Wednesday 5 May 2010

British Parks

Most British parks were created in the 19th century, when more people moved into the towns. In London there are several parks. Some of them deserve special attention.

Regent's Park. A park in central London designed by John Nash for the Prince Regent and completed in 1828. It contains an outdoor theatre, flower gardens, sports fields and a large lake, and London Zoo is in its north side. The park is surrounded by several grand buildings in the Regency style, known as the Terraces. Zoological Garden — one of the most famous zoos in the world because of the number and variety of its species. It was established in 1826 by the Zoological Society of London.

Today the Zoo is an important centre for the study of animals, and breeds animals that are in danger of disappearing in their native environments.

England is blessed by several institutions now of international fame. Many of these institutions are in some way connected with nature. Such is Kew Gardens — a park in west London, which contains a large collection of plants, trees, etc. from all over the world and is a major centre for the study of plants. Its official name is the Royal Botanic Gardens and it was opened to the public in 1840 by Queen Victoria. It is very popular with tourists and British people, and among its famous buildings are the Chinese Pagoda and several very large green houses, including the Palm House (opened in 1848).

Joseph Banks (1743— 1820) an English naturalist who discovered and collected many unknown plants, especially in Australia, and helped to start the famous collection of plants at Kew Gardens where people come to wander among orchids, children are brought by their parents to greet the first daffodils of the year.

Hyde Park — a large public park in central London next to Kensington Gardens. It is famous for Speaker's Corner, where people can make public speeches on any topic, Rotten Row, a riding track for horses, and the Serpentine lake. In 1851 the Great Exhibition was held in Hyde Park.

Kensington Gardens — a park in south-west London, next to Hyde Park. It was formerly the garden of Kensington Palace, and was opened to the public in the 1830s. It contains the Albert Memorial and a famous statue of Peter Pan.

London Zoo is in Regent's Park, London. It was established in 1826 by the Zoological Society of London.