September 24, 2017

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Multi-million pound lottery bid to preserve one of the world’s most important open spaces

After months of planning, hours speaking to the public and thousands of views and opinions, The Royal Parks charity has submitted an application for nearly £5m of lottery funding to the Parks for People scheme, jointly funded by Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund (BIG).

If successful, the funding will help improve the historic Greenwich Park in east London as part of the £7.5m project. Dating back to Roman times, it was enclosed in 1433 and was the favoured hunting ground of Henry VIII. It is not only a Grade 1 listed landscape, but is recognised as one of the planet’s most important areas, at the heart of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.

Park managers aim to bring this incredible 590-year history to life, uncovering the park’s hidden gems, improving its world famous features for the 4.8 million people who visit every year, and ensuring the visitors of tomorrow can continue enjoying this 183-acre site.

Highlights from the submitted Greenwich Park Revealed project, which has seen more than 2,000 members of the public attending open days to hear more about what it will achieve, include reviving several key features including Le Notre’s original 17th century design, from reinstating the Giant Steps to restoring the tree avenues which have been afflicted by tree diseases.

The area around the General Wolfe statue will also be re-landscaped, creating a setting worthy of a World Heritage Site and providing more space for visitors to enjoy one of London’s iconic views.

The boating lake will be fed with a new sustainable water supply, biodiversity will be enhanced across the park and the historic deer herd – descended from Henry VIII’s own herd – will be easier to appreciate, with a new viewing area.

The park will also be brought to life by using new digital technology to allow visitors to explore its wildlife and fascinating history.

And the local community will benefit from a new learning centre and a host of new opportunities to get involved with the park, including events and education programmes, volunteer and apprenticeship placements, and a partnership with the University of Greenwich and Lewisham & Southwark College to provide work experience opportunities for students studying tourism, leisure and event management. There will also be a mobility scheme to help less able visitors enjoy one of London’s finest green spaces.

Graham Dear, Greenwich Park manager, said: “The past few months have given us an amazing opportunity to hear from thousands of visitors what is important to them about Greenwich Park. I’d like to personally thank everyone who has shared their views, come to an open day and helped out with this project.

“We know the millions of visitors who come here each year have a fantastic time, but we also recognise their experience could be even better – and that is exactly what is at the heart of this project.

“There’s so much more Greenwich Park has to offer and this is now our opportunity to open those doors, uncover what’s great about this place and ensure we make Greenwich a park for the future. It is hoped The Royal Parks will hear the outcome of its lottery application in the new year.”

Credit: The Royal Parks

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