The future is green


A National Geographic explorer has begun an epic 311-mile trek across London.

Daniel Raven Ellison, 37, will visit all 32 boroughs in a campaign to make the capital the world’s first National Park City. He reached Havering last week.

He set off from Enfield on Friday, June 23, and aims to finish the walk in Temple on Wednesday, July 26.

Daniel, from Ealing, has been making his way through London’s parks, green commons and leafy streets and is being joined at various points on the walk by London councillors and community project leaders.

He said: “It’s about inspiring all Londoners to make our city greener – to create a new identity for London.”

On Wednesday, July 9, Daniel arrived in Havering-atte-Bower and was greeted by Havering Mayor Councillor Linda Van den Hende.

She said: “It’s amazing, I am very much in awe of Daniel’s walk. Havering is particularly green. We are very lucky that we have so much green space here.”

The National Park City campaign aims to make life healthier and more enjoyable for Londoners, ensuring all Londoners have free and easy access to green spaces.

It is hoped that becoming the world’s first National Park City will make the majority of the capital physically green, boosting biodiversity, improving the quality of London’s air and connecting every child to nature.

Daniel added: “One in seven children has not played outdoors with their parents this year. These are some of the challenges we face in our city. If every Londoner greened just one square metre, then over half of London would be green and better able to tackle pollution and make London even more beautiful.”

For London to become a National Park City the majority of London’s 654 ward teams and the Mayor of London must declare their support.

Currently 242 of 328 required wards have declared support as has the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. The support of councillors representing a further 86 wards is needed.

A spokesperson for the London Mayor said: “Daniel is doing a great job of highlighting London’s much loved green spaces. The mayor is fully committed to making London a National Park City, enhancing our parks and woodland and making London greener.”

Daniel, who has walked across some of the world’s major cities to explore themes including violence, depression and green space, added: “Making London a National Park City is an opportunity to make the capital greener, healthier, more active, enjoyable, resilient and prosperous.

“The great thing is that anyone can be part of it. Just plant something or explore somewhere new and you’ll be living it.”


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