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Londoners are fond of parks and gardens and are proud of them

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Этот текст о парках и садах Лондона.
 Londoners are fond of parks and gardens and are proud of them. There are about 550 parks with picturesque surroundings, ponds, fountains, flower-beds and even animals as deer and water birds - pelicans, ducks and swans. The most beautiful parks are Regent Park with the Zoo, the Open Air Theatre, a 20 acre boating lake, St. James Park, the unique botanic garden with exotic plants and flowers. One of the largest parks is Hyde Park together with Kensington Gardens. the parks are central London's lungs. They have cafes and art galleries; bands play beside lakes.
St. James Park is famous for the variety of ducks, geese and other birds, which live on its lake, including pelicans. On the north bank there are picture titles to help you identify the different species. Some are very tame and will eat crumbs from your hand.
Hyde Park was once part of a wild and ancient forest, inhabited by wolves, wild bulls and boar. It was fenced off as a royal deer park in Tudor times and later opened to the public. There was once a medieval royal palace at Richmond. It was called "Sheen", meaning a beautiful shining place. Henry the Seventh rebuilt the old place. He was the Earl of Richmond, and gave the palace site its present name. But all that is now left of the royal home is an old gatehouse on Richmond Green, and the name of Sheen, a district nearby. Richmond Park is 10 sq. km. of wild countryside. It was used for centuries as a royal hunting area. In the park there is a hillock called "Henry is Eighth mound". It may have been the place where the King stood to shoot a deer. After the Civil War the land was given to the City of London in return for helping Cromwell. But it was returned to the Crown later. In the park you can see the White Lodge, built as a shooting lodge for George the Second.
All together there are ten royal parks in and around London which are owned by the Crown. They are opened to the public free of charge. Each park has its own character. Hyde Park, for example, used to be a hunting forest. Regent's Park was also a hunting place and now is the home of London Zoo, and an open-air theatre which gives performances of Shakespeare's plays in summer. 
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