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Finsbury Circus Gardens: A glimpse into the future of London’s oldest public park

  • May 5, 2024
  • 2 min read
Finsbury Circus Gardens: A glimpse into the future of London’s oldest public park

Plans have been revealed for how Finsbury Circus Gardens will look in the future. It comes as a project to transform the Grade II listed site, which is London’s oldest public park, gets underway.

The finished scheme at Finsbury Circus Gardens, which is due to complete later this year, will see improved seating, pathways, and new areas of planting around the central lawn, introducing a wide range of species and habitats for birds, bees, and bats.

Finsbury Circus Gardens is the largest green space within the City and just one of over 180 individual Square Mile sites, owned and managed by the City Corporation. They attract over 21 million visitors every year – which is over 230 times the capacity of London’s Wembley Stadium.

Among them are 10 Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation in the City, designated for their importance for wildlife and for people to experience nature, and three sites featuring on the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens of Specific Historic Interest in England, which identifies sites of historic significance.

The City of London Corporation manages a network of 11,000 acres of internationally important open spaces across London and southeast England – including Epping Forest, Hampstead Heath, and West Ham Park – investing over £38m a year.

They remove around 16,000 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere every year, equivalent to 70% of the organisation’s annual carbon footprint.

A recent report into the value of the City Corporation’s green spaces within the Square Mile revealed their worth at £126.8 million every year in benefits to society, with a present value of £3.6 billion over 50 years.

As a collective, these smaller parks, churchyards, and plazas deliver the highest recreational and health benefits out of all the organisation’s open spaces and have a benefit to cost ratio of 87.7 – meaning that every £1 spent on maintenance gives a return of £87.70 in public benefits.

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