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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 June 2006, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Protected view unveiled to public
View from Richmond Hill
An act was passed in 1902 to protect the view
England's only view to be protected by an Act of Parliament has been unveiled after a major restoration project.

The viewing area from Richmond Hill in south-west London gives a panoramic view of the capital taking in the river Thames, royal parks and palaces.

Sir David Attenborough and Jerry Hall officially opened the first phase of the 3.3m restoration, largely funded by the Heritage Lottery.

The project aims to restore, open up and enhance the view.

The Richmond, Ham and Petersham Open spaces Act was passed in 1902, after a campaign by local people against development in the area.

It protected the land on and below Richmond Hill and preserved the view.

Palaces and parks

Richmond Hill Terrace and a wildflower meadow leading to the river has been completed as part of the first 1.5m phase of the project.

Historic gates and railings have been restored, new accessible entrances created, steps and footpaths built and signs improved.

Streetlights, bollards, litterbins and benches have also been replaced and the historic views opened and framed.

During the 18th Century, an Arcadia was re-created along the Thames below Richmond Hill.

Volunteers working on Richmond Hill
Much of the work has been done by volunteers

Royal and aristocratic palaces were constructed, with gardens and parks, and linked by a series of avenues, set within a framework of meadow and woodland.

Throughout the three-year project, which began last year, native trees and hedgerows will planted.

Sections of the riverbank will be planted with reedbeds to re-create the Thameside natural environment and water meadows managed to help wildlife flourish.

Phase Two of the project will see replanting of the avenues around Ham House and enhancements to the Warren Footpath that links Twickenham with Richmond Bridge.

The final phase will see the completion of works on Richmond Promenade, Radnor Gardens and Twickenham town centres.


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