The second phase of the restoration of Greenwich Park is set to begin, as the Royal Parks charity sets out its plans.
The charity’s project to restore the park’s disappearing 17th century landscape begins this autumn.
It will also create new facilities to service the park’s five million annual visitors, including an improved viewing platform by the General Wolfe statue.
The charity, which manages London’s eight Royal Parks, is funding the project alongside a £4.5million grant from the Parks for People programme, joint funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.
Greenwich Park hosts a unique landscape, commissioned by King Charles II in the 17th century, and designed by French landscape architect André Le Nôtre – best known for designing the world-famous Versailles gardens, outside Paris.
But centuries of footfall have taken their toll on the terrain.
A new, landscaped viewing platform at the famous viewpoint by the General Wolfe Statue will transform a congested area into an accessible, enlarged public space.
The platform will be extended back to provide a piazza-style, car-free zone for public enjoyment and cultural events, with a new catering kiosk and room for outdoor seating.
The eroded landscape features of the “Grand Ascent” – giant, grass steps on Observatory Hill, which lead up to the Royal Observatory – will be redefined.
A tarmac path cutting diagonally across the Queen’s Field will be removed and reseeded, creating new green space to revive the original symmetrical layout.
Damaged and declining Turkey oak trees and severely damaged beech trees along the western tree avenues will be replanted with semi-mature, more resilient elm and lime trees.
Clare Lanes, Greenwich Park manager, said: “It’s very exciting to be on the cusp of starting the next phase of restoration work to bring to life the disappearing heritage of this much-loved space.
“We can’t wait to welcome everyone in 2024, to enjoy the restored park at its very best – and to have their very special ‘Instagram moment’ of the view from the General Wolfe statue. The park is going to look wonderful.
“While we deliver the project, we’ll do our best to keep disruption to a minimum, but there will be some path closures. Please bear with us – we’ll update you with alternative routes so you can continue to enjoy the park as much as possible.”
Pictured top: An aerial view of Greenwich Park (Picture: The Royal Parks)
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