“An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfilment.” - Sir David Attenborough
When we were first asked to stay at home in March 2020, parks and green spaces offered a sense of normality. For some visitors it was the first time they really listened to the birds sing, noticed the different shapes of the tree leaves, or wondered what species a flower or plant was.
In the months that followed, this access to nature proved absolutely vital to the nation’s mental and physical wellbeing.
This summer we want to celebrate nature, convey the importance of conserving nature and let people know how they can help nature thrive.
Halting nature's decline
Globally nature is under siege. Since 1970, there has been a 60% decline in the global population of mammals, fish, birds and amphibians. The main threat to nature now is Climate Change, but increasing human populations, habitat loss and fragmentation, and the spread of animal and plant diseases are also taking their toll.
In London’s eight Royal Parks, much of our work is focused on caring for nature. This includes the creation and management of meadows, reedbeds and hedgerows, the planting and management of trees, creating and restoring ponds for invertebrates and amphibians, and the planting of pollinator friendly flower beds.
It's not all about creating new habitats. Removing invasive shrubs, maintaining water quality and even picking up litter are also important conservation tasks that allow nature to flourish.
Our commitment to the conservation of nature
Our commitment to nature is reflected in the diversity of wildlife you can find in the Royal Parks – over 4,000 species of invertebrates have been recorded and most parks support over 100 species of birds. Amongst other species, the parks are home to hedgehogs, tawny owls, bats, butterflies, frogs, grass snakes and even wild, free roaming deer.
Our work alone is not enough to reverse biodiversity loss - we need your help. Over the coming months we will be asking visitors to help nature thrive by keeping wildlife wild. Essentially we are asking visitors to not feed wildlife and to observe and enjoy nature in its natural habitat from a distance. As the mercury rises we are also urging visitors to #LeaveNoTrace to protect nature. We've included a handy guide on how this can be achieved.
Working together we can conserve the wildlife and habitats of the Royal Parks and beyond for generations to come.