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The largest of London's Royal Parks, it is of national and international importance for wildlife conservation.
The Grade I-listed White Lodge was formerly a royal residence and is now home to the Royal Ballet School.
The park's boundary walls and ten other buildings are listed at Grade II, including Pembroke Lodge, the home of 19th-century British Prime Minister Lord John Russell and his grandson, the philosopher Bertrand Russell.
Historically the preserve of the monarch, the park is now open for all to use and includes a golf course and other facilities for sport and recreation.
It played an important role in both world wars and in the 19 Olympics.
It is the second-largest park in London (after the 10,000 acre Lee Valley Park, whose area extends beyond the M25 into Hertfordshire and Essex) and is Britain's second-largest urban walled park after Sutton Park, In its citation, Natural England said: "Richmond Park has been managed as a royal deer park since the seventeenth century, producing a range of habitats of value to wildlife.
In particular, Richmond Park is of importance for its diverse deadwood beetle fauna associated with the ancient trees found throughout the parkland.In addition the park supports the most extensive area of dry acid grassland in Greater London." The park was designated as an SAC in April 2005 on account of its having "a large number of ancient trees with decaying timber.It is at the heart of the south London centre of distribution for stag beetle Lucanus cervus, and is a site of national importance for the conservation of the fauna of invertebrates associated with the decaying timber of ancient trees".Since October 1987 the park has also been included, at Grade I, on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England, being described in Historic England's listing as "A royal deer park with pre C15 origins, imparked by Charles I and improved by subsequent monarchs. The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport manages Richmond Park and the other Royal Parks of London under powers set out in the Crown Lands Act 1851, which transferred management of the parks from the monarch to the government.Day-to-day management of the Royal Parks has been delegated to The Royal Parks, an executive agency of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).The Royal Parks' Board sets the strategic direction for the agency.