Londoners invited to enjoy London National Park City Week
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is inviting Londoners to explore the capital’s amazing outdoors and help make the city greener this summer as the city holds the first ever London National Park City Week.
National Park City Week takes place from July 21 to 29 and will include around 280 events across the capital, with exciting activities taking place in every borough for all the family.
The week of events will help the Mayor to fulfil his ambition for London to be declared the first ever National Park City in 2019. The initiative aims to connect more people to nature and the outdoors improving health, well-being and social cohesion, as well as making more than half of the capital green by 2050.
Working with the National Park City Foundation and partners across London, a vast array of events is planned that will give Londoners the chance to explore the city with walks, talks, explorations, family activities and more.
More than 130 organisations are hosting events - community groups, arts organisations, local and national charities, boroughs and businesses – demonstrating the breadth of support for making London a National Park City. Sadiq will also call on everyone to play their part in making London greener during National Park City Week. He will ask Londoners to do one thing this year to help ‘green the grey’ and make London a National Park City.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London is a busy, bustling city but it is also home to some truly beautiful green spaces. At City Hall, we’re determined to protect, invest in and improve the capital’s natural environment as we work to become the world’s first National Park City.
“National Park City Week is a fantastic way for Londoners of all ages to get in touch with their green side and to explore parks and green spaces that we may not normally visit.”
Director of Visitor Engagement at the London Wildlife Trust, Leah McNally, said: “We are very pleased to be supporting London National Park City Week which will inspire even more Londoners to get out into the capital's green spaces to experience wildlife and nature in our city. London Wildlife Trust will be delivering a series of unique nature-themed events at many of our reserves across London.”
Founder of London National Park City, Daniel Raven-Ellison, said: “London’s first ever National Park City Week is packed with ways to get outdoors and explore our city’s rich natural and cultural heritage. We start the week on Saturday 21 July with a London National Park City Fair where lots of different people will find out how they can get more involved including helping build to this time next year when London will become the world’s first National Park City.”
The majority of events are free, with some requiring a small entry fee. The full list of London National Park City Week events and booking information can be found at www.london.gov.uk/national-park-city-week.
Programme highlights include:
Celebrate the start of the summer holidays with outdoor events in parks and green spaces across the city for the whole family. Highlights include:
Family fields, 21 July, 11am - 9:30pm
Netil Market, Westgate Street, Hackney
The market will turn into a wild London celebration space – a village fete with nature at its heart. All day long, nature experts will be on hand to help you explore the pocket parks, secret gardens, canal paths and forgotten corners of this urban environment. There’ll be workshops on Netil Market’s roof terrace, including miniature boat building, spoon-carving and nature-crown making. You can also enjoy games, share skills, relax in a hammock and socialise in the market yard area.
Discover Green Thamesmead, 28 July, 10am-5pm
Across Thamesmead, Bexley/Greenwich
A series of outdoor events throughout the day for people to discover Thamesmead's green spaces. This includes over 350 acres of open space, 30,000 trees and three nature reserves - not to mention the 7km of canals, six major lakes, and 5km of Thames riverfront. The day will include a fun day of activities including minibeast hunting, pond dipping and a children's trail around the site.
Survival Skills with The Forest Knights, 10am – 1pm
Lloyd Park, Waltham Forest E17 4PP
A fun day out for the family at Lloyd Park. Learn how to survive in the wilds of Walthamstow! The Forest Knights will share practical survival tips and bush craft skills from fire starting and shelter building to bow making and water filtration.
Discover London’s wild side with nature-based fun for the whole family, from bug hunting to pond dipping, nature trails to bird watching. Or get your hands dirty and join in with greening activities in your local neighbourhood. Highlights include:
Smell & Touch Safari, 23 July, 10am – 12pm
Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Gardens, Southwark, hosted by Museum of Walking
A 90-minute workshop-on-foot for all the family. Discover how to use your senses to discern and capture the scents and smells of urban nature and green spaces.
Wild in the City, 25 July, 11am – 4pm
Greenwich Ecology Park, hosted by TCV
Dip into a wild and wonderful free event celebrating summer in the beautiful Ecology Park. Discover the secret world of minibeasts with guided pond dipping and bug hunting sessions from 11am to 3pm. You can also pick up some top tips from professional wildlife photographer, Iain Green.
Bug Day at Sydenham Hill Wood, 26 July, 11am – 2pm
Southwark, hosted by London Wildlife Trust
A family-friendly day to celebrate the amazing invertebrates that are so vital to our world. Join us for this family event to celebrate the weird and wonderful insects that are so important to Sydenham Hill Wood and the ecosystems we depend on for survival. If you love bees, butterflies, dragonflies, beetles, bugs and slugs, you will love bug day!
Walks and Talks
Get on foot to see London from a new perspective. Explore some of the city’s hidden green gems with local experts, including over 25 walks across the city with the Inner London Ramblers. Highlights include:
Three Peaks Podcast Challenge, 22 July, 10am – 12:30pm
Starting at Wimbledon station, Merton
Learn all about podcasting at this interactive workshop on foot to the summits of three adjoining boroughs. Podcaster Andrew Stuck and journalist Rick Pearson will teach you interview techniques and editorial production. By the end you’ll be a roving National Park City reporter, ready to apply your new skills to an end of week podcast.
Orchard foraging walk and wild food celebration, 29 July 12 – 2pm, Blondin Park Community Orchard, Ealing
Hosted by The Orchard Project, Friends of Blondin Park & Ealing Rangers
Join this free guided foraging walk around the Blondin Park Community Orchard. Walk around the orchard and surrounding nature reserve collecting wild foods along the way which will be cooked for a BBQ. Organised by the Friends of Blondin Park & Ealing Rangers.
Arts in parks
Storytelling, music, poetry, crafts: try something new in one of London’s amazing parks and green spaces. Highlights include:
InspiralLondon DayNight Trail Relay, 21 July, 12 am – 12am
Starting from Kings Cross Square, Camden
Come and experience London as a National Park City day and night at this relay walk of InspiralLondon Metropolitan Trail. Join a team of artists and inspirallers as they walk non-stop for 48 hours to cover the first six parts of this 36-section walk. There are designated points where you can pick up the trail, with walks from one mile to eight miles plus. Visit InspiralLondon to find out more.
Hackney Yoruba Arts Festival, 21 July 12pm – 9pm, 22 July 12pm – 8pm
Clissold Park, Hackney
Come and celebrate the vibrant arts and culture of the Yoruba. It’ll be a great day out for the whole family with face painting, a playground, workshops, competitions, presentations, and more. There’ll also be live music performances, African food and an arts and crafts market.
If These Trees Could Talk, 24 & 25 July, 5-8pm
Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, Lambeth SE11 5HL
Bring the kids (age 5 to 12) along to climb into the canopies of trees in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. Staff from Vauxhall Climbing Centre will be on hand to help. There’ll also be chances to explore and hear stories from other children and students of Neon Performing Arts (based at Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre) about the gardens’ rich history. If These Trees Could Talk will enable an immersive, imaginative encounter with nature in a historic location, encouraging new ways of seeing and understanding our environment. Organised by Studio Long & Vauxhall One.
Look and learn
London National Park City Fair, 21 July, All Day
Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Camden
Organised by the National Park City Foundation, the London National Park City Fair will kick off the week with a range of free activities including:
- Volunteering & experiences fair, providing an opportunity to find out about groups and campaigns working across London, all aiming to help you get the most out of London and make a difference.
- A-Z Field Guide to the London National Park City. Across the day there will be 26 short talks introducing fascinating aspects of London and interesting Londoners. There will even be a talk by a dog.
- Short, circular walks with experienced guides to explore the streets, parks and other spaces around Conway Hall
Health & fitness
Mindfulness in Nature, 27 July, 12:45 - 2.15pm, Ruskin Park, Southwark
Enjoy a mindfulness taster session in the natural setting of Ruskin Park. Learn how to guide your thinking to experience freedom and self-awareness through yoga. Led by Mel Sutton.
Go Islington!, 27 July, 11am – 4pm
Highbury Fields, Islington
Come along to Go Islington – a family event with more than 20 different sports including: cycling, football, basketball, tennis, rugby, handball and badminton. There will be a marquee for 13-19 year olds including music and dancing and fun nature themed activities plus lots of information about our fantastic local parks and nature reserves.
SUP Eco Tour, 28 July, 9:30 am – 11:30am
Kew Bridge, Hounslow
Enjoy a two-hour guided stand-up paddling tour on the Thames with a green emphasis and close encounters of the natural kind.
Notes to editors
The Mayor is working with partners across London, to set criteria for a National Park City, which will include:
• Protecting and increasing the amount of green space in the capital
• Increasing access to green spaces for Londoners of all ages, particularly in areas where there is currently a deficiency
• Increasing the quality of green spaces, ensuring they are well maintained and create healthy habitats for wildlife
• Valuing London green spaces, accounting for the health, environmental, social and economic benefits it brings to London.