If you love the great outdoors, you may already know that the UK is home to 15 brilliant National Parks and these protected areas come in many forms, from moorlands and meadows to towns and villages. While London is renowned for its bustling roads and spectacular city buildings, it is also packed full of natural wonders, with a plethora of green spaces as well as canals, lakes and rivers for visitors to enjoy.
For the past few years, activists have been working hard to show that the city is one of the greenest in Europe and therefore should be protected like many other areas in the country. However, it isn’t that straightforward. While London meets the majority of the specifications needed for an area to be classified as a National Park, it doesn’t fit them all. It may boast a distinctive natural and cultural heritage and opportunities for outdoor recreation, but it is not an “extensive tract of country” as the legislation requires. So rather than admitting defeat, innovative campaigners have suggested creating the world’s first National Park City instead.
After four years of extensive campaigning, local London councillors, as well as members of the London Assembly and Mayor Sadiq Khan, have shown their support. Now with the majority of the capital’s council wards backing the idea (53%), it looks like London is set to become a National Park City – the first of its kind.
London is a city setting an example for sustainability and biodiversity, particularly with Sadiq Khan focusing on tackling air pollution and talks of powering London buses with a coffee-based biofuel in the near future. So the move will make the city a better place to live and will also improve the health of its residents. Furthermore, a staggering 85% of buzzing Londoners already think it’s a great idea.
While there’s a long way to go before London achieves its new status, it’s certainly a step towards a greener and healthier capital city.