The Royal Parks
The Royal Parks is the charity managing 5,000 acres of precious green space across London.
The Royal Parks charity cares for 5,000 acres of diverse parkland across London comprising the eight historic royal parks (Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, The Green Park, St James’s Park, The Regent’s Park, Bushy Park, Richmond Park and Greenwich Park), as well as other important open spaces such as Brompton Cemetery, Victoria Tower Gardens and Canning Green.
Enjoyed by 77 million visitors each year, these are some of London’s busiest green spaces, providing unparalleled opportunities to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The Royal Parks are also of huge ecological importance. Home to hundreds of thousands of trees and plants and a wealth of wildlife including rare and important species, the parks play a pivotal role in the biodiversity of the city.
Thanks to players of People's Postcode Lottery, The Royal Parks launched Mission: Invertebrate in 2017 to discover, celebrate, and protect the tiniest inhabitants of the Royal Parks. Comprising over 95% of all known animals, invertebrates such as insects, snails, spiders and worms provide vital ecological services as pollinators, recyclers, and food for birds and small mammals. By making sure the conditions are right for invertebrates to thrive, a wealth of diverse nature can be enriched in these much-loved parks in the long term.
Over the last two years, Mission: Invertebrate has introduced over 6,000 students to the importance of invertebrates at our outdoor school sessions and welcomed nearly 13,000 visitors to our family activity days, providing opportunities to have fun outside while learning about the value of the creatures found in the parks. Hundreds of volunteers have got involved in our citizen science studies to help protect biodiversity in the parks and beyond, from using ant hills to date precious acid grassland at Richmond and Bushy Park to surveying slug populations in The Regent’s Park. Our adult education programme is helping people learn new skills and to play a part in boosting biodiversity in the Capital’s greenspaces.
Player support means we can carry out specialist studies into invertebrate populations in the parks, so we know how best to help them thrive. Park teams are using what we learn to protect and enhance existing invertebrate-friendly habitats and create new ones, including an acre of wildflower meadow across The Regent’s and Richmond Parks, 25,000 pollinator-friendly plants at Hyde Park, floating islands at St James’s Park and half an acre of new orchard at Richmond Park.
At a time when the UK’s biodiversity is in steep decline, funds raised by the players has enabled The Royal Parks to transform its approach to invertebrate conservation with local action for long term impact to ensure wildlife is thriving across London.