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Grass cutting at Royal Parks

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Grass-cutting trimmed in Royal Parks

8 November 2011

Large areas of lawn in some of London's most famous parks are being left to grow without mowing under a new management regime for the Royal Parks which also hands over policy decisions to a board largely appointed by the Mayor.

Royal Parks chief executive Mark Camley, responsible for parks including Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and Richmond Park, told the environment committee of the Greater London Authority that he was 'keeping under review' the option to extend experiments to convert mown grass into meadowland. He said allowing previously mown areas in Hyde Park to grow wild had benefitted wildlife and had been popular with the public.

'If you went back 30 years the levels of meadows we have within Hyde Park would have made people think we had lost control,' he said. 'Perceptions have changed and people now welcome having meadows as opposed to grass cut to within an inch of its life.'

At the same time the management of the Royal Parks is being handed over to a board of 12 individuals, three nominated by London borough councils and a further six by the London mayor, to give Londoners more of a say in how the parks are run. Several members of the existing management team will stay in place to ensure continuity through the London 2012 Olympics.

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