The Mayor of London is working with the National Park City Foundation, other partners and Londoners to make London the world’s first National Park City this summer. To celebrate, we are launching the National Park City Festival, where you can discover London’s amazing outdoors with free events across the city, from outdoor fitness sessions and live performances to bee-keeping and open water events for the family.
London National Park City
National Park City Festival 2019
The National Park City Festival takes place over nine days from 20 to 28 July 2019 and will be London's largest free celebration of the great outdoors. There are over 300 events across the capital in celebration of London’s green spaces, wildlife habitats, green rooftops and waterways.
A full programme of events is now live on the new National Park City Festival website.
Top Tips For Enjoying the National Park City Festival
- Check the weather. Most activities will go ahead despite unpredictable British weather! That means it’s good to come prepared – bring a raincoat if it’s wet, or sun cream, sun glasses and a hat if it’s sunny.
- Bring a refillable water bottle. Most sites have free tap water, or you can download the Refill app to find out your nearest free Refill point.
- Green transport. All events are fairly well serviced by public transport. If you can, why not walk or cycle to an event? Each listing has details of cycle parking facilities. You can plan your journey via the links on the website.
- Accessibility and inclusivity. Did you know that all events on the website can be filtered by accessibility options? There are also events for all ages and a people with different interests. We want to make the festival accessible and inclusive for everyone to enjoy.
- Avoid waste. Try not to take disposables like plastic cups or cutlery to the events, and recycle your rubbish where possible. It’s important we leave all the sites as clean and green as we found them, if not more so!
- Check the website! The National Park City Festival website has loads of information about what to expect at each event. Read the listings carefully before you leave home to make sure you have everything you need, and in case any details have changed. You can also use the map feature to plan what else is happening nearby.
- Get social! Please take photos and use social media to talk about your experience of the festival using the hashtag #NationalParkCity.
- Have fun! The National Park City Festival is all about discovering the city’s amazing outdoors. Try something new, or visit a new green space. It’s all part of our goal to make the city greener, healthier and wilder.
- National Park City Stage. For the opening weekend of the festival, we will host a spectacular free cultural programme in partnership with the National Theatre, on their outdoor River Stage, celebrating everything green and wild about the city. Highlights include a live theatre performance of family favourite, The Gruffalo, a Pedal Powered Party with live DJs Supa Dupa Fly and Night Czar, Amy Lamé, and a walkabout show of costumes made out of real living plants and grass by artist Ashley Peevor.
- National Park City Rooftops. In partnership with Open House London, the world’s largest architecture festival, we are offering free access to some of London’s most dynamic and beautiful rooftop gardens and natural spaces. Locations are confirmed to include Crossrail Place in Canary Wharf, Barbican Conservatory and Ham Yard Hotel in Soho.
- National Park City Forest. In collaboration with Waltham Forest, London Borough of Culture, we have produced a unique audio installation in Epping Forest. Living Symphonies is a musical composition that grows in the same way as a forest ecosystem. It portrays the thriving activity of the forest’s wildlife, plants and atmospheric conditions, creating an ever-changing symphony heard from a network of speakers hidden throughout the forest itself.
- National Park City Wildlife. A photography competition and exhibition in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust. Judges include adventurer, Bear Grylls, and multi-award-winning wildlife photographer, Sam Hobson.
- National Park City Splash. London’s first multi-site outdoor swimming and paddle sports event will take place on the closing weekend of the festival. All abilities will be welcome to try their hand at activities such as stand up paddle boarding and open water swimming, right here in the capital.
Making London a National Park City
London is already one of the greenest cities in the world and in July 2019, London will become the world's first National Park City. The Mayor of London is working with the National Park City Foundation to show an ongoing commitment to making the city greener, healthier and wilder.
The Mayor’s ambition is to make more than half of the capital green and increase tree canopy cover by 10 per cent by 2050. City Hall has already funded the planting of 170,000 new trees and 200 green space improvements over the past three years. As well as increasing the quality and quantity of green cover in the capital, and enhancing habitats for wildlife, fresh ideas like green roofs and green walls will also help London’s fight against climate change, which is why the Mayor is preventing the loss of Green Belt and increasing ‘greening’ in new developments.
With London set to grow to over 11 million people by 2050, there is huge pressure on the city’s natural environment. Parts of London will become more densely developed. At the same time, we must protect and enhance the natural environment, create space for play and healthy living, and help the city become more resilient to climate change.
As a National Park City, London will be:
- a city which is greener in the long-term than it is today and where people and nature are better connected
- a city which protects the core network of parks and green spaces and where buildings and public spaces aren’t defined only by stone, brick, concrete, glass and steel
- a city that is rich with wildlife where every child benefits from exploring, playing and learning outdoors
- a city where all can enjoy high-quality green spaces, clean air, clean waterways and where more people choose to walk and cycle
Host an Activity or Event
The submission window for events has now closed. Many thanks to those organisations who have submitted their activities to be included in the festival programme. By doing so, you will be able to showcase the fantastic work that your organisation is doing in London, reach wider, more diverse audiences who are already engaged in the National Park City Festival, and be part of a fantastic movement to make the city greener, healthier and wilder.
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