Ealing Man Turns London Into World's First National Park City

Daniel Raven-Ellison has worked on major green initiative for the last six years

Dan Raven Ellison

An Ealing man who has worked tirelessly over the last six years to make London into the world's first first National Park City has seen his dream come true.

Inspired by the aims and values of Britain’s national parks, the London National Park City will celebrate the capital’s urban landscape and work with Londoners to make the city greener, healthier and more enjoyable.

National Geographic Explorer, Daniel Raven-Ellison from Hanwell, began the campaign by raising awareness of the Capital's green spaces, and urban wildlife. He has walked through all 32 London boroughs and persuaded the majority of the 654 local council wards to get on board - with Northfields one of the first to give the plan the thumbs up.

His efforts have finally been rewarded and this week Mayor, Sadiq Khan, hosted a special summit where he co-signed the National Park City Charter, pledging commitment to increasing London's green credentials, protecting parks and green spaces and ensuring wildlife is abundant and that children can enjoy and learn outdoors.

Dan told Ealing Today, "Living in Ealing was definitely part of the inspiration for starting the campaign to make London the world's first National Park City. We are so fortunate to have a borough that has so many incredible and diverse spaces, species and places. The London National Park City is partially about celebrating everything that's been done to make London so green and diverse, but it's also a positive vision and a challenge to overcome some of the challenges we face by making where we live greener, healthier and wilder or getting outside to explore our city more.

'' You can get involved on your own, or why not set up a National Park City inspired group on your street or in your neighbourhood? Imagine if hundreds or thousands more people in Ealing started making their balconies, walls, gardens or streets greener and better for life? I think that would be beautiful and it's 100% doable."

map London NPC
( map showing the capital’s 3,000 parks plus woodlands, playing fields, nature reserves, city farms, rivers, canals and all the spaces that contribute to London’s parkland)

His work has been applauded as appropriate and timely, Caroline Russell, Green Party Member of the London Assembly said:

“It’s been brilliant watching the National Park City campaign go from being an idea six years ago to something that has taken on political reality as a means to help tackle the mental and general health crises, extinction crisis and the climate emergency.

“Reframing London as a National Park City is a powerful way of thinking about our city, as a habitat, a place and a vision.  And while it’s great to have boroughs, the Mayor, schools and other institutions getting involved, it’s crucial it involves real changes that will make a real difference to London’s resilience as a city. 

“The Mayor should take every opportunity to make our city greener, healthier and wilder. This means getting bodies under the Mayor’s control, such as Transport for London, to work towards maximising as much biodiversity and greenery as possible on land alongside rail tracks and roads. I have also asked him to phase out the spraying of harmful weed killers such as glyphosate, a major concern among residents over its harmful effects to people, animals, insects and the wider environment.”

The National Park City festival has now been launched with over 300 free events planned throughout the Capital. Read more about the National Park City here.

25 July 2019