Richmond Park receives 5.5m visitors annually and is a major attraction in Greater London. Our Vision is to engage these visitors in the Park’s rich natural heritage and its colourful, largely undiscovered history. We will also highlight the increasing pressures on the fragile ecology and show how visitors can reduce these risks through sustainable and responsible use of the Park.
Our proposed new heritage pavilion will enable proper collection care and access alongside interpretation, activities and visitor facilities by providing:
- A visitor centre
- An interpretation space
- A secure archive
We have received planning permission and consent from The Royal Parks and The Crown Estate. The Hearsum Family Ltd has contributed more than £500,000 to develop the collection and obtain these various consents. We are now fundraising for the build and fit out costs.
To learn more about the Collection and our plans for the future please watch our video about The Hearsum Collection.
“Preserving the past, protecting the future”
The new Heritage Pavilion will enable us to:
- Share the stories of 400 years of this unique place, London’s largest Grade I listed park, through interactive displays, activities and events.
- Encourage more sustainable and responsible use of the park through increased awareness and respect for the immense biodiversity that exists here.
- Provide a visitor centre of suitable size given the popularity of the park, enabling information such as maps, leaflets etc. to be readily available to park users.
- Support the management of the park, ensuring its long term sustainability.
- Provide public access to the Hearsum Collection, as well as safe, museum-standard storage.
- Share the stories of all London’s Royal Parks through a digital hub which visitors can access via smartphones, laptops or PCs.
What will the Heritage Pavilion look like?
The final design evolved as a result of extensive consultation with stakeholders over five years. Planning Permission was granted in June 2017
The general principles agreed between The Royal Parks, The Hearsum Collection, The Friends of Richmond Park and other stakeholders were:
- Unobtrusive in the landscape of a Grade I listed park
- A traditional design to reflect the rich heritage of Richmond Park
- A building correlating to the existing built environment, namely the two adjacent pavilions
- Scale suitable to serve the anticipated visitors and appropriate to the size of the park
- Landscaping to the surrounding areas to increase visual amenity and biodiversity
Where will it be?
The proposed site is located next to Pembroke Lodge car park. It was selected after much consultation, mainly because it is:
- almost invisible from the open parkland
- close to a major visitor facility
- close to transportation links to provide easy and sustainable access
- a previously developed site where there is no existing public access.
The site is currently used as a service yard and staff car park for Pembroke Lodge. There has never been public access to this part of the park so it will be opened up for the first time. Having previously been developed, it is a suitable brownfield site to redevelop for the public good. Largely consisting of barren compacted land and four dilapidated structures, the development and landscaping works proposed would benefit the biodiversity and ecology of the site and the surrounding parkland.
Who is involved?
- The Hearsum Collection – a registered charity that will develop and manage the heritage pavilion for the enjoyment of the park’s visitors.
- The Royal Parks are actively supporting the project.
- The Friends of Richmond Park will continue to provide trained volunteers to assist with the running of the heritage pavilion.
Consultation so far…
Richmond Park is a much loved community asset within the local area and further afield. From the outset of the project various stakeholders and amenity groups have been consulted about every aspect of the development and operation of the Heritage Pavilion. Below are a just a few of the comments outlining various stakeholders’ keen support of the concept:
“We strongly support the plans to create a permanent Heritage Centre ….. We see such a centre as a high priority”
Ron Crompton – Chair, Friends of Richmond Park
“We whole-heartedly support this project, as it will enable greater understanding of the heritage importance of the park, thereby assisting its preservation”
Professor Ian Bruce CBE – Former Chair, Richmond Society
“We strongly support the idea of housing the collection in a dedicated building which would make it available to visitors of the Park, researchers, local societies and students of all ages”
Richmond Local History Society
“The future of the park depends on this!”
Piers D C Eley MA, MSc, Chairman, The Richmond Park Wildlife Group
“Richmond Park is one of London’s most important parks and this project will significantly improve the way people access the park and learn about its heritage”
Rachel Tranter – Former Head of Arts, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
“We anticipate that the educational content to be provided by the Centre will foster great understanding of, and hence respect for the park”
Linda Lennon CBE – Former Chief Executive, The Royal Parks
“We believe that the project has significant potential, and the Trust has put together an exciting and sustainable proposal. The project plans would see the venue become a resource for the park’s diverse community, as well as serving both physical and remote visitors to the park”
Andrew Scattergood – Chief Executive, The Royal Parks
We hope you will join the support of this project for the long term benefit of the park and its visitors.