A Visit to Hyde Park

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Introduction
On June we are going to do a trip to London and we are trying to find interesting places that we can visit on London. We decided that we need to visit one of the most famous parks that are: • • • • • • • • • St James park The green park Hyde park Kensington gardens Richmond park Greenwich park The regent’s park Bushy park Brompton cemetery

We had chosen Hyde Park because is one of the largest parks in London and it’s situated in the centre of the city There are a lot of things that we can do in the park, but we need to choose the most important activities. Our work is based on this question: Why is it worth to visit Hyde Park?

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Information about the park
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London, England and one of the Royal Parks of London, famous for its Speakers' Corner. The park is divided in two by the Serpentine. The park is contiguous with Kensington Gardens; although often still assumed to be part of Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens has been technically separate since 1728, when Queen Caroline made a division between the two. Hyde Park is 350 acres (140 hectare/1.4 km²) and Kensington Gardens is 275 acres (110 ha/1.1 km²) giving an overall area of 625 acres (250 ha/2.5 km²), making this park larger than the Principality of Monaco (1.96 square kilometers or 485 acres), but still smaller than New York City's Central Park (3.41 square kilometers or 843 acres). To the southeast (but outside of the park) is Hyde Park Corner. Although, during daylight, the two parks merge seamlessly into each other, Kensington Gardens closes at dusk but Hyde Park remains open throughout the year from 5 am until midnight. The park was the site of The Great Exhibition of 1851, for which the Crystal Palace was designed by Joseph Paxton. 2

The park has become a traditional location for mass demonstrations. The Chartists, the Reform League, the Suffragettes and the Stop The War Coalition have all held protests in the park. Many protestors on the Liberty and Livelihood March in 2002 started their march from Hyde Park. On 20 July 1982 in the Hyde Park and Regents Park bombings, two bombs linked to the Provisional Irish Republican Army caused the death of eight members of the Household Cavalry and the Royal Green Jackets and seven horses.

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How to getting there
We’ve done investigation thinking about what’s the best public transport that we can take for going to Hyde Park. Our conclusion is that the best way is travelling by underground. Travelling by bus for 60 or 70 people is too much because on a bus there can’t be more than 40 people so we should take two or three buses and that’s very uncomfortable. We can see on the map what is the nearest station than we can take from the hotel for going to the park. Depending on what side of Hyde Park we want to visit we should leave a station or another one.

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Clink Hostel hotel

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Something interesting
Sites of interest
Speaker’s corner A Speakers' Corner is an area where public speaking is allowed. The original and most noted is in the north-east corner of Hyde Park in London, England. Speakers there are allowed to speak as long as the police consider their speeches lawful. Contrary to popular belief there is no immunity from the law, nor are any subjects proscribed, but in practice the police tend to be tolerant and only intervene when they receive a complaint or if they hear profanity. There are a number of other areas designated as Speakers' Corners in other parks in London, (Finsbury Park, Clapham Common, Kennington Park and Victoria Park) as well as other countries.

Though Hyde Park Speakers' Corner is considered the paved area closest to Marble Arch, legally it extends as far as the Reform Tree and covers a large area of the adjacent parade ground. Public riots broke out in the park in 1855 in protest over the Sunday Trading Bill which forbade buying and selling on a Sunday, the only day working people had off. The riots were 7

described by Karl Marx as the beginning of the English revolution. The Chartist movement used Hyde Park as a point of assembly for workers' protests but no permanent speaking location was established. The Reform League organized a massive demonstration in 1866 and then again in 1867 which compelled the government to extend the franchise to include most working class men. The riots and agitation for democratic reform encouraged some to force issue of the "right to speak" in Hyde Park. The Parks Regulation Act 1872 delegated the issue of permitting public meetings to the park authorities (rather than central government). Contrary to popular belief it does not confer a statutory basis for the right to speak at Speakers' Corner. Parliamentary debates on the act illustrate that a general principle of being able to meet and speak was not the intention, but that some areas would be permitted to be used for that purpose. Since that time it has become a traditional site for public speeches and debate as well as the main site of protest and assembly in Britain. There are some who contend that the tradition has a connection with the Tyburn hanging gallows where the condemned man was allowed to speak. Although many of its regular speakers are non-mainstream, Speakers' Corner was frequented by Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, George Orwell, and William Morris. Its existence is frequently upheld as a demonstration of free speech, as anyone can turn up unannounced and talk on almost any subject, though they are likely to be heckled by regulars. In the late 19th century, for instance, a combination of park by-laws, use of the Highways Acts and use of venue licensing powers of the London County Council made it one of the few places where socialist speakers could meet and debate. In 2003 the park authorities tried to ban a demonstration set for February 15 to stop the War in Iraq. This caused uproar and forced a climb-down.

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American comedian Bill Maher visited the Speaker's Corner during the filming of his documentary Religious.

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Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain is a memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales. It was designed to express Diana's spirit and love of children. It is located in the southwest corner of Hyde Park in London, just south of the Serpentine Lake and east of the Serpentine Gallery. Its cornerstone w as laid in September 2003 and it was officially opened on July 6, 2004 by Queen Elizabeth II. Also present were Diana's younger brother Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, her ex-husband Prince Charles, and her sons William and Harry. Because Diana was a contemporary and accessible princess, the fountain's goal was to allow people access to the structure and to the water for quiet wading and contemplation. However, shortly after its opening and after three hospitalizations caused by people slipping in the water, the fountain was closed. It reopened in August 2004, surrounded by a new fence, and people are now prevented from walking or running in the water by six wardens. However, even though the fountain was only open for a part of the 2004 season, and the weather was not 10

particularly wet, the grass adjacent to part of the fountain was almost obliterated, and it appeared that it would turn to a quagmire if heavy rain ever fell during the main visiting season. Therefore in December 2004, another alteration project was started. This involved work on the drainage, together with laying new hard surfaces on some of the most frequently walked areas of the site and the planting of a special hard wearing rye grass mix in others.

Concerts
Hyde Park has been the venue for some famous rock concerts, including Pink Floyd (1968 and 1970), Jethro Tull (1968), Traffic (1968), Fleetwood Mac (1968), Blind Faith (1969), The Rolling Stones (1969), King Crimson (1969), Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969), Eric Burdon & War (1970), Canned Heat (1970), Grand Funk Railroad (1971), Roy Harper (1971), Wigwam (1975), Queen (1976), Pavarotti (1991), The Who (1996), Eric Clapton (1996), Michael Flatley (1998), Steps (2000), Bon Jovi (2003), Shania Twain (2003), Red Hot Chili Peppers (2004), Live 8 (2005), R.E.M. (2005), Queen + Paul Rodgers (2005), Daft Punk (2007), Depeche Mode (2006), Foo Fighters (2006), Aerosmith (2007), White Stripes (2007), and Capital 95.8 Party in the Park & Concert For Mandella 90 (2008). Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2004 did three concerts over the space of one week, these three concerts became the highest grossing concerts at a single venue in history. Eric Clapton performed here just recently during his 2008 summer tour, the concert took place on Saturday the 28th of June (the bill also featured Sheryl Crow & John Mayer performing Crossroads alongside Eric Clapton).

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Flora and Fauna
Hyde Park provides a unique habitat in the heart of London for a diverse variety of species of flora and fauna. Positive changes in management practices have gone a long way to encourage new species into the park. The creation of the meadow area gives a flavour of how Hyde Park once looked and this area has become more diverse year on year since its creation. Have a look during the summer for butterflies feeding off the native wildflowers in the meadow. The trees, shrub beds and herbaceous plantings provide rich habitats for song birds including the robin, dunnocks and tits. Look out for small groups of Long Tailed Tits that hop around from tree to tree looking for insects and nesting materials. However, over feeding of aggressive feral pigeons and squirrels threatens the native song birds as they are not able to compete with these pests. The Serpentine attracts a large number of wildfowl into the park, many of which are winter visitors to the park. Look out for the exotic looking Great Crested Grebes and their spectacular mating rituals. The lake also attracts a large number of insects that provides a perfect feeding ground for bats. The best place to view bats is on Dell Bridge around dusk and also close to Serpentine Bridge. Much of the wildlife in the park goes un-noticed by the majority of visitors. This includes a large number of 'minibeasts' such as beetles, bees and ground foraging insects. These insects are a vital component of the park ecosystem and the creation and protection of their habitats is very important for the overall health of the park.

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Look out for other exotic and unusual visitors to Hyde Park. Recent sightings have included a black swan, a buzzard and Egyptian Geese. Feel free to report any unusual sightings that you see during your visit to Hyde Park.

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Conclusion
As we said on the beginning of this project our work is based on this question: Why is it worth to visit Hyde Park? We’ve done a lot of investigation to answer this question and taking into account all the information that we’ve found. Our conclusion is that if we would like to discover some of the most interesting places in London, we need to visit Hyde Park.

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Bibliography
• • • • • • • • • • http://www.european-city-parks.com/london/hyde-parkhighlights/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyde_Park,_London http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/hyde_park/about.cfm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speakers%27_Corner http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/hyde_park/flora_fauna.cfm http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/hyde_park/ http://www.royalparks.org.uk/docs/park_maps/hyde_map.pdf http://www.royalparks.org.uk/docs/park_maps/hyde_map.pdf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyde_Park,_London http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/central_bus_map.pdf

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