August and will last six months, concluding in February 2021. Drivers will be able to park in car parks as usual although access routes to certain car parks will be restricted.
Reducing cut-through traffic has long been an aspiration. As a result of the Covid-19 crisis, the parks have been closed or partially closed to motor vehicles since the end of March and many of the proposed trial measures are already in place.
These trials follow the launch of TRP’s Movement Strategy in July, which set a coherent framework to help shape and inform the policies relating to how park visitors can access, experience and move within the parks and incorporated wide-ranging consultation across thousands of members of the public, transport partners and local Boroughs.
The trial details are as follows:
Greenwich Park: A full-time closure of the Avenue to vehicle traffic.
Bushy Park: A full-time closure of part of Chestnut Avenue between Teddington and Hampton Court Gates to motor vehicles.
Hyde Park: A full-time closure of North Carriage Drive. An additional trial of an extended closure on South Carriage Drive (between Prince of Wales Gate and Queen Elizabeth Gate) on Saturdays, in addition to the current Sunday closures.
St James’s Park and The Green Park:Closing The Mall and Constitution Hill to traffic on Saturdays until dusk, in addition to the regular Sunday and Bank Holiday closures. There is no public parking at these parks.
Richmond Park: On weekdays, restricting all through-traffic between Broomfield Hill Car Park and Robin Hood Car Park and a full-time closure of the vehicle link between Sheen Gate and Sheen Cross. Additionally, on weekends the trial will restrict all cut-through traffic between Roehampton, Sheen and Richmond Gates to create a quiet zone on the north side of the park.
Soaring lockdown littering levels led to an astonishing 258.4 tonnes of rubbish collected from London’s eight Royal Parks in June.
This represents an increase of 32 percent compared with June 2019.
And it took staff 11,078 hours (the equivalent of 15 months) just to clear the litter left on the grass - in addition to the time spent emptying bins.
The Royal Parks has welcomed increased numbers of visitors to the parks during the peak of the pandemic, providing a boost to physical and mental wellbeing.
However, now groups can gather, park managers have reported never-before-seen levels of littering on the grass every day, including plastic bags, pizza boxes, glass bottles, picnic items and PPE – there was even some office furniture and a Christmas Tree left in Kensington Gardens – with trash levels increasing on warm evenings and over sunny weekends.
This is despite increased numbers of bins in place, more frequent emptying to accommodate greater volumes of rubbish, and staff starting sometimes as early as 5am to ensure the parks are pristine when the majority of visitors arrive.
Plastic waste can get worked into the ground, plastic bags can blow onto waterways harming waterfowl, and wildlife can ingest items causing them pain or even death. Unsightly litter spoils the parks for others and is a strain on the charity’s resources.
In response, The Royal Parks is launching a ‘Summer of Kindness’ campaign, to inspire visitors to care for the 5,000 acres of historic green spaces as we head into the summer holidays and more hot weather is predicted.
Loyd Grossman CBE, FSA, has been appointed for a second four-year term as Chairman of The Royal Parks (TRP).
In 2016, Loyd was appointed as the first Chairman of TRP, the new charity, which was set up to manage eight Royal Parks and other open spaces in London.
Following a successful transition from a Government Agency to a Charity, the organisation has enjoyed a number of successes including securing a multi-million pound grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to restore, protect and enhance Greenwich Park’s historic and natural heritage; the construction of a ‘super nursery’ in Hyde Park to grow 450,000 plants and shrubs for the world-class bedding displays across the parks each year; the restoration of Brompton Cemetery; and hosting the only major UK installation by renowned artist Christo in Hyde Park’s Serpentine lake;
Car Park Re-Opening Today
The car park opened today. It will be open from Monday to Friday 07.00 to 16.00. It will be closed at weekends and Bank holidays.
The through road remains closed.
The Royal Parks Launches Movement Strategy
Following wide-ranging consultation and input from thousands of members of the public, transport partners and local boroughs, The Royal Parks charity has today launched its Movement Strategy. and has announced details of five projects it intends to trial later in the year.
In line with the Movement Strategy, all the trials seek to restrict cut through motor traffic on park roads and create new spaces for park visitors to enjoy.
Reducing the volume of cut-through traffic in the parks has long been an aspiration for The Royal Parks. As a result of the current Covid-19 crisis, the parks have been temporarily fully closed or partially closed to motor vehicles since the end of March, therefore most of the measures listed below are already in place.
The trials include:
- In Bushy Park, restricting all through traffic with a partial road closure between Teddington and Hampton Court Gates
- In St James’s and Green Parks, closing the Mall and Constitution Hill to traffic on Saturdays, in addition to the regular Sunday closures
- In Greenwich Park, a full-time closure of the Avenue to cut through vehicle traffic
- In Hyde Park, trial closures of North Carriage Drive permanently, and South Carriage Drive on Saturdays, in addition to the regular Sunday closures
- In Richmond Park, reducing cut through motor vehicles (with more details to follow).
Mat Bonomi, Head of Transport for The Royal Parks, said: “Our Movement Strategy sets a clear vision for how we will manage our parks now and into the future. We know there is a lot of interest in what we will do next, particularly after the Covid-enforced road restrictions, so we are informing you now of our planned trials for later in the year.
It is clear that the role parks play in the health and happiness of our cities has never been more important than it is now, and for that reason we are accelerating the implementation of a series of trial projects across six of our parks. Our parks have been a lifeline for Londoners during the pandemic and, with more people than ever walking and cycling in London, these trials will be a chance for Londoners to continue to enjoy new car-free areas of the parks.
As the charity managing over 5,000 acres of historic parkland and green space across London, we must ensure that we conserve and enhance these unique spaces and support the health and happiness of Londoners now and in the future.”
The Royal Parks’ Movement Strategy sets a coherent framework to help shape and inform the policies relating to how park visitors can access, experience and move within the parks. The trials will last for six months and will not formally start until the car parks are fully re-opened. We will announce the start date of the trials and consultation period as soon as is possible. To stay informed of the process and progress of the trials, people are encouraged to sign up to the Movement Strategy mailing list: https://www.royalparks.org.uk/movement.
To download the Strategy and for more information on the trials, visit www.royalparks.org.uk/movement.
Greenwich Park Playground Open
Please avoid using the playground when it is busy in order to maintain social distancing, and please adhere to the signage at the gates. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Please bring your own hand sanitiser and use it before and after you have touched any surfaces in the playground
Please note: It is not possible to guarantee that the playground is secure from Covid-19 and visitors use it at their own risk.
Bandstand Concerts cancelled
The Royal Parks Board has decided, because of the continuing Covid-19 situation, to cancel musical events in all the Royal Parks for the rest of 2020. This sadly means that our bandstand concerts scheduled for August will not take place.
From Saturday 4th July, the following public toilets will be open in Greenwich Park. They will be open between 12.00 and 19.00:
All remaining toilets (apart from those in playgrounds) will open during the week commencing 6th July.
The playground remains closed.
Flower Garden is open
We're pleased to let you know that the Flower Garden in Greenwich Park is now open. The gardeners have been hard at work over the last couple of months and we're looking forward to welcoming people back.