Parks and open spaces in London
There are many parks and open spaces in Greater London, England. Green space in central London consists of five of the capital's eight Royal Parks, supplemented by a number of small garden squares scattered throughout the city centre. Open space in the rest of the region is dominated by the remaining three Royal Parks and many other parks and open spaces of a range of sizes, run mainly by the local London boroughs, although other owners include the National Trust and the City of London Corporation.
- Richmond Park 955 ha (2,359.85 acres)
- Bushy Park 450 ha (1,112 acres)
- Regent's Park 197 ha (486.79 acres)
- Hyde Park 140 ha (346 acres)
- Kensington Gardens 111 ha (274 acres)
- Greenwich Park 73 ha (180 acres)
- St. James's Park 34 ha (84 acres)
- Green Park 16 ha (39.5 acres)
Many of the smaller green spaces in central London are garden squares, which were built for the private use of the residents of the fashionable districts, but in some cases are now open to the public. Notable examples open to the public are Russell Square in Bloomsbury, Lincoln's Inn Fields in Holborn and Soho Square in Soho.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea contains over a hundred garden squares whose use is restricted to residents. The upkeep of many of these spaces (also named for example Crescents, Gardens, Place) is paid for through a levy on top of residents' council tax.
In addition to these spaces, a large number of council-owned parks were developed between the mid 19th century and the Second World War.
- Victoria Park 86.18 ha (213 acres),
- Battersea Park 83 ha (205 acres).
- Crystal Palace Park, South London 80 ha (200 acres)
- Alexandra Park 80 ha (197.68 acres)
- Brockwell Park 51 hectares (126 acres)
Other green spaces
Other major open spaces in the suburbs include:
|Wildspace Conservation Park||645||1,593|
|Hainault Forest Country Park||136||336|
|Tooting Bec Common||62||152|
|South Norwood Country Park||47||116|
They have a more informal and semi-natural character, having originally been countryside areas protected against surrounding urbanisation. Some cemeteries provide extensive green land within the city — notably Highgate Cemetery, burial place of Karl Marx and Michael Faraday amongst others. Completing London's array of green spaces are two paid entrance gardens — the leader is the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew, whilst the royal residence of Hampton Court Palace also has a celebrated garden. All Outer London boroughs contain sections of the metropolitan green belt.
There are over a hundred registered commons in London, ranging in size from small fragments of land to large expanses.
There are two historic lavender fields in the London Borough of Sutton. One, at Oaks Way, Carshalton Beeches is three acres in size and is run as a not-for-profit community project. The other, a 25-acre commercial site in Croydon Lane called Mayfield, is popular with tourists. Situated on the North Downs of Surrey, the locality is ideal for lavender cultivation, owing to the chalky free-draining nature of the soil. It was known as the "Lavender Capital of the World" from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, with global production of the plant centred here and blue fields dotting the area.
London National Park City
London was officially declared the world's first National Park City in July 2019. A National Park City is inspired by the family of National Parks but is not the same as a National Park: it is a “large urban area that is managed and semi-protected through both formal and informal means to enhance the natural capital of its living landscape". It is led by volunteers with a network of supporters and backing from councils' including the Mayor of London with activities linking to the Greater London Authorities' Environment Strategy.
The London National Park City was established by the National Park City Foundation [NPCF], which aims to inspire 25 National Park Cities around the world by 2025.
- List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Greater London
- List of Local Nature Reserves in Greater London
- Walking in London
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