A mosaic celebrating Ham Village Green was unveiled by Sir David Attenborough this week, in response to the threat of development on the treasured space.
The broadcaster and renowned nature guru attended the unveiling ceremony on Thursday, May 8, his 88th birthday.
He said: “I live up on Richmond Hill and I have to say we are lucky being in one of the glorious spots of London and if it is to remain one of the great spots of London it is because you care about it.”
The Friends of Ham Village Green took on the task of designing and producing a mosaic, with help from schoolchildren, to cover up the graffiti on the wall and celebrate the wildlife and plant life on the green.
The project, in conjunction with Save the World, was sparked by fears the cherished green would be redeveloped in Richmond Housing Partnership’s plans for Ham Close, which was visited by Prince Charles in March.
Sir David was presented with a birthday cake featuring a priam’s birdwing butterfly made from icing, after it was named on the BBC show, Attenborough’s Ark, as one of the 10 endangered creatures he would take on his ark.
He said: “There are, as you have heard, threats and I am sure there will always be threats anywhere in southern England and in a lovely space like this there will be others wanting it. But this belongs to you all.”
Children from Meadlands Primary, Grey Court, St Richards and Strathmore helped to unveil the work of art.
The seven mosaics feature wildlife found on the green including wild dog rose, ox-eye daisy and tortoiseshell butterfly.
Chairman of the friends’ group Julia van den Bosch said: “It was really fantastic and Sir David told us how we should stand up for our open spaces.
“More than 200 people have taken part in it including the Woodville Centre and Ham Multicultural Women’s Group.
“Since we have done all the improvements on the green people are enjoying it a lot more.
“It will be great because it is also educational and reflects the actual flowers that are on the green.”