Declare your support for London to be a National Park City!

Cath Prisk
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

London is full of natural spaces – 47 per cent of it’s geographic area is "green". And yet one in seven of London’s children never go to a green space. And many adults don’t either.

It’s fantastic to see the increase in forest schools across the country, but that doesn’t replace the need for everyday access to the outdoors, even if that is just the street or car park nearby.

This week saw the launch of a proposal to make London the UK’s (and arguably the world’s) first National Park City. This would be a new kind of National Park that sits outside of current legislation. One that will connect the 8.6million people that live here to the 8.3 million trees and 13,000 species of wildlife, the 30,000 allotments and 3000 parks, 300 farms, 142 local nature reserves and 1400 sites of importance for nature conservation.

The key aims of the National Park City – a proposal backed already by both all the National Parks and by the Greater London Assembly – include:

  • Ensuring 100% of Londoners having free and easy access to high-quality green space
  • Connecting 100% of London’s children to nature
  • Promoting London as a Green World City

If we can get this designation made real, then it’s a status that could be applied to many other cities across the UK – Glasgow, Bristol, Brighton. It could, in the words of Sir Terry Farrell be "one vision to inspire a million projects".

As Outdoor People I’m backing this proposal because we have to make it easier to get outdoors, for everyone.

As a long term London resident I’m backing this because I want to see councils, businesses, schools and charities across the capital recognising the importance of green spaces, so they make better use of them, promote them, increase access to them and invest in them.

As a children’s sector professional I’m backing it because I want to see much, much better information and support to help children’s centres, childminders, schools and parents get outdoors more often.

Making the outdoors everyday will mean more children have more opportunities to play, to be active, to engage with nature. It will help increase children’s sense of ownership of the communities they live in. Whether their patch of green is a corner of grass and trees or a wide open park, it is theirs. It is ours.

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

Please do declare your support today, just sign up here:

Cath Prisk runs her own social enterprise Outdoor People, and is a trustee for The Wild Network. She was formerly director of Play England

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