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2023 – a busy year of achievements protecting London’s green spaces

By deliar
11th January 2024

2023 saw CPRE London busier than ever in defending the city’s green spaces. We celebrated successes, but the challenge continues.

The past year saw high profile campaigns, such as the ‘M25 of trees’, plus opposition to organisations intent on building over treasured public parks. Threats were brought vividly to life with the brutal felling of hundreds of trees on publicly accessible land in Bromley. But we also helped save green spaces, including victory for allotment holders in Hounslow. Among other activity we:

Protected green spaces

  • Helped more than 40 local groups protect green spaces across London
  • Strongly defended our Green Belt with major local campaigns
  • Opposed take over of public spaces by professional sports clubs such as the All England Lawn Tennis Association
  • Exposed the horrifying massacre of trees in Bromley and encouraged long term protection for the site
  • Coordinated a network of local activists to oppose Ealing Council’s shocking plan to strip protective designation from areas of Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land.
  • Helped save green space from being built on at Park Road Allotments in Hounslow, Ham House in Richmond and Dover’s Farm Estate in Havering.

Encouraged access to our countryside

  • Launched new green routes and blog pages on website to encourage exploration
  • Helped bring over 2,000 Londoners to the Urban Tree Festival and London Rivers Week, increasing accessibility of our countryside to diverse groups

Influenced policy makers

  • Produced a mayoral manifesto of 10 top environmental priorities for candidates in 2024
  • Gained record media coverage, including national TV, radio and press, reached new audiences through dozens of social posts and increased web traffic by 28%, mostly new users
  • Hosted well attended lunchtime webinars on subjects including the Green Belt, London Parking Policy and the 2024 Mayoral Election

Ran high profile campaigns

  • Drove almost a kilometre of new hedgerow planting via our hedgerow campaign
  • Led the healthy streets scorecard project to challenge boroughs on six key measures shown to reduce car use and encourage active travel
  • Launched our campaign to develop an M25 of trees around the capital

Nurtured Parks

  • Grew our GoParksLondon project, supporting over 500 of volunteer park friends to defend and improve their local park
  • Led five walks through London green and blue spaces (Go Parks)
  • Held six training events for friends groups
  • Mobilised volunteers to protect green spaces
  • Working with local campaign groups help help bring our Ten New Parks vision closer to realisation

Launched reports

  • Published three new reports on threats to the Green Belt
  • Jointly delivered new guides for food growing spaces
  • Launched new guides on how to protect food growing spaces in London in partnership with Sustain
  • Led the launch of the Healthy Streets Scorecard
  • Revealed that London had the worst recycling rate in England in recycling study – did borough by borough analysis to highlight areas where boroughs need to do most to change this

What campaigners said

Messages from our local partners show why what we do is so important:

‘It was fantastic to win our appeal (against development), and we thank CPRE for their timely help in supporting our battle. Our allotments are a place of sanctuary and community, where people come together to be amongst nature. We now hope to maintain the site in perpetuity.’ Park Road Allotment Holders, Hounslow.

“Thank you very much on behalf of Ealing Matters for all the work you have put into your response on Ealing’s green spaces. It is very much appreciated”. Ealing Matters, a borough-wide alliance of more than 60 residents’ associations and community groups

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Banner made by children at Alexandra primary school in response to Bromley tree massacre