Environmental campaigners call for a greener London

The More Natural Capital Coalition of environmental campaigning organisations has launched their top 10 priorities for the 2024 London Mayoral Elections. 

A more natural capital agenda for london. Credit: CPRE London

A more natural capital agenda for london. Credit: CPRE London

As London prepares for the Mayoral elections in May, Sustain's Capital Growth team, as part of the A More Natural Capital coalition, is working to get urban food growing and greater protections for green space on the agenda of all the candidates. 


The coalition has set out a manifesto pushing for mayoral candidates to take the action needed to deliver a greener London.


The coalition partners, including Sustain, London Wildlife Trust, The Woodland Trust, Thames21, The Orchard Project, have developed a list of 10 calls to action that will help London to transition to the cleaner, greener and more resilient city it needs to be to face the climate and ecological crisis. 

The 10 priorities we are calling on the mayoral candidates to support are:

  • More trees for London - Plant 1,000 hectares of new tree canopy cover by 2030.
  • New places for nature - Support creation of at least 10 major new parks or nature reserves for London by 2030.
  • Grow local food - support the creation of 150 new community orchards and six new large community-farms
  • Defend our green spaces - Stand up to threats to London’s Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land, ancient woodland, registered parks or gardens
  • Fair funding for nature - Call for sufficient government and local authority funding for London’s green spaces. 
  • More village greens - Encourage local authorities and publicly-spirited landowners to register more sites as town or village greens 
  • Roll out rain gardens - Organise construction of the 357,000 rain gardens Thames Water says we need to help reduce flooding and water pollution by 2040
  • 1000 garden streets - Create 1,000 garden streets or street parks by 2030
  • People-friendly streets  - Support and showcase best practice in creation of new low traffic neighbourhoods
  • Walkable London - Get more people walking by implementing the London Leisure Walking Plan and rolling out the Footways Network

Capital Growth is keen to see progress made on larger scale access to land. Our particular focus is on using the mayoral influence over councils and funding rounds to get more orchards and growing sites in London.  

As well as the climate and biodiversity benefits, having more farms and orchards will create new green jobs, provide education and volunteering opportunities, and help build stronger communities. 

Keeping trees and other plants in the ground is a more effective climate action strategy than new planting, which takes time to be impactful. So we are calling for greater protection of growing sites.

Rachel Dring, Sustain’s Capital Growth Coordinator, has said:

“Londoners increasingly want to get more involved in food growing but as demand increases, available land is decreasing. We are losing allotment sites and green spaces to development. We want to see more community food gardens incorporated into housing estates and more green space protected for food growing.” 

Read the full manifesto 

Capital Growth are also launching a new nature-based campaign later this spring as part of their Growing for Change initiative. 

Watch this space for news on our hustings events coming up this spring, where we will be influencing future mayors to provide significant support for food growing in London as well as wider food system change.


28/02/2024

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Capital Growth is London's Food Growing Network, with over 2000 members. Whether you are growing at home, as part of an allotment, in a community group or school you can join for free to receive benefits such as discounts, advice and monthly enewsletters.

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