HC Deb 07 February 2002 vol 379 cc1112-4W
Mr. Andrew Turner

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what rights and conditions of public access to the Royal parks are observed by those bodies responsible for their upkeep and administration; [34363]

(2)what the area of each Royal park is; and what the conditions are on what trading in the Royal parks is permitted; [34362]

(3)which buildings in the Royal parks are not the responsibility of the Royal Parks Agency; [34364]

(4) what grants are paid to (a) the Royal Parks Agency and (b) other bodies for their work in administering and maintaining the Royal parks; [34366]

Dr. Howells

Responsibility or the subject of these questions has been delegated to the Royal Parks Agency and I have asked its chief executive, William Weston, to reply.

Letter from William Weston to Mr. Andrew Turner, dated 7 February 2002: I have been asked by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to reply to your Parliamentary Questions about public access and other matters relating to the Royal Parks. The Royal Parks are part of the hereditary possessions of the Crown. The public do not have any legal right to use the Parks, public access depends on the grace and favour of the Crown, although there may be public rights of way across the land. The Royal Parks Agency manages the Royal Parks under powers derived from s22 Crown Lands Act 1851. As part of its statutory management function the Agency permits the public to use the Parks for recreational purposes, subject to regulations issued under the Parks Regulation Acts 1872–1926 which are considered necessary to secure proper management, preserve order and prevent abuse within the Parks. The current regulations are the Royal Parks and Other Open Spaces Regulations 1997. The Royal Parks Agency receive grant-in-aid under a funding agreement with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for carrying out the Secretary of State's management responsibilities under the Crown Lands Act. The area covered by each of the Royal parks is as follows

Hyde Park 140
Kensington Gardens 111
Regent's Park (incl. Primrose Hill) 197
St. James's Park 34
Green Park 16
Greenwich Park 73
Richmond Park 955
Bushy Park 450

The Parks are intended to provide a respite from the surrounding urban landscape and commercial activities are therefore generally not allowed in the Royal Parks. Where it is necessary or desirable to provide amenities for park visitors, for example refreshments, boating or deckchairs they are provided under licence from the Secretary of State by private contractors following competitive tender. The following buildings in the Royal Parks are not the responsibility of the Royal Parks Agency.

  • Bushy Park
  • Upper Lodge
  • Bushy House
  • Hawthorne Cottage
  • Barton's Cottage

Richmond Park

  • Thatched House Lodge
  • White Lodge
  • Pembroke Cottage

Greenwich Park

  • Royal Observatory

Kensington Gardens

  • Kensington Palace
  • The Orangery

Regent's Park

  • Winfield House
  • St John's Lodge
  • The Holm
  • Regent's Lodge
  • London Zoo
  • Restoration Studio.

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