Campaigners in Newcastle, including Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust and Newcastle City Council, have launched a campaign for the city to become the UK’s next National Park City.
toAnnounced by Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust chief executive, James Cross, at an event celebrating London as the world’s first National Park City, the campaign will see Newcastle show its support for making the city greener, healthier and wilder.
James Cross, chief executive of Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust - an independent charity responsible for the management and upkeep of the city’s 33 parks and 64 allotment sites - said: “Becoming a National Park City signals our commitment to make life better for people and nature.
“I want our campaign to be a beacon that inspires communities in Newcastle and the wider region to value, cherish and celebrate our amazing parks, allotments and green spaces. That in doing so we feel happier, healthier and more fulfilled; that the places people care about are more vibrant and beautiful; and that people, nature and the local economy thrive.
“Over the summer we’ll be asking members of the public, businesses and community groups for their thoughts on what our shared ambition should be. How do we express our commitment to preserve our natural environment and how can we collectively make Newcastle a greener and healthier city.”
Tony Durcan OBE, Assistant Director of Transformation at Newcastle City Council said; “Newcastle is a vibrant city and our range of great parks and green spaces play a huge role in that, attracting visitors, residents and families all year round.
“We are excited to be working alongside the Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust and partners to become the next National Park City, once again reinforcing our ambitious approach for the city’s parks and green spaces.
"Everyone can play a role in helping Newcastle become a National Park City, from gardening and planting at home to volunteering their time to help maintain our parks and allotments. It’s about communities across the city working together to embrace nature, making Newcastle greener and healthier.”
Daniel Raven-Ellison, who started the campaign to make London a National Park City six years ago, said: “It's so exciting that a campaign has begun to make Newcastle a National Park City. It's an incredible opportunity to bring people together to reimagine what life in Newcastle could be like and ways to make the city greener, healthier and wilder. It's an opportunity to raise ambitions, lift expectations and inspire people to take action to make life better for people and wildlife.
“After kick-starting the campaign for London to become a National Park City, I'm looking forward to helping campaigners in Newcastle where I can, but I'm fascinated to see how people in Newcastle will do things differently and better than we have. It's been great collaborating with James Cross from Newcastle Parks and Allotments Trust who's been developing the idea for Newcastle, and both I and the National Park City Foundation are looking forward to working closely together in the future.”
A wider event, inviting views and feedback from park users, community groups, stakeholders and city residents about Newcastle becoming a National Park City, will take place in the autumn.
To be a National Park City, destinations must have a shared vision to ensure people, places and nature are better connected and everyone has access to high quality green spaces. To find out more, visit www.nationalparkcity.org.
The campaign announcement follows the news two of Newcastle’s Parks, Walker Park and Jesmond Dene, have been presented with a Green Flag Award in recognition of the quality green space they provide local people. The Green Flag Award Scheme recognises the UK’s very best green spaces.
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