“London is not just a city, it’s a landscape,” he said. “It’s a landscape that’s home not just to nearly nine million people, but there are as many trees. We share this city with 15,000 other species of life and I don’t think that urban life is worth any less than that life that we see in maybe those more distant places from cities.”
“The urban explorer and ‘guerilla geographer’ is leading the campaign to make London a national park city.
What is the London National Park City campaign?
The concept is my own ‘invention’, although it’s not a new idea. We have enclosed and protected green spaces for centuries. Urban nature conservation is in the DNA of town and city dwellers, from private gardens to sprawling nature reserves. Britain has already exported the idea of urban nature conservation around the world, so the only contribution I am making is stressing that the whole of London’s urban landscape should be part of the National Park City. That means all the parks, gardens, rivers, industrial sites – a recognition of the collective value of the whole urban landscape.”
Read the whole interview on the Ramblers website.
“London is preparing to become the world’s first ‘National Park City’, with thanks to the backing of the Mayor of London, members of the London Assembly and many of the city’s councillors.
“London becoming a National Park City is the perfect way to celebrate everything that has been done to make the capital so green and diverse. It’s also an exciting challenge to make the city even more green, wild and enjoyable,” Dan Raven-Ellison, founder of the London National Park City campaign, told Lonely Planet.”
Read the full article on Lonely Planet.
“With 8m trees and 14,000 species of wildlife, the capital should be recognised as an ecological as well as a financial centre, say campaigners — and the mayor agrees”
Read this feature by Simon Usborne on my 563km big walk around London on the Financial Times website.
Photo by Tom Jamieson.
“What is a park? For most of us, a park is a place apart – a reserve of nature in a world increasingly dominated by human activities and arranged to fulfill human needs and desires. But a park is also for people – a place of refuge for the human soul, which tends to wither when long separated from green and growing things.
John Muir, the great naturalist, captured this dual purpose at the dawn of the national parks movement. “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity,” Muir wrote in 1901. Our concept of parks, especially in North America, Europe, and Australia, has remained largely unchanged since.
Daniel Raven-Ellison, a self-described “guerrilla geographer” and National Geographic explorer, would like to change it.”
Photo: Luke Massey