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Royal Parks: Nature Conservation

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps the Royal Parks Agency is taking to protect wildlife in London’s Royal Parks. (250896)

The Royal Parks advise that they take a range of steps to protect wildlife in all the sites under their care and management, and each of the Royal Parks has a management plan which incorporates ecological objectives.

The Royal Parks also advise that they carry out regular ecological surveys to provide data to inform management practice; biannual assessments and ongoing projects to improve the ecological quality of major water bodies; and where appropriate, employ consultants for specialist work. They also work in partnership with relevant organisations and with central Government to inform management and planning.

Although all parks staff receive training in wildlife management as required, the Royal Parks also employ staff with specialist skills and knowledge who have specific responsibility for wildlife protection and biodiversity enhancement and directly protect wildlife through a range of works. Projects include feeding wildlife in extreme weather, physically protecting vulnerable habitats, and providing nest and roost boxes for birds and bats.

The Royal Parks also create areas of conservation priority habitat, such as reed-beds, and manage and restore other habitats of biodiversity importance. The parks also include protected areas of land, such as Richmond Park which is a National Nature Reserve (NNR) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Management of these sites is undertaken in accordance with best practice and relevant legislation.