Royal Parks has revealed new plans for a visitor centre and learning centre, six months after its plans to recreate “giant steps” by the Wolfe memorial were approved.
The plans are part of its £8 million Greenwich Park Revealed project, which included creating a series of grass steps on the hill leading up to the Royal Observatory, following the original 17th century masterplan for the park.
But two other elements of the plan – originally costed at £10 million – are being scaled back slightly because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
An underused contractor’s yard in the south-east corner of the park will be opened up to the public as Vanbrugh Yard, featuring a café, community kitchen garden, wildlife orchard, volunteer mess room and public toilets with a facilities for disabled visitors.
Nearby, the park’s old wildlife centre will be renovated to provide an entrance to The Wilderness – a natural discovery space aimed at schools and community groups. The Wilderness will comprise a learning centre, a sheltered outdoor learning space, natural play facilities, a wildlife pond and an extensive wildlife meadow.
Park bosses are now asking the public for their feedback ahead of a new planning application later this month. If approved, work could begin at the start of 2022. More details are available at royalparks.org.uk/gpr.
Graham Dear, the park’s manager, said: “The community is right at the heart of this project, so we’re delighted to reveal these exciting new plans for schools and local groups. We would love to hear people’s views on what we are proposing and would encourage people to get in touch.
“Unfortunately, the pandemic has meant that we have had to revise our original designs for learning and volunteering. By repurposing existing buildings and constructing a smaller, new classroom from sustainable materials, we aim to create better facilities for volunteers and learners with an emphasis on discovering the outdoors.
“These new facilities will reveal the wonder of the nature on our doorsteps, inspiring local people to cherish and protect Greenwich Park for future generations.”
Royal Parks is asking for public feedback on greenwichparkrevealed[at]royalparks.org.uk by March 14.
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