A new visitor centre for Bushy Park was officially opened by the Chief Executive of The Royal Parks, Andrew Scattergood.
The visitor centre located next to The Pheasantry cafe, will operate on weekends and bank holidays by volunteers from the Friends of Bushy Park and Home Park, to ensure visitors have a safe, enjoyable and interesting visit.
An information point in Bushy Park has been provided by The Friends group for over ten years, attracting 10,000 visitors annually.
Previously it occupied a box room in The Pheasantry building, but due to its increasing popularity, The Royal Parks built an extension to increase the centre’s footprint. At the same time, The Royal Parks refurbished and extended the nearby toilets to help cope with demand on weekends and busy periods.
Local furniture designer and maker Robin Johannsen was commissioned to fit out the new centre and has created a ‘ripple wall’ incorporating an image of a red deer, ‘a Mondrian wall’ of coloured display boxes, a discovery zone for children and a ‘Tree of Knowledge’ carved with amusing descriptions.
Chair of the Friends and Bushy Park, Colin Muid, said: “A key draw of our visitor centre is our nature displays. Previously due to size constraints we’ve had to lay these out on picnic tables in front of the centre. But now we have more room, we can engage children and adults with nature, irrespective of the weather.”
Chief Executive of The Royal Parks, Andrew Scattergood, said: “I lived locally for many years, so even before I became Chief Executive, I saw first-hand the difference this information point makes to both regulars and new visitors alike. Following the extension, I am pleased to note that the visitor centre is now more visible, is over twice the size, and is wheelchair accessible. Many more people will benefit from it.”