Jan 2019 – 10 Ways to Make Life Better, launched as London prepares to become the first National Park City!

London National Park City logo

More people live in cities than ever before. We are no longer hunter gatherers. This is the age of the urban innovator; seeking and trying new solutions to make life better.

10 Ways to Make Life Better, launched as London prepares to become the first National Park City!

Launching London National Park City in July 2019 marked the point where people-power kicked in to reduce air pollution, increase greenspace and begins to address social issues such as loneliness, exclusion, stress and obesity by working with, and improving, nature in the capital.

After extensive research, backed by our YouGov poll, we identified some common things to do to make London greener, healthier and wilder. We’ve called them our 10 Ways to Make Life Better.

Our YouGov survey found 7 in 10 think declaring London a National Park City will improve life in the capital. Despite this support, only 1 in 10 Londoners knew that London is becoming a National Park City. We need to change that.

94% of Londoners think it’s important to have more trees, 85% want more flowers and 57% want to see more wild animals. Only 10% of respondents say they volunteered outdoors in 2017, what if we tripled that figure?

By adopting even just one thing from our 10 Ways to Make Life Better, individuals become National Park City Makers, boosting their own wellbeing and joining thousands of others in making London greener, healthier and wilder.  See more about the London National Park City on BBC2, Sunday 13 January at 9pm – Cities: Nature’s New Wild.

Contact: Tim Webb 07746 896 986 or tim.webb@nationalparkcity.org or hello@nationalparkcity.org

Editors notes:

Here are our 10 Ways to Make Life Better. Building on work done by the New Economics Foundation, this is a powerful and evidence-based approach to improving wellbeing.

Including these 10 Ways into your life can make life better for yourself, for other people and for wildlife. What if we all did more of these things?

  1. Connect

Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.

  • Spend more time outdoors with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours
  • Go stargazing with a friend
  • join a local group or take part in community meeting
  • Share your knowledge with someone from another culture, place or generation
  • Share tools
  1.    Be active

Exercising makes you feel good. Discover a physical activity you enjoy and one that suits your level of mobility, fitness and timetable.

  • Get between places under your own steam
  • Walk, dance, run, swim, paddle, sail, cycle, wheelchair or skateboard more
  • Check out the view from a local hilltop
  • Try a new sport or class
  • Get lost for a while
  1. Take notice

Be curious. Be aware of the world around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

  • look out your window
  • listen for sparrows
  • photograph the same tree each month
  • feel river water flow through your toes, stroke some moss, watch a fox, smell some earth
  • taste something that someone would have tasted 100 years ago
  1.  Keep learning

Ask questions about the world around you. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being enjoyable.

  • take a course
  • listen to someone’s story
  • learn the names of different species of plants and animals
  • join a guided walk, go to a museum, gallery, city farm, botanic garden
  • read under the shade of a tree
  1.  Give

Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with people and places.

  • a smile
  • more space for nature
  • homemade jam to your neighbours
  • slugs a chance
  • time to a person, group or charity
  1. Play

Taking time to play is not only enjoyable, it can grow your imagination, give you strength, help you to develop new skills and make new friendships.

  • in the street, woods, rain, mud and snow
  • ball games, “no ball games” and board games outdoors
  • on swings
  • make believe
  • Like you’ve never played before
  1.  Grow

Planting, nurturing and growing plants is emotionally rewarding while providing beauty, food, cleaner air, shade and habitat for wildlife.

  • herbs in your kitchen
  • food for neighbours
  • wildflowers, ivy up walls, hedges
  • swap seeds and cuttings
  • hope
  1.  Create

Being creative and making things encourages self-expression and can reduce stress. It can also be a great way to give to others.

  • a display on your windowsill
  • ponds, habitats, holes and homes for plants and animals
  • outdoor stories, poems, music, songs and art
  • mini libraries and seed exchanges
  • solutions
  1.  Organise

Connecting with other people to make good things happen is a great way to make life better for yourself, your community and environment.

  • picnics and games in the park
  • a treasure, scavenger or photo hunt
  • street closures for play and community meals
  • for where you live to be better for people and wildlife
  • a National Park City group
  1. Love

Feeling and giving love can improve both our mental wellbeing and relationships with people and nature. We’re also more likely to look after what we love.

  • yourself, those around you and where you live
  • other animals
  • cleaner air, healthier rivers and litter free land
  • being positive, being greener and being outdoors
  • our planet

Visit www.nationalparkcity.london  to find more things to do, download a copy of our 10 Ways to Make Life Better poster, get more involved and subscribe to our Make Life Better newsletter.


YouGov validation

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  

Total sample size was 1,027 adults.

Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th – 16th November 2018.  

The survey was carried out online.

The figures have been weighted and are representative of all London adults (aged 18+).

London National Park City…

features in this Sunday’s BBC2 series – Cities: Nature’s New Wild

Broadcast 13 January 2019 at 9pm. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0c05zsp


The attached image is free to use with this story. Please credit designer Ayesha Garrett.

National Park City Foundation is a registered UK charity, No. 1173267

Scroll to Top