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Top 10 environmental priorities for London

Anna Taylor
By Anna Taylor
19th March 2024

The 20 charities that make up the More Natural Capital Coalition are united behind the environmental calls to action outlined below:

Ahead of the upcoming mayoral election – London-based businesses and policy makers can join us in pushing for the action needed to deliver a greener London.

If we all work together in a coordinated way we can achieve so much more! How could you help? Do get in touch if you would like to know more about any of these calls to action.

  1. Plant 1,000 hectares of new tree canopy cover by 2030. The current goal is for 2050 which doesn’t reflect the urgent action needed! Achieve this by supporting the creation of a Tree Ring around the capital, combined with a network of planting across the city with a particular focus on greening walking and cycling routes and addressing areas of green space deficiency. 
  2. Support creation of at least 10 major new parks or nature reserves for London by 2030.  This will give a clear identity to extensive areas of underused land, making them accessible and welcoming – and leave a life-enriching legacy to future generations of Londoners.
  3. Get London growing more of its own food.  Specifically, support creation of 150 new community orchards and six new large community-farms incorporating nature friendly management.  As well as the climate and biodiversity benefits, these will create new green jobs, provide education and volunteering opportunities, and help build stronger communities. 
  4. Stand up to threats to London’s existing green spaces including Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land, ancient woodland, registered parks or gardens, and other green space of community value.  Keeping trees and other plants in the ground is even more effective as climate action than new planting – which takes time to be impactful.
  5. Call for sufficient government and local authority funding for London’s green spaces. This is currently a major concern and threat to their quality and impact on public wellbeing. Endorse Parks Charter and Charter for Open Spaces and call for funds to be put in place to enable more green spaces reach the standard needed to qualify for Green Flag Awards.
  6. Encourage local authorities and publicly-spirited landowners to register more sites as town or village greens – leaving a lasting legacy for future generations of protected green spaces to which the public has enshrined rights of access for recreation.
  7. Organise emergency rain garden construction.  There is a need for sustainable urban drainage needs assessments as standard when roadworks and streetscapes are being updated of the need for rain garden creation.  We need a massive acceleration in their creation to support both flood risk reduction and improvements in water quality.
  8. Create 1,000 garden streets or street parks by 2030 in areas where residents don’t have enough green space.
  9. Support and showcase best practice in creation of new low traffic neighbourhoods across London encouraging more people to walk or cycle in greener and safer streets – providing model for others to follow nationally and internationally.  
  10. Get more people walking by implementing the London Leisure Walking Plan and rolling out the Footways Network of green and attractive, low-pollution streets connecting iconic destinations and public spaces across Greater London.  Make it easier for people to find the best walking routes by distributing free copies of Central London Footways maps from tube stations  

Email and we will link you up to relevant experts able to tell you more about any of these calls to action.