Following the oversubscribed study day at Chiswick House organised by the
Garden History Society in March, the LPGT, in conjunction with the GHS, has
arranged an afternoon tour of the recently restored grounds, to be led by Dr
David Jacques, Trustee of the Chiswick House & Gardens Trust with long-term
involvement in the landscape, and Fiona Crumley, Head Gardener.
This will be an opportunity to hear about the history both of the site and
its restoration from David, and the management of the grounds and conflict
resolution from Fiona. Meet 2.00pm outside the café.
Cost: GHS and/or LPGT members £15; non-members £18 (including tea). Please
apply using the booking form.
Address: Chiswick W4 2RP Sign-posted from Hogarth Roundabout (junction of
Elephant Parade 2010
During May and June over 250 decorated elephant sculptures, sponsored by
businesses and painted by prominent artists, were put on display in various
locations around London.
At the end of June, they were moved to the Royal Hospital grounds in Chelsea
for a final group display before being auctioned. The auction raised over £4m
for Elephant Family, a charity established in 2002 to raise funds to save the
endangered Asian elephant and its habitat.
The highest price realised was £155,000, paid for an elephant decorated by
the artist Jack Vettriano. Further details: www.elephantparadelondon.org
Trust Questions Royal Parks Transfer
THE Royal Parks continue to attract their share of controversy. The staging
of Olympic equestrian events in Greenwich Park, and the proposal (since
cancelled by the Coalition government) to charge visitors for parking in
Richmond and Bushy Parks both aroused fierce local opposition. Earlier plans to
build a five-a-side football complex in Regent's Park also angered local
residents. Now hackles have been raised by government plans to transfer the
management of the Royal Parks to the Greater London Authority.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson proposed the transfer, following the
government's decision to dismantle the Government Office for London. The Mayor's
proposals were immediately backed by Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary.
However, when councils, including Westminster and Richmond, objected to the plan
and insisted they could take control of the parks within their boundaries, a
break-up of the Royal Parks Agency seemed possible.
This is said to have dismayed the Queen. A report in the Daily Telegraph on
18th July claimed the Queen wanted to see the Parks kept together as a group,
and that proposals for a split-up had been withdrawn.
As a result of the uncertainty, on 20th July Chris Sumner wrote, in his
capacity as Chairman of the Trust's Planning and Conservation Working Group, to
Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose, to express the Trust's opposition to
any plans to transfer the Royal Parks to the GLA. Chris gave the Trust's reasons
in his letter:
"I am writing as Chairman of the Planning and Conservation Working Group
of the London Parks and Gardens Trust to express my and my fellow Trustees' deep
concern at the proposal to hand control of the Royal Parks to the Greater London
Authority. The view of the Trust is that such a move would not be in the best
interest of the Parks or their users.
"The Royal Parks have established the highest standards in terms of
maintenance, horticultural excellence and policing. The high quality of (their)
projects and of the less- remarked but equally important day-to-day maintenance
reflects the dedication and skill of the staff involved, who are following
established traditions of doing things well. Our Trust is very concerned that
the committed expertise of the Royal Parks staff, founded on accumulated
practices dating back for centuries, will be dispersed and lost if the
management regime is changed significantly."
Contributing to the debate, Judy Hillman, also a member of the Trust, wrote
to the Evening Standard on 23rd July on behalf of the Friends of Regent's
"The GLA has no experience or expertise in caring for open space,"
wrote Judy. "The Government should at least consider what sort of
organisation would be best for the parks' long-term future. What about a Royal
Parks Trust, the City Corporation - which has done very well with Hampstead
Heath - or even the National Trust?"