Greengage, in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust, is working with The Royal Parks to assess the status of their grassland habitats in Bushy, Richmond, Hyde Parks and Kensington Gardens.
Greengage has undertaken detailed botanical studies across the parklands, assessing the status of their species rich neutral and acid grassland swards, helping inform onward conservation management.
To coincide with this botanical assessment, Greengage has designed a soil carbon and fungal eDNA study, which aims to assess how botanical diversity and grassland type influence below ground soil carbon storage, soil health and fungal diversity. This was supported by a citizen science campaign coordinated by The Royal Parks, where volunteers helped to collect the hundreds of soil cores required across the 27 test plots, required to give the experiment sufficient scientific rigour.
This research piece will provide a much needed evidence base for furthering our understanding of how urban grasslands can play their part in tackling climate change, identifying potential improvements to soil carbon capture rates through changes to above ground management.