I am a Londoner, geographer and explorer. A year ago I asked myself a simple question - What if we made London a National Park? National Parks inspire us to care for, and enjoy, both nature and culture. Could making London a National Park improve the capital?
Asking the same question to friends and experts, I got a common reply - It's bonkers, but it's brilliant... The costs are low and the benefits are high... how can we help?
With the help of tens and then hundreds of people, a small movement has begun to make this idea a reality - and we want you to be a part of it.
We need your help to put a big, bold and unavoidable proposal to Londoners across the capital.
Together, we want to make the capital greener, healthier, more beautiful and prosperous by transforming it into a #NationalParkCity which would be a new kind of National Park. This is not just about re-branding the capital. This is a vision to inspire a million projects and bring about large-scale change through many small and achievable actions.
This is an extraordinary opportunity to be part of something truly historic. Greater London would be the world's first National Park City, and we can make it together.
The purpose of this crowdfunding project is to create a highly engaging and beautiful broadsheet-style proposal which will be distributed to Londoners across the capital. The proposal will include, stunning photography by Luke Massey, design by Grace Chao, and bespoke maps created by Charlie Peel in collaboration with Ordnance Survey. We'll be making most of the photography and graphics available for you to use for free under creative commons licences.
The greater your donation, the greater our combined influence. We need to gain the support of as many Londoners as possible so that we have the people power to convince London authorities, and government agencies, to recognise the Greater London National Park City. Our initial crowdfunding target will help us to engage at least 100,000 people with the physical paper alone.
We need your help to celebrate what's great about London and to propose to Londoners how we can make the city even greater. In July, we plan to publish our broadsheet proposal for making London a National Park City. With your help, we want to directly reach 100,000 or more Londoners.
The proposal will include:
- A call to join and support the Greater London National Park City,
- Stunning photographs of London's wildlife
- Extraordinary aerial views across the capital's landscape
- Examples of great projects that are already happening
- Evidence of the benefits of London's natural heritage and how we can make more of it
- Inspiring ways to enjoy and benefit more from London's natural and cultural heritage
- Beautiful mapping that celebrates the capital's parklands and major footpaths
- How Londoners can come together to transform the capital into a National Park City
The broadsheet newspaper format has been chosen because it provides space, allowing the great photos, maps and ideas to breathe. The broadsheet will be distributed through a network of volunteers, community groups and schools so we can reach beyond our usual audiences. Please do contact us if you can help us with the distribution.
The more backing we get, the more broadsheet proposals we can distribute. With £30,000 we can distribute 50,000 proposals across the capital. The economy of scale on production and distribution means that if we raise more, we can distribute significantly more. Our aim is to reach as many people as we can.
We are delighted that a trust is providing match funding for the first £10,000 donated. This is a significant step toward meeting our crowdfunding target.
To thank you for your support, we have some great personal, and common, rewards. Here are some of the things you can get by backing this project.
If we succeed in making Greater London an officially recognised National Park City, we'll be placing a Founders' Stone in a public place in London. Back us for £50 or more and your name will be engraved as a Founder onto this historic monument. You will have your name printed in the proposal too.
If we hit our target, we'll be hosting a special celebratory launch event in central London on July 14. It will be a great evening, with inspirational speakers and engaging short talks. Back us for £50 or more and you'll also get an advance invitation to join us for free.
We will be including some stunning aerial photography in the proposal. We have all seen photos of central London from the air and are used to satellite images that look straight down, but we'll be taking bespoke, oblique pictures looking across the green spaces that traverse the capital. Back us to the right level and while we are in the air, we'll take a picture just for you.
If you're an organisation and you back us, we'll add your logo to the proposal on a special thank you page. The more you back us, the bigger we'll make your logo. Please do contact us if you have any special requests.
You can read our Green Paper that sets out a vision for the Greater London National Park City, and respond to our consultation on it here. This document gives more details on our big idea for the capital. Responses to the open consultation will shape the full broadsheet proposal that we're publishing this July.
If you've not seen the Green Paper, here's a brief summary.
The Greater London National Park City is one vision that will inspire a million projects. Being a National Park City is a long term, and large scale, challenge that we can all respond to through many small and achievable actions.
Through galvanising public support and incubating, encouraging and sharing great practices, the Greater London National Park City will make a big difference to the lives of all Londoners. It will have many aims, including:
- Connecting 100% of Greater London’s children to nature.
- Growing London’s green space from 47% to 51% by 2051.
- Increasing visits to outer London by 10% by 2025
- Fostering a new shared identity
The National Park City movement will catalyse individuals and organisations to work together to enhance London’s environment and economy, and to improve quality of life for all Londoners. The Greater London National Park City will have four purposes similar to rural National Parks in England and Wales.
- Enhance our urban natural and cultural heritage,
- Encourage better understanding, enjoyment of, and care for, the National Park City,
- Foster the wellbeing of communities,
- Inspire organisations and groups to share these purposes
The National Park City will be a “peoples’ park” empowered by the decisions and actions its people take in their everyday lives.
The Greater London National Park City will be a new dynamic kind of National Park that sits outside of current legislation. The National Park City will not have any statutory planning powers, but will be able to influence decisions through stakeholder forums and dialogue. It will be related to, and work in partnership with, the current family of rural National Parks, but be distinctively different.
For more detialed information please read our Green Paper.
Read more about our effort to make Greater London a National Park City on the Guardian, Independent, Evening Standard, Daily Express and Ecologist websites.
If you have a question, please tweet us at @LondonNP #NationalParkCity or click on Send Message below. We'll respond as quickly as we can.
If our target is not met Crowdfunder/PayPal will automatically refund your donation.
As the Greater London National Park City does not exist yet, your donation will be managed by The Wild Network on our behalf. Famous for the film, Project Wild Thing, The Wild Network is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to champion, support and grow nature connection and outdoor learning amongst young people in the UK. We are delighted to have their support to make this project happen. All of the money we raise will be spent making this project a success.
Thank you very much for taking the time to explore this page. We hope you are excited by this big idea for the capital. With your help we can make London the world's first National Park City!