General Facts

Which are The Royal Parks?   Bushy Park, Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Richmond Park, St James's Park, The Green Park and The Regent's Park.
How big?   Total size 5,000 acres (2,023ha)
Why are they important?  
  • Unparalleled opportunities for relaxation, exercise, entertainment and education
  • As some of London's biggest green spaces, they cool urban temperatures, reduce wind speeds and absorb pollution and flood water
  • Fine horticulture, excellent wildlife sites and some of the country's most important buildings, statues and memorials
  • Venues for leading sporting and cultural events
Brief history   Deer parks Most were originally royal hunting chases, enclosed from the 15th century onwards, beginning with Greenwich Park in 1433.
Formal gardens Monarchs progressively redesigned the parks as formal gardens with avenues and water features, beginning with King Charles II at St James's and Greenwich Parks in the 1660s.
Public parks The parks were gradually opened to the public, beginning with The Regent's Park in 1845. The parks soon became popular places for relaxation, leisure and entertainment.
Ownership and management   Owned by the Monarch in right of the Crown. The Secretary of State for the Department of Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) has overall responsibility for the management of the parks.
The Royal Parks (TRP)   In 1993, The Royal Parks (TRP) was established as an Executive Agency of DCMS and is fully accountable to Parliament through the Secretary of State.
TRP and DCMS   The Secretary of State at DCMS sets the policy framework, key performance targets and resources of TRP. The Chief Executive of TRP is responsible for operational decisions.
Responsibility of TRP   "Managing the Royal Parks effectively and efficiently on behalf of the DCMS, balancing responsibility to conserve and enhance these unique environments with creative policies to encourage access and to increase opportunities for enjoyment, education, entertainment and healthy recreation." 
Other land managed by TRP   Primrose Hill, Brompton Cemetery, Grosvenor Square Gardens, Victoria Tower Gardens, gardens at number 10, 11 and 12 Downing Street, Canning Green, Poets Green and the Longford River.
Staffing   TRP employs approximately 120 staff.
Contracted work   TRP contracts out most of the grounds, works and tree maintenance, as well as services, such as catering, boating, deck chairs, and some sports.
Policing   The responsibility of the Metropolitan Police Service since 2004.
Park offices   The headquarters of TRP is The Old Police, Hyde Park, London W2 2UH
T +44 (0)20 7298 2000.  There are also offices in most of the parks.  

The Royal Parks in numbers

77.7 million   visits per year (approximately)
500,000 flowers planted across all the parks
170,000   trees (approximately)
100,000   roses (approximately)
28,000   tulips planted in the Memorial Gardens outside Buckingham Palace (approximately)
2,000 different types of flowers planted spanning 200 varieties
600+ buildings and structures
195   listed buildings and structures
68   miles of paths, cycle routes and horse-rides
49   miles of boundary walls & fences
28   tennis courts
32   miles of roads
21   lakes and ponds (approximately)
16   football pitches
15   miles of river
13   children's play areas
12   cricket pitches
8   established walking routes
3 scheduled monuments/archaeological sites