I walked up all of these today. #StepUpMountain 20th floor in Battersea's Somerset estate. #StepUpMountain

Children are like an endangered species in many of London’s woods

A few days ago I walked across London from Croydon in South London to Barnet in North London. Part of London Tree Week my aim was to pass through London’s urban forest by staying within some of the city’s most leafy wards. The route made use of the London LOOP, Capital Ring, the London Green Chain, Thames Footpath (very briefly) and the Dollis Valley Green Walk.

According to my FitBit between 5am and 10pm I walked 75km. Carrying a Canon 5D and a GoPro I took a photo every 3 seconds looking up to the tree canopy and from the photographs I made the experimental time-lapse film above. The occasional breaks that you see without any trees are open green spaces, not built-up areas. The only other break is as I cross over Battersea Bridge. Otherwise nearly every frame includes at least part of a tree.

There are over 8 million trees in London and by 2025 this will increase to 8.5 million thanks to the RE:LEAF campaign.

I walked the transect on the Friday of London’s half-term school holiday. Despite this when passing through London’s woodlands I saw deer, foxes, woodpeckers and snakes but not one single child. This echoes of the Last Child in the Woods, in which Richard Louvre “directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression”.

What does this mean for London’s future?

George Monbiot rightly proposes that we rewild our landscape. We need to rewild ourselves too and creating a Greater London National Park would be a radical step in the right direction, especially for our children.

 

About these ads

One Comment on “Children are like an endangered species in many of London’s woods”

  1. Pam Bowen says:

    Inspiring ideas from Daniel please keep up the good work. we must enable children to walk in green and flowery spaces without always having to leave the cities.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,644 other followers