Centuries of grazing by deer have helped us to maintain a very special habitat - the largest area of Lowland Acid Grassland in the London area. Acid grassland forms on acidic soils with low nutrient levels and it is a priority habitat in the Government's national Biodiversity Action Plan.
There are 49 species of grasses, rushes and sedge covering the Park along with a huge range of wildflowers that thrive on the more acidic and nutrient poor soil. These include harebell, heath bedstraw, germander speedwell, heath speedwell, bluebell, mouse-ear hawkweed (once used to treat asthma and lung problems) and tormentil (once used as a cure for gripe and for tanning leather).
However, Acid Grassland is a threatened and fragile habitat. In particular, car fumes (containing nitrogen oxides) and dog fouling cause nutrient enrichment in the grassland's soil, disrupting the delicately balanced ecology. The Royal Parks are working hard to conserve and enhance the acid grassland in the Park.You can help us by always picking up after your dog - dog waste should be placed in a tightly sealed bag and taken home or deposited in the bins marked for dog waste or the general bins.