Four years of London National Park City

Ranger Lauren Art Workshop

Every anniversary is an opportunity for learning and reflection alongside celebrating how far we have come. Last weekend we celebrated the first four years of London becoming the world’s first National Park City in rampant style.

Joining forces with the amazing team at Hemingway Design we decided to do London differently at the first ever In A Field By A Bridge festival on Potters Field Park alongside Tower Bridge and next to the former City Hall building on the Thames.

We had a smashing two days, mostly in the sunshine (let’s just not mention the rather dreich Saturday afternoon) with a host of workshops, talks, walks and art activities hosted by our amazing volunteer Rangers along with our friends in many of the community groups that we’ve been celebrating through our #DoLondonDifferently campaign.

There are three things that I find hugely rewarding from these events.

The first is just the pure joy of getting outside and being creative together. The chance to learn about the unexpectedly rich biodiversity that already exists in London, along with the urgent need to re-establish that essential connection with nature.

The second is spending time with our Rangers, and for many of them, especially our most recent recruits meeting in person together for the first time and getting the chance to make new connections and enrich our community – a special huge thanks to each and every Ranger and activity leader who gave their time to provide so much inspiration and fun.

Thirdly, actually getting out and meeting the public, and for many introducing the concept of the National Park City and what that means to new people. I really enjoy seeing that ever so slight look of puzzlement turning to broad smiles when they recognise a different way of looking at how they spend their time in the city.

This is a  good summary of what we’ll be focusing on in the months to come – sharing the National Park City story more widely, helping more people to make that story their own. Enriching and supporting our Ranger community and helping them to achieve their goals and ambitions within their own communities. And within Neighbourhoods across London working in partnership to make every community greener, healthier and wilder.

A final huge thanks to Floree and Ed who put so much effort into curating our contribution to the festival and helping us celebrate our first four years in such a joyful way.

If you’d like to learn more about our story then please join us in doing London differently at community.nationalparkcity.org.

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