Breaking news! The world’s first National Park City title has been given to London, England. The International Charter for National Park Cities was signed in July 2019 and this charter initiative started 6 years ago to help improve cities. Helping them to start living a healthier and greener way of life. Daniel Raven-Ellison, a National Geographic Explorer was the driving force behind the campaign. London’s new title as the first National Park City gives tourists and locals an extra reason to enjoy London’s fresh air. Here are a few super green places that National Geographic has put on display for you to visit in London! National Parks are pretty cool, but imagine visiting a whole city that is considered a National Park!
Located in London’s Borough of Croydon, this 147 acre woodland is known to be ancient. The Domesday Book of 1086 recorded the wood that still grows in King’s Wood. There is even evidence of an infrastructure that could be dated back to the Iron Age that is located on the acres of forest. During the second World War, King’s Wood was also used for timber, but the supply is not low. This “little” piece of heaven is only one of the green treasures located in London.
Known as one of “The Magnificent Seven” cemeteries, Abney Park was a private cemetery that was created to help reduce the overpopulation of bodies in inner city cemeteries. Those who were not practicing the established church often chose Abney for their burial. There is even a non-denominational chapel that is the oldest surviving one. Designed by William Hosking FSA, it is the only public building that he designed that is still standing.
A unique aspect is that Abney had been originally designed as an arboretum, with over 2,000 different species of plants. During the 1970s, the cemetery was abandoned causing a lot of overgrowth. Today the management balances between keeping it up as a historic landmark and also maintaining the wildlife’s needs.
This forest was formerly used as a royal hunting forest, but now it is being used as a massive green space in London and surrounding areas. The forest houses over 100 lakes/pounds and over 50,00 ancient pollard trees. The best part? The forest is open 365 days a year and it’s free!
There are multiple facilities that the forest offers. A wedding venue, four visitor centers, a public golf course and multiple different parking options.
Primrose Hill was originally purchased to allow more open area recreation for the poorer people of northern London. It is known for the 200-foot green dome that is a protect viewpoint of London. London has six established sightlines that are the some of the city’s landmarks. Primrose Hill also has a reputation with Mother Shipton, a woman who was known as an English prophetess. She prophesied that the “city would run with blood” if the city and streets of London were to take over the large dome that sits in Primrose Hill.
These are only four of the green spaces that occupy London. These spaces alone could take days to explore, but that is the best part. The greenery never ends.
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