Bushy Park Blockades: Will the Park Open Again?

Bushy Park is the heartbeat of South-West London. Its historical past spans over a millennium, and it obtained its ‘Royal Park’ standing in 1529, having been given to Henry VIII by Cardinal Wolsey. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, Chestnut Avenue splits the inexperienced panorama in two, offering a bypass for locals attempting to get to Teddington from Hampton Court (or vice versa).

However, in late March 2020, the choice was made by The Royal Parks Charity to shut a part of the 1-mile lengthy highway, on account of the pandemic. Furthermore, in August final 12 months, a trial started in quite a lot of Royal Parks (equivalent to St. James’ Park and Richmond Park) to scale back motor site visitors and create new car-free areas for guests, and the part-closure of Chestnut Avenue was prolonged.

Because of those restrictions, the Diana Fountain Car Park (the fundamental automobile park for the park) can solely be entered from the south facet of the park (at Hampton Court Gate), and the extremely widespread ‘Woodland Gardens’ can solely be accessed through Teddington Gate.

This has brought about controversy amongst native residents, as a choice nonetheless has not been made as as to whether these closures will probably be everlasting. The trial was on account of finish in February 2021, nonetheless the blockades are nonetheless in place.

There are some advantages which have emerged from this, although. As a eager bicycle owner myself, it has actually been a lot simpler and safer to cycle in the park. Decreased air pollution ranges encourage extra pedestrians into the park, with an elevated air high quality. Furthermore, the Bushy Park Fallow and Red Deer are one among the fundamental incentives to go to this Site of Special Scientific Interest, and it might be argued, that the lower in motor autos shield these distinctive animals. The historical past of the park can also be being preserved, however do the positives outweigh the negatives?

Of course, many are displeased with the choice. One native remarked on the Bushy Park Facebook web page that she has ‘not been [to the park] for a 12 months, regardless of visiting the park each Sunday since 1962’ as ‘the automobile park shouldn’t be accessible’. Chestnut Avenue is a crucial highway for commuters, and it has been instructed that when the pandemic is over, there will probably be extra stress on the surrounding roads, which repeatedly have excessive ranges of site visitors in peak hours. As a results of this, it’s doubtless that any air pollution decreased inside the park, will merely be pushed to different areas close by.

This is a posh matter that is still controversial, on account of the essential function that Bushy Park performs in a lot of our lives. If ever we’d like recent air, Bushy Park is all the time the place that involves thoughts. However, the decreased accessibility to some areas of the park, might be seen as a small worth to pay to take care of this lovely, pure panorama. After all, a brief stroll can solely be factor! Perhaps, due to this scheme, we are able to proceed to go to the space for generations to return.

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