Could you become a National Park City Champion?

The next 6 months are huge for the London National Park City as we build on the launch in July.

We want to reach as many people around London to let them know that London is becoming a National Park City, what that means, and what they can do to be involved.

We are challenging you to become a National Park City Champion. Champions will reach out to friends, groups, organisations and companies. To present to them National Park City and to explore the ideas with them, and then to take part and make their own difference.

We invite you to become a Champion if:

1. You will have an interest in the London National Park City and related ideas - enjoying the outdoors and making life better by making it greener, wilder, healthier.

2. You are interested in taking that story out to groups, organisations and companies, and to use our tools to engage them with our vision and your own experience and knowledge.

If that sounds of interest, please register your interest on our form https://actionnetwork.org/forms/be-notified-about-the-next-champion-workshop/ and we will let you know when the next workshop is organised.

It’s 8am and myself and five friends are collecting hot cups of tea from the counter of a greasy spoon. We arrived just as they opened and are proud first customers. Stepping outside the atmosphere is a calm limbo between the night before and day just beginning; party goers stumble home as early workers start lifting shutters and clearing rubbish.

Being about at this time on a Saturday is not totally unfamiliar (all-nighters or work are usually to blame) but this is something new. We’ve been walking since our 5am start on London Bridge, three hours ago. It feels like midday but it’s not. There should be people all over the place but there aren’t. It’s a strange sensation - experiencing well known places in new ways - and one that continues for 21 hours more.

The 24 Hour Walk for Homelessness started as a reaction to the dramatic increase in rough sleeping in London over the past 10 years when a friend suggested we walk for 24 hours around the city to raise money for homeless charities. The idea stuck and having successfully raised £1,800 for Shelter and Crisis we are now building up to our second walk on Saturday the 25th of May.

This time, we are raising money for Praxis Community Projects, an amazing charity based in Bethnal Green which supports migrants at risk. Their services help homeless migrants and migrants at risk of homelessness by providing accommodation, legal services and emotional support. Praxis help migrants regardless of documentation or immigration status, a principle we think is so important having seen from the Windrush scandal exactly how unjust immigration bureaucracy can be.

The 24 Hour Walk is about enjoying London in a way that takes action against homelessness. As we explore, we will be witnesses to the diverse communities, habitats, buildings and spots that make up our homes and hope to better understand the joy of this city and its people and at the same time the injustice of homelessness.

It’s an amazing way to experience the city and (honestly!) a lot of fun. We hope you can join us, even if it’s just for an hour. Why not get in touch and give us a tour of your neighbourhood as we pass through...

Follow us on Twitter (@walk24hrs), Instagram (@24hourwalk) or Facebook to find out where we are on the day and join in!

Obi Sargoni

@obi_sargoni

We all live in a very urban environment here in London and many of our children have never experienced eating an apple straight from a tree. Nor tasted herbs warm from the sun.

Our high street echoes this urbanity, with no green spaces and the nearest park over a mile away.

We decided that we needed to do something about that and so, with the help of some grants (which we are very grateful for), and some volunteer time, we are creating an edible, ecology garden around the Willesden Green High Street Library. The garden is open to the high road and has seats so you can sit and smell and touch the herbs and fruit, rest your weary legs and soothe your mind.

And of course there is the added bonus that planting will improve the environment, clean the pollution (our Library is situated at a very highly polluted spot), cool the air, provide a rain sink, provide forage for local wildlife, and even look good!

kindness apple tree1 Elayne Coakes

Recyling

Very aware of cost and robustness of materials we are using recycled water tanks and soil created from garden and meal waste by Veolia - our household waste collectors.

Edible

Into them we are planting English fruit trees - apples, pears, plums, cherries and medlars, and underneath are herbs and edible plants. Plants like chamomile which you can make into teas to help you sleep, or lavender to keep away moths but which is also anti-inflammatory and antiseptic! And then medlars which are like quinces but have been cultivated in England since Roman times, and you eat the fruit in winter unusually.

Tree Tanks

We are careful to ensure that our trees are watered by placing a water reservoir underneath their roots which can be easily topped up by a tube. And we water well initially to establish the plants. And get sponsors for each tank/s to maintain the planting and plant health.

Getting People Involved

We plan to invite local schools (interest has already been received) to come and visit these gardens for a guided tour and to provide some workshops for both children and adults where they can taste the plants. The first will be November 7th 2018.

 Find out more at Willesden Green Town.

The National Film and Television's, Motion Graphics and Titles students made a set of films to promote their ideas of London as a National Park City.

Are you a student or do you run a course? Might you be able to produce something which tells your own personal story of London as National Park City?

A script was conceived and written by Judy Ling Wong, Steve Pocock and Mark Chaudoir and then developed by the students following the brief: "To showcase and celebrate London as a National Park City that pays equal attention to both outstanding nature and the potential for nature within the built environment – where people live and where people work."

The iconic London pigeon was selected as the narrator of the film, and then the students were left to fly with their own ideas and visions of London! There are nearly 9 million different views of London and everyone can be a leader and make the city greener, healthier and wilder. The students produced four very different views of life in London.

All the students were on the National Film and Television School's Motion Graphics and Titles Course.

My thanks to all the students who took part and put so much of their energy and ideas into the films. The films by Chris King, Isaac Edeh, Gintare Tamasauskaite, and Maria Cerrato were first premiered at the #NationalParkCity Fair and can now be watched below.

If you are a student and interested in creating something for London as a National Park City then let your imagination fly! We'd love to see and hear your ideas. Have fun with the brand, present a different view of London's wildness, green and blue and how anyone can Make A Difference. Share you're ideas with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - we'd love to hear them!

Mark Chaudoir, is an award-winning director. He has worked at BBC and Red Bee Media before becoming a freelance director of commercials and content films and also lecturers at National Film and TV school and Brunel University.

 

 

 

 

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