Media

Please email any enquiries to hello@nationalparkcity.org or tweet @LondonNPC. We will reply as soon as possible.


Press Releases

London, 21st March 2018

London National Park City calls for London to bloom with 9 million wildflowers - one flower for every Londoner

Londoners are being urged to sow millions of wildflowers – one for every Londoner – to brighten the capital, and to pave the way for London becoming the world’s first National Park City in 2019. #WildflowersForLondoners is led by London National Park City working with Seedball, the award-winning London social enterprise making wildflower seed balls, to help anyone in London make the capital bloom. [1], [2]

For every seed ball sold, SeedBall will donate another to the London National Park City SeedBank for Schools to be distributed free of charge to London schools in early spring 2019, ready for the London National Park City’s launch in summer 2019. [3], [4]

Paul de Zylva, Chair, National Park City Foundation [6] said:

“We can all bring blooms to our own street, flat, allotment and, working with others, to our school, workplace, office, park, hospital, community centre or playground. Wildflower seed balls are easy to use and you don’t even need a garden or gardening knowledge.

“By backing our Wildflowers for Londoners campaign, anyone can get growing with ease in their own street and neighbourhood. Together, through small actions we can transform our urban landscape into a beautiful city of colourful wildflowers that return every year.

“Wildflowers for Londoners shows what the London National Park City is about. The more people, groups and organisations that the more we can all enjoy 9 million flowers and help transform London’s urban landscape for people and wildlife to enjoy.”

Emily Lambert, co-founder of Seedball and Project Maya said:

“If we can utilise all of the suitable growing spaces in London, the potential to support our native wildflowers and the wildlife that depends on them is massive. Please help support London’s National Park City and be part of something extraordinary.”

London National Park City asked Londoners on social media to say why they think there should be more wildflowers in London. Replies included:

  • “Wild flowers will soften the edges of the city and brighten its grey corners.”
  • “The city is co-created by people and nature. Let’s let nature have more of a say in the design process.”
  • “We want all London’s children to enjoy, learn about, and be excited by nature!”
  • “Sowing wildflowers in a community can bring people together.”
  • “Wildflowers can grow in the most challenging of situations with little help.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  1. Anyone can join in and back London National Park City’s #WildflowersForLondoners campaign by visiting https://chuffed.org/project/grow-the-nationalparkcity. The crowdfunding campaign runs until 9th April and aims to generate enough support to fund the enough wild flower seedballs to sow 9 million wildflowers during 2018-2019.
  2. In return for supporting the campaign, backers may receive one of several perks consisting of seed balls they can sow this spring for flowers this summer and next year. The perks are of different sizes, ranging from enough seedballs to brighten up a small dull corner near their home or flat, or as many as are needed to fill an area the equivalent of a Northern Line tube carriage for a group project around an office or in a park.
  3. #WildflowersForLondoners seed balls are to be used to bring colour, beauty and wildlife habitats to the human environment. That is the streets, balconies, gardens, schools, workplaces, community centres and other shared spaces that make up London. They are not for use in or near where wild plants and flowers are already established such as local nature reserves and other conservation areas. If in any doubt you should enquire with your local wildlife organisations and local council nature conservation officer to ensure there is no risk to important existing wildlife (for example, some derelict-looking brownfield sites host important insects and other wildlife). Full guidance will be distributed with the seed balls.
  4. The campaign is sowing wildflowers which are beautiful to look at and easy to care for and which also support wildlife such as bees and butterflies. All the flowers are native to this country and have natural distribution in the north west of Europe. The seeds used in the seed balls are sourced from UK-based Flora Locale accredited suppliers. Such suppliers follow a code of practice that seed is native and that the flora has been collected or grown without damaging wild plants. Flora Locale was originally setup by Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI), The Royal Society for Nature Conservation (RSNC), Department of the Environment, Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew), Plantlife and the seed industry.
  5. Bees are the principal pollinators of flowering plants and are crucial for food production. In the UK, bees contribute pollination services worth an estimated £1.9 billion per year to the UK economy*. Yet their disappearance is a very real threat. A major factor causing the bees’ decline is the loss of countryside wildflowers which they rely on for food. Butterflies, moths and hoverflies also pollinate flowers, vegetables and fruit. Sadly, three-quarters of British butterflies are in decline. One of the best ways a Londoner can help all pollinating insects is to plant native flowers such as those included in our seed balls. (* Environment Audit Committee, 7th Report - Pollinators and Pesticides - Volume 1, para. 94 available at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environmental-audit-committee/inquiries/parliament-2010/insects-and-insecticides/ )
  6. In February, London moved a step closer to becoming the world’s first National Park City by securing the backing of the majority of London’s 654 local council ward teams, alongside the support of the Mayor of London and members of the London Assembly. In celebration, London National Park City is calling for Londoners to come together and help make London a successful National Park City by sowing 9 million #WildflowersForLondoners - one flower for every Londoner.


The London National Park City is a big idea that all Londoners can contribute to. Inspired by the aims and values of Britain’s national parks, the London National Park City will celebrate the capital’s remarkable urban landscape and work with Londoners to make the city greener, healthier and more enjoyable.

London National Park City’s aims include working with Londoners to:

    1. Connect more people to nature and the outdoors, improving their health, wellbeing and social cohesion;
    2. Create more high quality green and blue space and better places in London, delivering improvements for wildlife, people’s enjoyment and an attractive and sustainable environment for living and working in;
    3. Promote the identity of London as the world’s first National Park City, helping residents and visitors to appreciate the potential for a rich cultural life anchored in its outdoor heritage;
    4. Link people to the national and international family of national parks and other protected areas.
       

A London National Park City will not have any planning powers or add new layers of bureaucracy. It will add value by creating an unprecedented opportunity to make London not just a political, financial and cultural centre, but an ecological centre too.

The National Park City Foundation is the charity created to help make the London National Park City a success. It will do this by amplifying, catalysing and spreading best practice, joining-up initiatives, increasing investment into National Park City related activities and galvanising Londoners to take actions improving city life.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has made London National Park City a centre-piece of his plans for London; for example, citing National Park City aims in his draft Environment Strategy and his draft London Plan - the Capital’s planning masterplan. This includes an aim the London National Park City shares with the Mayor to make half of London green by 2050.

About SeedBall

Seedball is run by social enterprise ‘Project Maya’ in London, and was founded in 2011 by two conservation scientists. Seedball’s goal is to inspire and help as many people as possible to have gardens, balconies and window boxes that are bursting with native wildflowers and teeming with wildlife that depend upon them. UK gardens cover about 270,000 hectares - that's more than all the designated National Nature Reserves combined. If we can inspire people to harness this available space for wildflowers we can begin to reverse the 97% decline in wildflower habitats that has occurred since the 1940’s.

Seedball make wildflower seed balls that are designed to protect wildflower seeds from predators and help ensure as many seeds sown as possible flower. Each seed ball contains a mixture of pollinator-friendly native wildflower seeds along with clay, peat-free compost and chili powder. They don’t require any specific expertise to use, they only need to be scattered onto soil and nature will take care of the rest.


 

London, 9th February 2018

London soon to become the world’s first National Park City

London is a step closer to becoming the world’s first National Park City as the idea has now secured the backing not just of the Mayor of London and members of the London Assembly but a majority of London’s 654 local council ward teams - the local authority councillors elected by Londoners.

With this broad mandate, leaders of the campaign will be working with the Mayor and Londoners across the capital to launch the National Park City in 2019.

Inspired by the aims and values of Britain’s national parks, the London National Park City will celebrate the capital’s remarkable urban landscape and work with Londoners to make the city greener, healthier and more enjoyable.

 

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London said:

“It is fantastic news that so many Londoners are getting behind our ambition of making the capital the first National Park City. I’m committed to working to make this a reality and have already ensured I’m protecting and investing in our outstanding green spaces with my draft London Plan and £9m Greener City Fund. I’ll be working closely with the Foundation to help us reach our goal of declaring London a National Park City in 2019.”



Daniel Raven-Ellison, Founder of the London National Park City campaign said:

“London being the world’s first National Park City is backed by Mayor Sadiq Khan, London Assembly members and local councillors of all parties. Thanks to thousands of Londoners contacting their local ward councillors, a majority of local politicians now back the idea of London as a National Park City.

“In recent weeks councillors in Bexley, Hackney, Kingston and Southwark have joined ward teams across the capital from Barnet and Bromley to Wandsworth and Westminster to show cross-party support for London to be the world’s first National Park City.

“Making London a National Park City is the capital’s big chance to recognise everything that is done by communities, businesses and councils to make our city greener, richer in wildlife and better for Londoners’ health and well-being - and to challenge us to do even better. With London set to be National Park City in 2019, let’s take pride and use the time to make our streets, gardens and balconies as green and beautiful as we can.”



Architect and planner Sir Terry Farrell said:

"We at Farrells enthusiastically support the London National Park City. Its premise is that we need to improve the accessibility and integration of our green and wild spaces so that they can be used to their full potential for education, recreation, healthy living, and food production, as well as to ensure the protection of natural habitats. The London National Park City is one vision that will inspire a million projects - a long term and large scale challenge that we can all respond to through many small and achievable actions."



Beth Collier, Chair of Natural Health Service (London), said:

“London National Park City will help nurture a city culture which values the relationship between nature and wellbeing. Nature is vital for our emotional health, it’s capacity to reduce stress, depression and anxiety is an essential antidote to stressful and often isolated city lifestyles. London parks already bring £370 million in mental health savings and it could be much more. Being close to nature is one of the easiest ways we can attend to self care, providing us with a free health service."



Judy Ling Wong CBE, President Black Environment Network said:

“London National Park City’s vision of more nature within the built environment, achieved through the agency and leadership of local people, will inspire the participation of individuals and communities to see where they live and work with new eyes. We look forward to the contribution of the multicultural communities of London to a greener storied landscape as a setting for a rich urban cultural life anchored in nature.”



David Elliott, Chief Executive of Trees for Cities said:

“The declaration of London as the world’s first National Park City will signify that its ‘green infrastructure’ is as valuable to its citizens as the physical structures around us.  Access to urban nature is one of the most vital components of a liveable city, and as a National Park City we must ensure that future generations have the opportunity to live and thrive around ever-improving green and blue spaces.”

 

Dave Morris of the London Green Spaces Friends Groups Network said:

“London's 3,000 public green spaces are essential facilities for all neighbourhoods yet are scandalously underfunded and under pressure from development. We continue to urge everyone to back the National Park City idea as a glorious opportunity to raise the profile, recognition and need for long term protection of all such spaces.“

 

Robert MacFarlane, author of award winning books The Lost Words and Landmarks, exploring words, nature, landscape and the relationship between the two said:

"What a moment for London: a celebration of the wealth of biodiversity and greenness that the city holds, an acknowledgement of how vitally urban lives are bound up with - and enriched by - nature, and a vision for the future of how to deepen and improve our relations with the living world - for what is good for nature is also good for us all."

ENDS

Contact: hello@nationalparkcity.org

Notes to editors

  1. A full list of Local council ward teams and councils that have declared support for London to be the world’s first National Park City can be found here: http://www.nationalparkcity.london/ward_support. Councillors can still declare their support via this link.
  2. London National Park City’s aims include working with Londoners to:

 

  • Connect more people to nature and the outdoors, improving their health, wellbeing and social cohesion;
  • Create more high quality green and blue space and better places in London, delivering improvements for wildlife, people’s enjoyment and an attractive and sustainable environment for living and working in;
  • Promote the identity of London as the world’s first National Park City, helping residents and visitors to appreciate the potential for a rich cultural life anchored in its outdoor heritage;
  • Link people to the national and international family of national parks and other protected areas.

 

  • A London National Park City will not have any planning powers or add new layers of bureaucracy. It will add value by creating an unprecedented opportunity to make London not just a political, financial and cultural centre, but an ecological centre too.
  • The National Park City Foundation is the charity created to help make the London National Park City a success. It will do this by amplifying, catalysing and spreading best practice, joining-up initiatives, increasing investment into National Park City related activities and galvanising Londoners to take actions improving city life.
  • Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has made London National Park City a centre-piece of his plans for London; for example, citing National Park City aims in his draft Environment Strategy and his draft London Plan - the Capital’s planning masterplan. This includes a shared aim to make half of London green by 2050.

London, 2nd October 2017

Beautiful new map of London – created to celebrate the capital's great outdoors

UrbanGood_National_Park_City_Map_full_Charlie_Peel_2017.jpg 

A stunning new map has been published by Urban Good today showing London as the world’s first National Park City. The massive map includes all of the capital’s 3,000 parks plus woodlands, playing fields, nature reserves, city farms, rivers, canals and all the spaces that contribute to London’s parkland. Some of the most iconic walks through and around London are drawn, such as the London Loop and Capital Ring, along with symbols marking places to swim outdoors, climb hills, pitch a tent or go kayaking. It even shows front and back gardens, but not any buildings!

The map has been published on World Habitat Day to mark the launch of the National Park City Foundation, a new charity established to help make the London National Park City a success. The folded paper map will be available to the public for free next year, with a limited public release this week. The public can:

·        Sign up to the National Park City newsletter [www.nationalparkcity.london/mapto find out how and when to get their copy.

·        Follow @LondonNPC and @UrbanGoodCIC on twitter for locations of flash giveaways around London this week.

·        Urban Good will post out the first 1,000 free maps, with a small charge to cover postage and handling costs. 

London being a National Park City is a vision which celebrates and recognises what’s already being done in the capital, but challenges Londoners to work together to make the capital even greener, healthier, more naturally diverse, resilient, beautiful and enjoyable. The charity is making plans with the Mayor of London and an alliance of councils, groups and organisations for the London National Park City to be declared in Spring 2018, and then launched the following year.

The map has been created by Charlie Peel (founder of Urban Good CIC) in collaboration with Ordnance Survey and Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC (GiGL). Unfolded the map measures 125cm x 95cm, the same as an OS Explorer map, but includes the whole of Greater London and extends beyond the M25. In doing so, it successfully reveals how London is not just a city, but a large and complex landscape too.

Londoners will find the map goes beyond the London A-Z to reveal the capital as you have never seen it before. We hope Londoners will use it to explore their local area and further afield, and enjoy London’s great outdoors! Printed on the rear of the map is an entire London National Park City Atlas on one page. There are twenty ideas for exploration and adventure, a London Rivers Atlas, infographics and information on how Londoners can help make the London National Park City a success.

Best of all, the map will be free to the public. Keep an eye on twitter, where Dan and Charlie will be giving away copies this week in their favourite green locations around the capital. You can get one of 1,000 free copies being posted out by Urban Good this week, for a small charge to cover postage and handling. Sign up to the London National Park City newsletter to stay up to date and find out where to get your copy in the future.

To enable 1,000s more maps to go to schools, Londoners and visitors, Urban Good are seeking funding partners to help cover print costs as well as start building a digital tool for exploring the National Park City.

 

On the map:

Writer Will Self said “The powerful only want us to know our location – while being effectively disoriented. The London National Park City map is our key to understanding where we really are, and taking control of our topographic imagination…”

London author Iain Sinclair said "Maps are the memories we have not yet earned. A solicitation and a goad to get us out in the territory and on the move, challenging or approving the fictions of the map-makers.” His latest book, The Last London, is out now.

Daniel Raven-Ellison, Chief Exploration Officer, National Park City Foundation. “This map is truly inspiring. It reveals London as an exciting urban landscape that’s ready to be explored. It is also a picture of Londoners’ remarkable achievement of making the capital so green and diverse. This is a direct result of a combination of top-down policy and grassroots action over hundreds of years. 49.5% of London is physically green and blue, and if every Londoner made one square meter of grey space green, the majority of the capital would be green and blue?”

The map’s creator, Charlie Peel, says: "The real power of this map lies in the imagination of every child and adult who sees it: to re-frame their city as a connected and natural landscape. It is a map to inspire going outdoors: especially getting people to try something new – like walking a new part of the city, swimming outdoors, or climbing a hill for a new view. I hold the untested belief that in a day’s walk around London you can see a greater diversity of animals, plants and green spaces than you can anywhere else in the UK. I don’t care to be proved wrong."

He added: “300 crowdfunders made this map possible to whom I am indebted, along with the generous support of fellow social enterprise GiGL, and Ordnance Survey: their detailed data sets brought the map to life. Since I first heard the idea to make London a National Park City, with an aim to connect 100% of London’s children to nature, I pro-actively sought ways to contribute. Having founded Urban Good CIC to deliver projects such as this, I am extremely proud of our debut." Charlie Peel, founder, Urban Good.

Managing Director of Ordnance Survey Leisure, Nick Giles, said: “At OS we focus on making the outdoors enjoyable, accessible and safe and the new London National Park City Map is a fantastic way for people to locate and discover greenspaces in the capital. The map is also a great example of OS Open Greenspace being used to deliver real value to the public and helping to encourage an active Great Britain.”

Chief Executive of Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC, Mandy Rudd said: “as the capital’s environmental records centre and a not-for-profit social enterprise, our collaboration on the National Park City map is a big step towards our vision of London’s natural environment being appreciated, understood, considered and improved”

Designer, Wayne Hemingway loves it: “What a tool for discovering new places to run with my dog in this greenest city of all”.

Henrik Waldenström of the World Wildlife Fund (Sweden) and a member of the World Urban Parks Large Urban Parks Committee, describes the concept as "a citizen led initiative to promote London’s green spaces as a single system or entity – seeing this as one large urban park".

The National Park City Foundation will help establish the London National Park City, having created the vision and grown support. Other communities have been captivated by the idea and would also like to declare City Park status. Talks are underway with other cities in the UK and abroad with enquiries coming from Australia, China, South America and Europe.

The National Park City Foundation is working with international partners to develop a globally recognised and achievable model of what makes a National Park City. We are keen to share the opportunities it could bring and are linking-up with others to maximise our collective impact, using the National Park City concept to connect people with nature and make real the benefits to people’s physical health, mental well-being, work places and communities.

The Mayor of London is supporting the London National Park City, describing it in his draft Environment Strategy as “collective action for a city where people and nature are better connected” and using it as a means to “work with partners to make London greener by improving London’s green infrastructure”. This includes making the city physically greener through a combination of convening, policy and funding and working with the National Park City Foundation on public campaigns. Other groups, networks and organisations will contribute in their own valuable ways. Together, we aim to unlock new opportunities and new ways of thinking to put London at the forefront of a new global approach to urban living. 

 

Notes

London National Park City

The campaign to make London a National Park City began in 2013. Since then it has become a highly successful movement which has galvanised support from thousands of individuals across the capital as well as groups and organisations of all sizes.

The London National Park City has three core aims:

  1. Connect more people to nature and the outdoors, improving their health, wellbeing and social cohesion;
  2. Create high quality greenspace and better places in London, delivering improvements for wildlife, people’s enjoyment and an attractive and sustainable environment for living and working in;
  3. Promote the identity of London as the world’s first National Park City, helping residents and visitors to appreciate the potential for a rich cultural life anchored in its outdoor heritage;

It is also working to link people who live in London and other cities to the national and international family of nature reserves, national parks and other protected areas. Two of its targets are to connect 100% of London’s children to nature, and to make more than 50% of London physically green and blue.

London can officially be declared a National Park City once the initiative has the support of the Mayor of London and the majority of the capital’s elected council ward teams. The Mayor’s draft Environment Strategy and announcements over the summer not only showed his support, but demonstrated how he intends to use policy and funding to help make the National Park City a success. As of today, 247 ward teams across 31 boroughs have declared their support for the National Park City. Only a further 81 are required, but it is the ambition of the London National Park City campaign to recruit the support of all the capital’s politicians.

The National Park City Foundation is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation that has been created to help make the London National Park City and future National Park Cities successful.  The Foundation has a board of 12 trustees that represent a range of interest groups that is chaired by Stephen Head.

The Foundation is being launched tonight [Monday 2nd October 2017] at the Urban Innovation Centre in Farringdon with the support of Future Cities Catapult and Geovation.

The National Park City Foundation is working with partners to develop an internationally recognised National Park City typology that will be launched in 2019. A number of cities across the world share the National Park City vision and the Foundation will be linking up with them to maximise collective impact, using the National Park City concept to connect people with nature and its benefits where they live and work.

To be clear, the London National Park City will:

  • be privately and commercially funded, and not require any public funding,
  • avoid duplicating work being done by others,
  • not have any formal planning powers, add new layers of bureaucracy,
  • not manage any parks,
  • add value by creating an unprecedented opportunity to make London not just a political, financial and cultural centre, but an ecological centre too.

 

Urban Good

Urban Good CIC was established by Charlie Peel in 2016 as a community interest company with the mission to improve the urban environment and recycle profits into social and environmental causes.  We have fun writing, researching, designing, map-making and generally communicating good ideas. We strongly believe good urban development increases the capability of citizens to access opportunities. We want the London National Park City to become a reality for all Londoners.

We provide advice, research and support to architects, planners, developers, local authorities and community projects to inform decision making, and ultimately make material improvements to cities. www.UrbanGood.org

In 2016 Urban Good set out to raise enough money to fund the production of a printed map that was big enough and beautiful enough to inspire people to get out and make more of their National Park City. Our hunch was that most people would be surprised to learn that nearly half of London is green and blue. Now you know where all those spaces are.

Connecting children and adults to nature, experiencing the benefits of green and blue space, finding play spaces and sports pitches, seeking out new trails, cycle paths and skate parks, learning about biodiversity and where to look for all the above is why we made this map.

 

Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC

Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC (GiGL) mobilises, curates and shares access to data that underpin our knowledge of London’s natural environment, in order to enable our stakeholders to make informed decisions in policy and practice. We aim to raise awareness of the benefits the natural environment provides to the capital and to ensure the protection and enhancement of London’s natural environment are at the heart of the services GiGL provide. www.gigl.org.uk

 

About Ordnance Survey

Ordnance Survey is Great Britain’s mapping agency for government, business and citizens. Our geospatial data serves the national interest by enabling a safe, healthy and prosperous society. Everything happens somewhere, and every day we support the delivery of efficient public services, support land management & planning, help protect our environment and underpin national security, infrastructure and emergency services. With our partners, we provide expertise and accurate location data and services to help create a resilient nation, ready for next-generation technology. We’re driven to ensure Britain can build a world-leading digital and connected economy of the future.

OS Open Greenspaces is a new dataset making it easier for people to locate and access Britain’s greenspaces. The free dataset accurately shows the location and extent of recreational and leisure features and, for larger sites, their access points. Example features included in the data is every public park in Great Britain, every play space, playing field, golf course, public garden, bowling green, allotment and more. The OS Greenspace data can be viewed for free through the popular leisure mapping app and online service, OS Maps. For more info visit www.os.uk

 


 

London, 27th April 2016

Experts call for London to be declared a National Park City

Over 70 health, conservation, education and culture experts have signed an open letter to London's elected councillors calling for them to back a campaign to make London a National Park City.

 Former Director-General of the National Trust Dame Fiona Reynolds, artist Sir Antony Gormley, nature writer Robert Macfarlane and public health advisor GP Dr. William Bird MBE are just a few of the high profile experts who believe the move will improve Londoners health, quality of life and environment.

 “London being a National Park City would bring the greatest improvements in the quality of life in London since the clean-up after the great stink or since the Victorians started planting our great trees and beautiful public parks.

 Making London a National Park City is all about making our capital a healthier, greener and more enjoyable place to live. London has all the ingredients it needs to make this happen - the people, land, nature and expertise. All that's missing is the critical support of more elected councillors to give the National Park City a legitimate mandate. We hope that this letter will inspire councils and elected ward teams to declare their support for this potentially historic move."

The open letter has been posted to all ward teams that are yet to declare their support for London to become a National Park City. Londoners can help the campaign by asking their local councillors to back the campaign too.

 

Dear Representatives,

We need your support to make London the world’s first National Park City.

For London to be declared a National Park City, two-thirds of London’s 654 wards and the Mayor of London must declare their support. 180 wards have already given their backing, but a further 256 wards are needed. As experts in health, education, conservation, business, culture and planning, we would like your help to turn this vision into a reality.

The benefits are clear. From children’s development to improved physical and mental health, active engagement with nature is key to a better quality of life for Londoners. Greener infrastructure can lead to cleaner air and improved flood protection. 47% of London is already physically green; its natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage are part of the capital’s global reputation and attraction to visitors.

Traditional National Park status in the UK aims to "conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area" and "promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the park by the public".  Why not take these aims and apply them to the whole of London? That is the essence of this initiative; to create a new kind of National Park - a National Park City. This has the potential to dramatically improve the way we experience and engage with this great city.

A Greater London National Park City would not seek to appropriate any formal planning powers, and will not add new layers of bureaucracy. It would be a privately funded charitable foundation that far from being a drain on the public purse, would actually be a net contributor in a number of ways. It has the potential to ease the strain on our NHS, increase productivity, spur innovation and inspire new business activities.

A National Park City would build on what is already happening, by linking existing actions and activities, sharing the things that work, inspiring new initiatives and engaging the public like never before. It would help to reinvigorate the relationship between people and place, helping us all make the most of what the city has to offer.

We, the signatories to this letter, wholeheartedly endorse the positive vision set out in the Greater London National Park City proposal (see http://www.nationalparkcity.london/).

According to research by Lancaster University 9 in 10 Londoners think that making London a National Park City is a good idea, and 8 in 10 think it is something that London’s councils should support. It also features within key recommendations set out by the Green Infrastructure Task Force.

Please join 180 council wards, and Sadiq Khan, Zac Goldsmith, Caroline Pidgeon and Sian Berry in supporting this shared vision for London. We need all councillors in your ward to unanimously agree to declare the support of your ward. To see which wards have already backed the campaign, and to add your ward’s support please visit http://www.nationalparkcity.london/ward_support.

Together we can make London a greener, healthier and fairer place to live. Together we can make London a National Park City.

Yours faithfully,

Daniel Raven-Ellison, Geographer, National Geographic Emerging Explorer
Professor Dame Henrietta Moore, Director, Institute for Global Prosperity at UCL
Sir Terry Farrell, Principal, Farrells
Sir Antony Gormley OBE, Artist
Dame Fiona Reynolds
Richard Fitzgerald, Headteacher, Langdon Park School
Professor Michael Depledge, Chair of Environmental and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School
Trevor Sandwith, Director, Global Protected Areas Programme, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)
Pip McKerrow, Chief Commissioner, Girlguiding London and South East England
David Lambert, Professor of Geography Education, UCL Institute of Education
Beth Collier, Nature-based Psychotherapist
Paul Griffiths, Salomon UK Brand Manager
Dr. Wayne Hemingway MBE, Designer
Dr. William Bird MBE, CEO, Intelligent Health
Gordon Scorer, Chief Executive, London Wildlife Trust
Alastair Humphreys, Adventurer
Ivan Levin, Senior Director, Outdoor Foundation
Juana Mariño Drews, Architect
Chúk Odenigbo, Environmental Champion
Catherine Nash, Professor of Geography, Queen Mary University of London
George Monbiot, Journalist and campaigner
Neil Maiden, Professor of Digital Creativity, Cass Business School, City University London
Peter Jenkinson OBE, Cultural Broker
Judy Ling Wong CBE, Honorary President, Black Environment Network
Muki Haklay, Professor of Geographical Information Science, UCL
Ben Rogers, Director, Centre for London
Will Self, Writer
Anson Mackay, Professor in Environmental Change, Vice-Dean for Research, UCL
Dr. Digby Whyte, CEO, World Urban Parks
Neil McCarthy, Deputy Chair, World Urban Parks
Dr. Christy Boylan, Landscape Consultant, World Urban Parks
Dr. Bradley Garrett, Human Geographer, University of Southampton
Dr. Ben King, Teacher of Geography
Dr. Stephen Head, Garden Biodiversity Expert, Wildlife Gardening Forum
Tim Nickles, Director, WILD Cities
Professor David Goode, Former Head of Environment at the Greater London Authority
Rebecca Bell, Lecturer & PhD Researcher, Royal College of Art and University of Hertfordshire
Dr. Philippa Williams. Senior Lecturer in Geography, Queen Mary University of London
Dr. Menah Raven-Ellison, Senior Occupational Therapist
Zachary R. Dulli, CEO, National Council for Geographic Education
E.J. Milner-Gulland, Tasso Leventis Professor of Biodiversity, University of Oxford
Dr. Ted Trzyna, President, InterEnvironment Institute
Dave Morris, Chair, London Green Spaces Friends Groups Network
Helen Meech, Director, Rewilding Britain
Mark Sears, Chief Wild Officer, The Wild Network
Helen Griffiths, Chief Executive, Fields in Trust
Joe Smith, Professor of Environment and Society, The Open University
Paul Hocker, Development Director, London Play
Paul Hyman, Founder Director Active360
Tim Webb, Conservationist
Jenny Pickerill, Professor of Environmental Geography, University of Sheffield
Alex Brooks-Johnson, Chief Executive, Wide Horizons The Adventure Learning Charity
Professor Edward Truch, Director, National Park Research Centre and Lancaster University Management School
Dr. Martin Zaltz Austwick, Lecturer, CASA, UCL
Dr. Georgiana Varna, Research Fellow in Urban Studies, University of Glasgow
Dr. Jim Walsh, CEO, Conway Hall
Dr. Alison Prendiville, University of the Arts London
Paul de Zylva, Head of Nature, Friends of the Earth
Dr. Julie Futcher, Architect
Dr. Robert Macfarlane, Writer and Academic
Katie Willis, Professor of Human Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London
Dr. Sara Jones, Senior lecturer, City University
Richard Lindsay, Head of Environmental and Conservation Research, University of East London
Paul Rose, Explorer and Broadcaster
Ben Smith, Director of Sustainable Development, Aecom
Dr. Tony Juniper, Environmentalist, Campaigner and Writer
Theo Thomas, London Waterkeeper
Dean Jefferys, Regional Commissioner for London, The Scout Association
Andy Mitchell CBE, CEO, Tideway
Ciaran Biggins, Co-Founder & Director, MindFood CIC
Alex Tambourides, CEO, Hammersmith and Fulham Mind
Andrew Denton, CEO, Outdoor Industries Association

 

Notes: 

For London to become a National Park City, two-thirds of London’s 654 wards and the Mayor of London must declare their support. 180 of 436 required wards have already declared their support and Mayor of London candidates Sadiq Khan, Zac Goldsmith, Caroline Pidgeon, Sian Berry and George Galloway have all given their backing. The support of all councillors representing a further 256 wards is needed for London to achieve the new status.

The London National Park City would not seek to appropriate any formal planning powers, and will not add new layers of bureaucracy. It would be a privately funded charitable foundation that far from being a drain on the public purse, would actually be a net contributor in a number of ways. It has the potential to ease the strain on our NHS, increase productivity, spur innovation and inspire new business activities. 

Londoners and London councillors are invited to declare their support on the campaign's website http://www.nationalparkcity.london.

National Parks England Policy Position on the London National Park City proposal:

Relevant recommendations relating to the London National Park City:

A special National Park City public event is currently being planned to take place for 2,700 people at the Royal Festival Hall on the evening of September 21 2016.

 


 

London, 14th July, 2015:

Londoners have unique opportunity to create history, and make London the greatest city on the planet 

New research shows nine out of ten Londoners want the Capital reimagined as a National Park, and for the London Mayor and local councils to back it 

New proposal launched today urges Londoners to sign up for a better and longer life 

A fast growing movement of Londoners has today published a proposal which aims to make the quality of life in London the best in the World. 

The ambitious vision sets out how the transformation of becoming a National Park City will improve housing, green spaces and education.

The movement has already received significant support from all the major political parties, four London Councils, more than 100 organisations, and the London Assembly recently passed a motion of unanimous support. 

There is no precedent for making a National Park City – London would be the first.  For this vision to become reality, the campaign is asking for the support of as many people as possible living across all of London’s Boroughs, by signing a declaration on the website that features the proposal: www.NationalParkCity.London.

The proposal has also been published in an eye-catching, free newspaper format containing previously unseen aerial photographs of London, a new map of walking trails, and new research revealing why and how much Londoners care about their city. It will spark discussion and ideas in classrooms, homes and offices across the Capital.

At the launch event tonight (14th July) at Conway Hall, in Holborn, the organisers will deliver a rallying cry for people from each and every council ward to back plans to make London a greener, healthier and more enjoyable place to live and visit. They will do this by inspiring individuals, community groups and businesses to make life in London better, such as improving the quality of the Capital’s green spaces, and ensuring that 100% of children are connected to nature. There will be a number of high profile individuals in attendance including designer Wayne Hemingway.

Daniel Raven-Ellison, one of the founders of The Greater London National Park City Initiative, commented, ‘We want to create a London where people and nature are better connected, the air is safe to breath, green homes are affordable and everyone leads healthier and more prosperous lives. With increasing numbers of people in the city and more homes needing to be built, our public, green, and open spaces will only become more valuable and valued.’

He continued, ‘London is world famous for its history, culture and commerce. Let’s become a green Capital too – we have a long and proud tradition of caring for our natural heritage and green space in London. We have the people, the community groups and the expertise. Making London a National Park City will take our great city to a new level and Londoners have the power to make this happen – they just need to add their name to our website.’

The proposal, produced thanks to a crowd-funding campaign backed by 347 individuals, has been described by renowned London architect Sir Terry Farrell as ‘one vision to inspire a million projects’. A recent poll of over 1,000 Londoners showed an overwhelming amount of goodwill for this initiative: 85% believe it’s a good idea and 84% think the Mayor and London Council should support it. Londoners agree that making the city a National Park City would make it a better place to live and visit (85%), benefit children (85%), help to protect and promote parks (88%), and improve Londoners’ health (83%).

The main aims of the movement include: easy access to high-quality green space, connecting all children to nature, improving air and water quality, inspiring the creation of affordable green homes and promoting London as a Green World City.

Research conducted by the leading design, engineering and environmental company, Aecom, estimates London’s 8.3 million trees generate £195 million of air filtration services, with air pollution costing the UK economy £20 billion annually. An estimated £1.9 billion of climate regulation services are produced by London’s green spaces. Tottenham Cemetery’s vegetation alone is estimated to produce £140,500 of carbon capturing ability. The quality of the capital’s built and natural environment and role in improving children’s education, regulating micro climates and attracting the best businesses, is what makes it such an important issue to tackle.

The Greater London National Park City would share similar purposes to the UK’s current 15 National Parks but would not have any formal planning powers. Instead, its focus would be to help Londoners to learn how to benefit more from Londoners natural heritage and how, in return, London’s environment can benefit from them. The organisation that would be created to look after the National Park City would be funded through private giving and commercial services. The proposal does not ask for any public sector funding from either local or central government. 

To add your support and make London a National Park City please visit www.NationalParkCity.London and sign the declaration.

Ends -

To download the full proposal, aerial photos of London and stunning photos of wildlife across London, please visit: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6nwi6nkamo1cxvd/AACh-dbjW8yP2pQrCcQKbWhNa?dl=0

An independent and representative poll of 1,005 Londoners was organised by Professor Edward Truch of Lancaster University Management School and conducted by Opinium.

AECOM research calculated the value of different elements of London’s ecosystems by considering 12 individual green spaces in London and, where possible, the city-wide ecosystem service benefits.