Bushy Park has been officially recognised as being among the most important places for wildlife in England.
Natural England's Executive Board recently approved the designation of Bushy Park as a new Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It now joins another of London's Royal Parks, Richmond Park, which received its SSSI status back in 1992.
SSSIs represent the best sites for wildlife and geology, and there are more than 4,100 SSSIs in England, covering around eight per cent of the country. SSSI status gives legal protection to ensure that the nationally important wildlife and geology of a site is recognised in its management and future use.
Bushy Park is of special interest for its population of ancient and veteran trees, extensive areas of semi-natural lowland dry acid grassland and its internationally significant populations of rare invertebrates.
Ray Brodie, Park Manager of Bushy Park said: "This is a great accolade for Bushy Park and confirms what we have long-known to be true: that Bushy Park is one of the finest sites in England for wildlife and ecology. Bushy Park contains many rare and important species and habitats including rare stag beetles and around ten different species of bat.
"The Royal Parks works hard to conserve and protect this unique environment, while also ensuring that Bushy Park is a peaceful haven for the many thousands of visitors who come each year to relax, unwind and enjoy the natural surroundings."