For immediate release: 10 July 2018

London will become the world’s first National Park City a year from now, the National Park City Foundation (the Foundation) announced today [1].

London National Park City will launch during a special National Park City season starting in May 2019 and culminating in a summer summit to encourage cities from around the world to follow London’s ambition to be green cities, vibrant with nature and people enjoying the great outdoors.

The announcement comes ahead of the first London National Park City Week championed by the Mayor of London with over 300 community events taking place across the capital, many of them free. The week starts on Saturday 21 July with the London National Park City Fair; a day of experiencing what London National Park City can be and what it means in practice with volunteering experiences, talks, walks, stalls and free giant maps of London’s great outdoors.

The Foundation invites Londoners to celebrate the countdown to 2019 by becoming ‘National Park City Makers’ [3], turning London National park City into a reality.

The Foundation is also encouraging Londoners to get together to organise projects and events during the 2019 launch season. Ideas include making streets as green and colourful as possible,  creating new hedgehog, bee and pollinator highways and setting up local adventure clubs for example to go kayaking on the Thames or discovering some of the city’s peaks. Schools are encouraged to spend more time learning outdoors.

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

“The London National Park City is a place you can explore, a movement you can join and a vision you can share. It’s a celebration of everything that’s been done over decades and more to make our city’s great outdoors enjoyable.

“The countdown to London becoming a National Park City in July 2019 has begun so we’re challenging Londoners to get outdoors, discover our great city in new ways, and to find ways to make it better for everyone?

Try Stand Up Paddle Boarding on the Thames, ‘peak bagging’ one of our many hills, doing a free-running course, spotting peregrine falcons hunting by the Tate Modern or joining an ultimate frisbee group. And if you live in a street that could be better for people and nature, London becoming a National Park City is a great reason to do something about it. Why not get together with others to see how much you can improve where you live for children and wildlife?

“We are looking for Makers, people who can bring London Park City alive. Let us know if you want to make London National Park City a reality.”

 

Notes to editors

1. London National Park City will help more people enjoy the capital’s great outdoors, working with residents and visitors to make the city greener, healthier and wilder. Our aims include making the majority of the capital physically green, to connect 100% of London’s children with nature and to make London’s green and blue assets part of its identity.

The National Park City Foundation is the organisation formed to oversee London National Park City and the development of National Park Cities worldwide.

For more information on the London National Park City visit http://nationalparkcity.london/about

For more information on the National Park City Fair visit http://nationalparkcity.london/fair

2. London National Park City Makers will be central to making the vision come alive http://www.nationalparkcity.london/get-more-involve

3. Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has made London National Park City a centrepiece of his plans for London; for example, citing National Park City aims in his Environment Strategy and his draft London Plan - the Capital’s planning masterplan – as well as London’s Cultural Strategy. This includes a shared aim to make more than half of London green by 2050.

Contact: Daniel Raven Ellison This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Things to do before London becomes a National Park City in summer 2019

July: Go to a National Park City Week event. See all the events here: https://www.london.gov.uk/events/2018-07-21/london-national-park-city-week-events-2018#

August: Enjoy the city’s waterways by trying canal kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding on the Thames or find your local outdoor lido.

September: Go out to play… play a game you’ve not played before or games you used to play. Try ultimate frisbee, three-sided football or have a game of hide and seek..

October: Explore sections of the Capital Ring, London Loop, Thames Footpath or our London spiral walk – all great ways to discover the great outdoors on marked routes.

November: Tree planting and hedge laying. Hunt out some conkers or simply enjoy running through fallen leaves.

December: London’s wildlife needs extra support through the coldest part of the year. Make a garden feeder and put out fresh water to help keep birds and other wildlife fed and hydrated.

January:  Marvel at the transformative power of ice with an early morning stroll or a chilly dip in one of the Capital’s outdoor swimming pools and lakes.

February: Join or set up a group to make where you live as green, wild and playable as possible.

March: Enjoy the view on the top of one of London’s peaks and imagine what it looked like before the tall towers and other buildings appeared.

April: Turn part of a balcony, garden or rooftop into a mini nature reserve. Imagine if 9 million Londoners did this!

May: Join the season countdown to the formal confirmation in summer 2019 of London as the world’s first National Park City. Visit www.nationalparkcity.london.

June: Go to an outdoor festival, fete, fair, concert, theatre or carnival.

July: Get to know your community better with a London National Park City inspired street party or other kind of outdoor party, BBQ or celebration of London becoming a National Park City.

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