Sir David Attenborough returned to Richmond Park twelve years after it was named a National Nature Reserve to launch the new Jubilee Garden Pond on 15 May 2012.
The wildlife presenter dug the ceremonial first hole in preparation for the commemorative pond, which is being created in honour of the Queen’s Jubilee.
The pond is part of a Ponds and Streams Conservation programme, funded by environmental charity Healthy Planet, which promises to create new fresh water habitats for wildlife, restoring many of the park’s ponds and streams over the next 2-3 years.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended the Wild London event at Richmond Park in celebration of the capital’s woodlands, parks and gardens and watched a performance of Swan Lake performed by students of The Royal Ballet School based in Richmond Park.
The parks, ponds and streams are important as they sustain a variety of wildlife but are threatened by erosion and disturbance.
“When you are older you will see all sorts of creatures in this pond… newts…frogs,” Sir David Attenborough, Patron of the local charity Friends of Richmond Park told some sea cadets at the event.
“Thank you to Healthy Planet for funding the Jubilee Pond in Richmond Park. This new habitat will sustain a vast array of wildlife and help combat climate change by retaining more water within the park.”
Shaylesh Patel, founder, Healthy Planet said:
“Healthy Planet is proud to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by providing core funding for the new Jubilee Pond.
“The aims of the pond – to improve biodiversity by creating a new freshwater habitat and to retain more water in the Park to counteract the effects of climate change – are similar to projects we support around the world.
“We are delighted that our award winning and unique web technology is being harnessed to not only raise awareness, but also raise money, for grassroots projects like the Jubilee Pond.”
Friends of Richmond Park Chairman Ron Crompton and Park Manager Simon Richards also spoke at the event. The Friends of Richmond Park have launched a public appeal to fund the programme and Healthy Planet will match all public donations pound-for-pound. More information on adopting a part of the pond through satellite images can be found at www.healthyplanet.org/jubileepond