Hidden Hyde Park

Hiding away in the Royal Parks of London we can find clues to the past - when vast areas of the capital were still countryside.

Hyde Park was once a royal hunting ground and later cattle were driven across it - the route they travelled still exists and runs along a section of the park which is not trimmed or tidied as most of the landscape is.

A wilderness in Hyde Park

This area of the park, away from its popular attractions, is now left to nature with some interventions from the people who work to protect it. Trees are left to decay to encourage the cycle of life - a place where fungus and insects can thrive.

Meanwhile The Serpentine provides a safe haven for a variety of birds and other wildlife. Designed to please Queen Charlotte, it was created by damming the river that flows through Hyde Park. The Dell, at its Eastern End, is a tranquil location and a sanctuary for wildlife - built by people and enhanced by nature.

Bird Island is near enough to the water's edge to give people a close up of the birds but there is enough distance so that they feel safe enough to perch and preen - a cormorant can be seen, stretching out its wings to dry them as their feathers are not as waterproof as other birds.

Island on The Serpentine

And a heron stands quite still, watching and waiting.

A Heron in Hyde Park

Hyde Park - a place for us to visit at any time of the year. And home to a variety of creatures.

At first it appears as many of the other Royal Parks of London with its flat grass carpeting much of the open space, neat flower beds and paths that were designed and laid out. But here in plain sight are pathways that still follow the historic lanes where the only ways to travel were on foot or by horse - and much more bio diversity than lawns and ornamental flower beds can sustain.