Lonely Planet Writer

The world’s first 'National Park City' is set to be in the UK

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.

The capital of England has over 3000 parks, 1600 sites of importance for nature conservation, four National Nature Reserves and 3.8 million gardens. Leaders of the campaign will be working with the Mayor and Londoners across the capital to launch the National Park City in 2019.

Tower Bridge and London The City Along The Thames
The future of London looks green! Image by GettyImages/TangMan Photography

“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.

Reflection Of Trees In Lake
The initiative is to launch in 2019. Image by GettyImages/Zoran Obradovic / EyeEm

“Everyone knows London for the city’s famous art, music and performance scenes, its history and architecture, political and financial centres, but there’s another side to London that can be particularly rewarding if you are willing to venture off the beaten track.

“Many of these spaces are connected by a series of long-distance footpaths that are accessible via London’s extensive public transport network. Exploring the city’s urban landscape is a fantastic way to get under the skin of what London is really like for Londoners and meet some of the 14,000 species that humans share the city with.”

Green Park at Sunrise
The capital of England has over 3,000 parks. Image by GettyImages/ Coal Photography/Alexander Legaree

This week, London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced that £6m of new funding will be injected into the city to boost green spaces and tackle plastic waste.

“Making London a National Park City is the capital’s big chance to recognise everything that is done by communities, businesses and councils to make our city greener, richer in wildlife and better for Londoners’ health and well-being – and to challenge us to do even better,” he said.

Londoners can find out if their local councillors have backed the initiative here.