Greenwich Park has today announced that it will receive funding of £4.5 million in order to protect and enhance the World Heritage Site and its wildlife.
The 590 year-old park receives around five million visitors a year, but the local population is due to increase by around 17 per cent by 2026.
Funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery Community Fund means that the site will be able to prepare for the soaring numbers and protect its 183 acres.
© National Trust Images/John Miller
There are several elements to the ‘Greenwich Park Revealed’ project which is being undertaken as a result of the funding, and boosting biodiversity is a key part of the plans. The park is a site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation, but traditional park management activities, such as regular mowing, has restricted the park’s ecological potential. In 2020, work will begin to recreate the park’s more natural state – such as that enjoyed by the likes of Henry VIII.
One tree hill, Greenwich Park © The Royal Parks
There will also be major restoration of Greenwich Park’s rare acid grasslands, a habitat of national importance due to the variety of rare and declining plants and animals. Acid grassland occurs on free draining soil with acid conditions and is characterised by grassy tussocks and bare ground.
Wildflowers and rare grasses will be re-established, which it is hoped will encourage wildlife including invertebrates as well as birds, bats and amphibians. It is hoped that these changes will help the tawny owl, whitethroat, chiffchaff, house sparrow, stag beetle, ground nesting bees and wasps, grassland butterflies and harebell in particular.
Other works undertaken as part of the project will include a state-of-the-art eco friendly learning centre, which will generate new green space for public use, improving access, sustainability and reinstating The Giant Steps.