The Royal Parks are important refuges for nature in London, with over 4,000 species of invertebrates recorded and most parks supporting over 100 species of birds.
They are home to a wide range of wildlife including hedgehogs, tawny owls, bats, butterflies, frogs, grass snakes and even wild, free-roaming deer.
Internationally recognised for nature conservation
Each park is identified as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation through the Mayor’s London Plan and Borough Plans, which recognise their importance for biodiversity. But the two largest Royal Parks – Bushy and Richmond Parks – have additional designations which provide legal protection for the sites and their habitats.
Richmond Park is a Special Area for Conservation, an international designation specifically in recognition of its population of stag beetles - a globally threatened species. Its contribution to nature conservation and research also means that Richmond Park is a National Nature Reserve, one of only two in London.
Both Bushy and Richmond Parks are listed as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by Natural England. This is due to their extensive areas of lowland acid grassland, and their populations of ancient and veteran trees. Both these habitats are national priorities for nature conservation and support a diverse range of wildlife, including many rare species.
Find out more about different aspects of nature in London’s eight Royal Parks: