Park life

Country Life Every Week - - TOWN & COUNTRY -

THe PRINCE OF WALES has un­veiled the new Royal Parks char­ity, of which he is pa­tron, in Hyde Park. Stretch­ing across the cap­i­tal from Green­wich to Bushy Park, the new con­ser­va­tion char­ity, which is the largest of its kind to be launched in re­cent years, sup­ports and man­ages 5,000 acres. Its flag­ship nurs­ery project is a £5 mil­lion glasshouse in Hyde Park, the size of a foot­ball pitch and with a Wim­ble­don-style re­tractable roof, which, when com­pleted, will pro­vide 98% of the 500,000 plants and shrubs needed across the cap­i­tal’s eight Royal Parks.

‘I re­mem­ber as a very small child,’ says the Prince, ‘be­ing taken around Rich­mond Park with my great grand­mother, Queen Mary, in her won­der­ful old, up­right green Daim­ler. As a re­sult, those parks, in par­tic­u­lar Rich­mond Park, are im­printed on my child­hood mem­ory in a very spe­cial way.’

Loyd Gross­man, the char­ity’s chair­man, points out that 77 mil­lion peo­ple visit the Royal Parks ev­ery year. ‘they con­trib­ute im­mea­sur­ably to the dis­tinc­tive­ness of Lon­don, which is the great­est city in the world, and to the at­trac­tive­ness of life in our won­der­ful coun­try… We are ab­so­lutely de­ter­mined that these parks will al­ways re­main the best parks in the world for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.’

the char­ity is a merger of two or­gan­i­sa­tions that have pre­vi­ously run the parks, the Royal Parks Agency and Royal Parks Foun­da­tion (www.roy­al­

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