Bushy’s landscape is unique among The Royal Parks: it has the scale and free-roaming wildlife of a country park, yet also boasts the beautifully-crafted scenery of ornamental gardens. Whether you want to capture a glimpse of the deer that have lived here for centuries, or stroll through quiet areas of picturesque planting and flowing water, Bushy offers an ideal escape from the busy city.
A Site of Special Scientific Interest
The rich biodiversity of Bushy Park led to it being designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by Natural England in 2015. This means the park’s natural assets are nationally and even internationally significant, from ancient trees to special grasslands to rare wildlife.
An exceptionally large number of the trees in Bushy are classed as ancient – dating back hundreds of years – and veteran, creating the perfect environment for fungi and invertebrates that feed off mature and decaying wood. At the last count there were 200 veteran trees, of which 94 were ancient. Bushy is one of only 44 sites in the UK known to support more than 100 veteran trees, and has the most in London. Many of these are aged hawthorn trees on which mistletoe grows.
Due to these trees, Bushy is one of the top five sites in the country for rare species of wood-feeding invertebrates. So rare that they are of interest to the international scientific community. These tiny creatures are also researched and monitored by The Royal Parks’ own team of insect experts, as part of the Mission: Invertebrate programme.
Click on the boxes below to learn more about the huge variety of natural features to be found in Bushy, and how we can all care for them.