Gathering* 29 Feb 2020

London National Park City Gathering – Sat 29 Feb 2019

The London National Park City Gathering including the Greener, Healthier & Wilder London – The London Mayoral Hustings was held on  Saturday 29 February 2019 at the UCL Christopher Ingold Theatre, 20 Gordon Street, Bloomsbury, WC1H 0AJ

Photos and Videos of the Day 

You can see lots of photos from the event over on our FLICKR page and we’ve been uploading videos of our speakers from the day on our YouTube channel for those unable to be there in person. We will keep adding on there over the next few weeks, so do check back!

gathering gallery 2

gathering youtube

It incorporated a hustings event with London Mayoral candidates where you’ll be able to ask them questions about how they’ll make London greener, healthier and wilder.

Our Gatherings bring people together from every borough across London: Across interests, skills, experiences, problems solved and “What Ifs?” made a reality.

We celebrate the whole of London’s great outdoors: from big projects transforming places alongside tiny, quiet, local successes by hard-working, imaginative, caring people

All these drive London as a National Park City.

Welcome 11am

Welcome – Paul de Zylva, chair, National Park City Foundation

Every Person is Capable – Savan Shah, EPIC

The importance of a vision for future flourishing – Jerome Lewis, UCL Centre for the Anthropology of Sustainability (CAoS)

Greener, Healthier & Wilder London – The London Mayoral Hustings 1130 – 1pm

11.30am to 1pm Hosted by London National Park City and presented by Ebs Akintade.

Mayoral candidates:

  • Shaun Bailey, Conservative – confirmed
  • Siobhan Benita, Liberal Democrat – confirmed
  • Sian Berry, Green – confirmed
  • Sadiq Khan, Labour – invited
  • Rosalind Readhead, Independent – confirmed.
  • Mandu Reid, Women’s Equality Party – confirmed 
  • Rory Stewart, Independent – confirmed.

Gathering in the Afternoon 130pm – 430pm

  • Throughout the day, watch and listen to a variety of speakers and performers who will explore ideas and topics from the point of view of those making a difference in their local community. Arrive thinking “What If?” and leave thinking “Why Not?!”
  • Network with new and existing contacts on bringing London National Park City alive in 2020
  • Give your feedback on London National Park City plans for 2020 beyond, including our brand new National Park City Rangers programme and share your ideas on how we can make London a better National Park City

On Stage

Our three main sessions are as follows (time approximate and subject to change – Gatherings are intentionally a very relaxed event!)

130pm – Kabir Kaul’s Rewilding London Together

  • Designed and introduced by Kabir, hear young people’s perspectives on how we can make London wilder together. Kabir Kaul is a 14 year old conservationist and wildlife writer, passionate about protecting London’s biodiversity. He has created an interactive map, ‘Nature Reserves of London’, and has been featured in several publications, including the Big Issue, Evening Standard and the Guardian. He is an ambassador for the Cameron Bespolka Trust, and an RSPB Youth Council member. Hear from young people from:
  • Action for Conservation
  • Cameron Bespolka Trust
  • and more to be confirmed…

230pm – Outdoor Culture – Using hip hop, creative arts, fashion, food in urban spaces for social change

  • Flourishing Diversity – By creating a platform for wisdom traditions, the Flourishing Diversity Series seeks to inspire appreciation and support amongst Western leaders and the public for the vital role Indigenous people play in resisting ecological collapse. We can all be Flourishers.
  • EPIC (Every Person is Capable) – People from different cultures, backgrounds and ages come together to engage in positive urban arts. Expect some surprises.
  • Time and Talents More than a Party – celebrating community outdoors. For 133 years, T&T has been working to make sure that nobody is left out. This presentation will feature outdoor fashion and creativity.
  • May Project Gardens – Hip Hop Garden – an award-winning CIC, working across South London to address poverty, disempowerment, access to resources and influence. Working with marginalised groups, mostly young people, people of colour and refugees, using what we consider universally connecting tools – nature, food and creative arts – for social change.

330pm – Lightning Talks Fast paced introductions to people helping Make Life in London Better

  • CycleSisters – Cycle Sisters is a thriving Muslim women’s cycling group based in Waltham Forest. Formed in October 2016, it now has over 50 members and volunteer ride leaders.
  • Plogolution How plogging can transform communities – Once upon a time, not so long ago, two friends sat down and moaned about the state of the world and the barrage of plastic and rubbish blighting our rivers and oceans. But what could two people do?
  • Forest & Family – Walking The [nature] Talk. Forest & Family run outdoor nature connection experiences for urban families in London.
  • Greg Packman – Life and work amongst the trees of London

5 National Park City Commitments and 99 ideas for the next Mayor of London

We asked our network for ideas to put to the mayoral candidates and we have produced 5 top asks and 99 What If ideas on how the next Mayor can make life in London better. You can read and download them all over on our IDEAS page.


Looking Back to Our Autumn Gathering* – 19 Oct 2019

Lots of people joined us to discover ways and things to make life better. They left inspired and ready to help bring the London National Park City to life in their own lives and in their neighbourhoods.

We all met Londoners, Do-ers, Makers, Champions & Rangers – The people making London National Park City a reality. We listened to challenging and inspiring speakers, connected, met and discusssed, and most importantly had fun!

We were proud to host a wide range of exciting and inspiring speakers

Elliot Newton Conservationist. Naturalist. Campaigner. Elliot started his conservation career after founding the Kingston Biodiversity Network in his home town, then becoming a director within the Kingston Environment Centre and the Nature Conservation Manager for the Environment Trust. Elliot is involved with multiple conservation organisations: Elliot is a non- executive director for Citizen Zoo, which hopes to encourage the general public to proactively engage with conservation. Elliott is also Creative Director at AFON (A Focus on Nature) whose mission is to connect, support and inspire young people across the UK with an interest in nature and conservation, and provide a voice for the youth conservation movement.

Dami Solebo of VOYAGE Youth – Voice Of Youth And Genuine Empowerment is a social justice charity that aims to EMPOWER marginalised black young people and provide them with the self-awareness and motivation to TRANSFORM themselves and their communities. The mission of VOYAGE is to encourage and assist young people bridge the gap between their schools, communities and criminal justice system whilst supporting young people to SUSTAIN successful partnerships and meaningful relationships.

Leif Bersweden  – author of The Orchid Hunter and Winter Trees and has had a lifelong interest in nature, focusing on plants from the age of seven. He grew up in rural Wiltshire where he taught himself how to identify the local flora and now regularly leads plant identification training courses for The Species Recovery Trust. Leif is a Fellow of the Linnean Society and is currently doing a PhD at Kew Gardens, where his research focuses on orchid genetics. In a world where an interest in botany is becoming increasingly rare, he wants to help put plants back on the map and is endeavouring to do this through his teaching, research and publications.


Brenda Puech – Brenda Puech is recognised for transforming a parking space outside her home into a mini park – or ‘parklet’ – creating a game-changing innovative use of street space which was immensely popular and eventually led to parklet permits being made legal in her borough. As a result, the council has now launched a trial that allows Hackney residents to turn kerbside parking spaces into parklets, with other London boroughs looking at their own schemes.  

Kuumba kids, Project Yogi & Nicstars – Mindful Arts Family Fun Day was created by Creative Director and Workshop Facilitator Biancha Samuel-Reid of Kuumba kids, an African Centered Arts organisation; Amani Eke, Founder of Project Yogi, a non-profit mindfulness and yoga community organisations; and Nicola Harvey, Published Author or “Mindful Little Yogis” and founder of Mindful Nicstars. Collaboratively, these experienced practitioners use Mindfulness, mindful movement, holistic education and the creative arts and crafts to encourage Young Londoners to spend more time in nature.

Kabir Kaul – 14 year old birder, wildlife enthusiast, conservationist, National Park City Champion and WeBS counter. Ambassador for @cameron_b_trust. Obsessed with London and its wild side. Londoner.

Neal Underwood from The Sharks Canoe Club – Helping young and old get onto the water and looking back to the land with different eyes. A 10 year old major participation canoe club with sites in Harefield, Harleseden, Southall and Osterley. Mass participation is key: As well as getting people active, we have a serious competitive side: Marathon, Sprint Slalom, Wild Water Racing and Canoe Polo.

Ella Fleetwood – A dance artist exploring our relationship to the environment and climate change through outdoor dance. Ella creates work that is relevant and reflective of the societies in which we live. A socially engaged practice that connects people.

Alexandra Petropoulos – Alexandra is a journalist, comedian, editor and musician. Originally from midwest America she moved to the UK ten years ago. She has recently completed the Creative Writing MA at Birkbeck, a degree she’ll proudly add to the growing pile of impractical qualifications that already includes a BM in flute performance and an MA in ethnomusicology. When she’s not writing weird stories about trees falling in love, Alexandra is the deputy editor at the music magazine Songlines. Her journalism has appeared in Songlines, the Guardian and Wanderlust, among others.

Wildlife Gardeners of Haggerston (Gideon Corby) – We are a dozen like-minded local residents who are planting up the Kingsland Basin and Regents Canal to create a haven for nature between the Kingsland Road and Whitmore Road bridges. This stretch of the Regents Canal is a pilot scheme for the Canal and River Trust to show what is possible to achieve in just a few years. Eventually the entire Regents Canal can connect the various parks and green spaces along its route and act as a green corridor for our wildlife. We already have herons, swans and an occasional kingfisher but there is the potential for water vole and otter too! 

We Enjoyed…

  • Rapid talks and longer debates
  • Joining in our Q&A
  • An Ideas Fair – Help develop ideas for the next year of the London National Park City
  • Entertainment
  • A unique exploratory National Park City Walk
  • Networking and making new friends.
  • Meet the speakers

Help us promote the Gathering*

Please print off and put up these posters in your office, cafe, school, university, gym, shop, library. You will find a A4 version and a version with 2 A5 posters per page.

A4 Poster

A5 Poster (print on A4 and get 2 x A5 posters)




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