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Hidden Stories of The Royal Parks

A podcast series where we take a behind-the-scenes look at our eight Royal Parks.

From the Royal Observatory of Greenwich Park to the roaming deer of Richmond, together we’ll explore 5,000 acres of historical parkland right in the middle of London. We will meet some of the incredible experts who work at The Royal Parks and discover the fascinating stories of these iconic green spaces.

Episode 8: Parks at War

In this month’s episode we interview David Ivison, historical researcher for The Royal Parks Guild. David tells us about the practical uses the Royal Parks had during both world wars, paying particular attention to WW1.

He explains how the government drained the lake in St James’s Park to make way for the temporary building of the Ministry of Shipping and how much of the parks were taken over for allotments to combat food shortages. We discuss how the wars shaped our parks today and the touching stories of parks' staff who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Published: Wednesday 25th November 2020

Episode 7: Brompton Cemetery - Halloween Special

In this month's Halloween special we are talking with Charli Carver the Business Development & Cemetery Services Manager for Brompton Cemetery, one of the fantastic  green spaces we maintain.

Charli tell us about what it’s like to work in the amazing cemetery, the history of this beautiful space, the stories of the people buried there and some strange encounters she’s had. Come and explore Brompton Cemetery with us, a space for both the living and the dead.

Published: Friday 23rd October 2020

Episode 6: Running Green

This week, we're going behind the scenes of the Royal Parks Half Marathon, the flagship fundraising event for the Royal Parks charity. Founded in 2008, this incredible run goes through four of the eight Royal Parks and takes in some of the most extraordinary sights London has to offer.

We explore the race's role in shaping sustainability in the UK and talk with project-lead, Persephone Deacon-Cole, about the future of the event.

To learn more about the Royal Parks Half Marathon, presented by Royal Bank of Canada visit royalparkshalf.com.

Published: Friday 25th September 2020

Episode 5: Prickly Business - The Urban Hedgehog

In this episode, Bryony Cross, Volunteering and Programmes Manager for The Royal Parks takes us on a long journey through the night to learn about the urban hedgehog. One of many weird and wonderful mammals in the Royal Parks, we are home to the only breeding population found in central London.

We learn about their history in the Royal Parks, talk about uncovering little hoglets, and uncover the role you can play in ensuring their survival for generations to come. Join us as we learn more about this prickly business.

Published: Wednesday 19th August 2020

Episode 4: Bugs of the Royal Parks

Discover the wonderful world of the minibeasts we call invertebrates.

Dr. Alice Laughton, The Royal Parks' Mission: Invertebrate Project Manager, tells us more about the role they play in supporting our beautiful green spaces, how the biodiversity in the parks has changed during lockdown and how The Royal Parks supports these incredible critters to help them thrive… Cue Mission: Invertebrate!

Published: Wednesday 22nd July 2020

Episode 3: Trooping the Colour

Lucy Kellett, Interpretation Manager for The Royal Parks, interviews Mark Wasilewski, Park Manager for St James's Park, to learn about the national events and celebrations hosted in the Royal Parks. They explore the pomp and circumstance that is Trooping the Colour, as well as other memorable moments in the city's history. 

Learn more about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into the making of these incredible events possible in London.

Published: Thursday 11th June 2020

Episode 2: Dawn Chorus

In this episode, we explore the incredible natural event called Dawn Chorus. Royal Parks team members Tony Duckett, a conservation officer, and Alison Dent, a learning officer, share their expertise about this special song that nature sings this time of year.

Tune in to learn more about what Dawn Chorus is and why it only happens during a short window in spring. You’ll learn how to identify a variety of birds by their song, many of which you may hear on your daily walks. Our team shares stories of the unique birds that can be found in our Royal Parks, including a special sighting of a Red Throated Diver.

Published: Saturday 16th May 2020

Episode 1: The Pelicans of St. James's Park

In this episode, we interview Hugh Smith, our wildlife officer. Hugh looks after and feeds our resident pelicans in St James's Park, while also looking after all our other wildlife.

Hugh talks about what it's like to look after 6 Great White Pelicans, the stories of how they arrived into the park and about the mischievous Gargi who flew away on a holiday only a few weeks ago.

We talk about the history of St James's Park and tell you about some secrets that you may not know about, including a story about a governor of Duck Island and his connection with Champagne.

Published: Monday 4th May 2020

Trailer: Hidden Stories of The Royal Parks

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