A strategy for Kensington Gardens’ 3,400 trees
Kensington Gardens’ 3,400 trees form a well-structured pattern, established since the 1720s. They provide sanctuary for wildlife, plus spiritual refuge and quiet enjoyment for several million visitors each year.
To many, the trees are part of the essential makeup and character of the gardens, photographed and shared as icons of place and memory. There is inevitable expectation that their succession and continuity is assured yet, as a population, they are dynamic and historic, but sometimes vulnerable and ever-changing.
LUC was asked to provide a tree strategy for the next few decades, using the Royal Parks own 2009 tree survey’s results and taking into account the history, wildlife, arboriculture, ground conditions and use, space, risks and timescales. It’s just one of many landscape management and landscape design projects we’ve carried out for the Royal Parks.
Our strategy identified some 600 trees to plant in specific locations over the next 25 years, anticipating potential losses and managed removals as particular trees become unsound. We used innovative GIS-based tree canopy modelling to predict and visualise proposals designed to maintain pattern, diversity and vitality in this landscape of international importance.