Funding Secured For Isabella Plantation

Royal Parks successfully secured £164k from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) & Big Lottery Fund (BIG)

Related Links

Richmond Park


Sign up to receive free newsletters from and

The funding will be used to carry out a number of improvements to the Isabella Plantation, a 40 acre woodland garden situated in the heart of Richmond Park.

Isabella Plantation is set within a Victorian woodland enclosure planted between 1831 and 1835, work began on the gardens n the late 1940s and they were opened to the public in 1953. Over the years the Plantation has developed as an important collection of rare and unusual trees and shrubs designed around a number of interconnecting ponds and streams. Plant wise the gardens are perhaps best known for the evergreen azaleas that line the ponds and streams. The Plantation also houses a National Collection of Wilson 50 Kurume Azaleas, collected by the famous plant hunter Ernest Wilson in Japan in the 1920’s. Access to Isabella Plantation is free all year round and is popular as both an international and local visitor attraction with in excess of 0.5 million visitors a year.

The HLF/BIG first-round pass means that The Royal Parks can now progress to the second stage of the HLF/BIG application process.  More detailed plans will then be submitted within two years in order to apply for the £1.6m of HLF/BIG support that The Royal Parks is seeking for the £1.8m project.  
The improvements to the Isabella Plantation are designed to make it accessible to all visitors and could include: upgrades to the existing path network, improved entrance gates and signage; visitor facilities such as shelter, seating and new toilets; environmental and ecological projects, including de-silting ponds and a new water irrigation system; and community activities such as walks, talks and volunteer schemes.

Simon Richards, Park Manager of Richmond Park, said:
“This really is good news for Richmond Park and The Royal Parks. Initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund will not only enable us to progress plans to maintain and improve this much loved woodland garden but also help us to begin to develop a range of education based activities which will benefit both the local community and park visitors as a whole.”

Sue Bowers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in London, said on behalf of HLF and BIG: “This initial support from HLF and BIG will help The Royal Parks to develop plans to ensure the Isabella Plantation continues to be looked after. We look forward to working with them over the development phase.”

  December 22, 2010