Royal Parks of London

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Geography of Great Britain

Flowers in the Royal Greenwich Park, London
Flowers in the Royal Greenwich Park, London

The Royal Parks of London are lands originally owned by the monarchy of England or the United Kingdom for the recreation (mostly hunting) of the royal family. With increasing urbanisation of London, some of these were preserved as freely accessible open space and became public parks. There are today eight parks formally described by this name and they cover around 5,500 acres (2,226 hectares) of land in Greater London.

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens (which are adjacent), Green Park, Regent's Park and St James's Park are the largest green spaces in central London. Bushy Park, Greenwich Park and Richmond Park are in the suburbs. Brompton Cemetery, although not a park, is another of the green spaces managed by Royal Parks.

They are managed by The Royal Parks (an executive agency of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport) and are policed by the Metropolitan Police (the English section of the previous force policing the parks, the Royal Parks Constabulary, has been abolished). The main form of funding for the Royal Parks is a central government grant. This contrasts with most of London's other parks, which are funded by local borough councils. The Royal Parks generates additional income from commercial activities such as catering and staging public events such as concerts.

The Royal Parks Foundation is a registered charity which raises funds to protect, support and create new opportunities within the Parks. They have a number of membership schemes such as adoption and champion programmes.

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