As its name implies, Latchmere Recreation Ground was set up as a place for sport. At that time (1902), the whole area between the Rec and the Thames at Petersham was covered with orchards and with Richmond Park next door, it’s not surprising that no-one thought about what it could offer for nature.

However, the orchards have since been replaced by housing and the world is facing a crisis of lost bio-diversity so we need to see what we can do for nature even on a relatively small site like this.

The Rec. covers 3.6 hectares, or 8.9 acres. Around half the area is used for football and will remain so. Football pitches are largely sterile ecologically but there is no reason why the rest of the Rec should be treated as though it were a football pitch! This land has the potential to be planted and managed in a way which will hugely increase biodiversity, benefiting both nature and the people who use the Rec. 

For FoLaR, increasing bio-diversity and bringing life and colour to the Rec is one of our top priorities.  We describe, below, the current situation, our achievements to date, and our plans for the future in terms of increasing bio-diversity on the Rec.

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History of the Rec


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