Nature and Wildlife

Hanworth Park - a kestrel in flightThe park, together with the Longford River, which flows through part of the site, is designated as a Site of Local Nature Conservation of Borough Importance (Grade II).

A large proportion of the park (approx. 50ha) has potential as a site for lowland dry acid grassland regeneration. Around Hanworth House, 12.5 hectares of the site is currently actively managed as acid grassland meadow.

Lowland dry acid grassland is a declining habitat with less than 30,000 hectares now present in Britain. It develops on nutrient poor, acidic sands and gravel. In London, it is confined to a few remnants of the once large commons and heaths that dominated the Thames Terrace gravels. Dry aid grassland habitats support fine-leaved grass species such as fescues, which plays host to many invertebrates, in particular, bees, wasps and ants that occur only in these habitats and are rare both locally and nationally.

Hanworth Park - Meadow Brown butterflyWildlife that can be enjoyed or seen in the park includes birds such as skylarks, kestrels, and meadow pipit, as well as small heath, small copper and meadow brown butterflies.

Hanworth Park benefited from large specimen tree planting from 2007-2008, which the community was greatly involved in. In total 8,600 whips (tree saplings) were planted along the Elmwood Avenue edge of the park to create a new woodland margin of Willow, Alder and Hazel in the wetter areas and oak, ash, maple and hazel along the drier bunds. An avenue of Sweet Chestnut trees were added to one of the main thoroughfares at the southern end of Hanworth Park and specimen sweet chestnut and oak trees were planted out in the meadow.

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