London becomes world’s first ‘National Park City’

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 22 July 2019

Today 22 July, London officially became the world’s first ‘National Park City’ after six years of campaigning by former geography teacher Daniel Raven-Ellison.

For its size London is one of the greenest cities in the world. The city’s make-up includes 47% parks, gardens and woodlands and 2.5% is made up of canals, ponds and lakes. Roads only take up 12% and 9-12% is made up of domestic buildings.

Hyde Park, London. Image credit: Unsplash

To celebrate the city’s outdoor spaces, a free eight-day festival began on Saturday 20 July and a group of individuals, organisations and the Mayor of London signed the London National Park City Charter.

The charter is a commitment to protect green spaces and work towards creating a city that has clean air and water and is healthier to live in. ‘We need to bring nature to people so that it’s part of their everyday lives,’ said Raven-Ellison.

‘People think of London as a concrete jungle, ‘the big smoke’, a cultural, financial and a political centre,’ he said to Positive News. ‘But it also has great parks and rivers, a culture of protecting green spaces and institutions like ZSL, the Natural History Museum and Kew Gardens.

‘British people have a deep love for nature, and that dates back nearly as long as London has existed. And it’s not just London. We could equally be championing Edinburgh, or Swansea or Bristol.’

Newcastle upon Tyne is campaigning to become the UK’s next National Park City and Glasgow, Scotland has also started its campaign.

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