Trust applauds opening of London National Park City

Wildness qualities in urban environments recognised by world’s first National Park City

Redshoes by j shurte detail

Congratulations to London National Park City, which was officially launched yesterday by the Mayor of London and many other organisations following a six year campaign to make London greener, healthier and wilder.

The Trust signed up as a ‘Friend’ of the initiative back in October 2014, supporting the campaign because of its ambitions to help millions of people in the capital develop relationships with nature and connect with wildness. A Trust-hosted talk in Glasgow in September 2017 by Daniel Raven-Ellison, who started the campaign, helped spread awareness of the concept.

A dedicated festival this week (20-28 July) includes over 330 free London-based events ranging from rooftops, stages, splashes and symphonies for everyone to enjoy exploring a greener, wilder, healthier London National Park City.

Londoners are also staging their own mini opening ceremonies to mark London becoming a National Park City. Some are opening a window ledge full of plants or a new tiny green space they've managed for wildlife. Others are organising a walk for friends and school celebrations.

Daniel Raven-Ellison said: “London becoming a National Park City is something for us all to be proud of. Inspired by the aims and values of our precious rural national parks, the London National Park City is fundamentally about making life better in the capital through both small everyday things and long-term strategic thinking.

“It’s about lifting our ambitions; going further to make the city greener, healthier and wilder; improving our mental health; cleaning our air; making the city richer in wildlife; freeing children to play and meet friends outdoors again; tackling the climate crisis and bringing more joy to the city."

Emma Reed, John Muir Award and Engagement Manager at the Trust said, “It has been such an inspiring journey since October 2014 when the John Muir Trust first got behind the campaign. Dan drew inspiration from John Muir to imagine the beginnings of a London National Park City and what he has gone on to achieve is fantastic and means that many more people from all walks of life will develop new relationships with nature across the city’s wild places.

The John Muir Trust continues to support London National Park City through its John Muir Award and involvement with Keeping It Wild – in London the urban youth social action nature project with London Wildlife Festival events in August.

Across the UK people are being asked to share National Park City ideas using #NationalParkCity on social media as part of the celebrations.

Main Image credit: J Shurte