Could Southampton become one of the first National Parks Cities?

Southampton is a unique city well known for its Maritime history, ancient walls and it’s pioneering in the fields of science and medicine. But Southampton’s natural heritage; our parks, the Common, green spaces, allotments, gardens, local nature reserves, and rivers are often undervalued.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brutally torn away lives, revealing what happens when we disrespect and ignore the natural world & its rules.
People across the city are realising the physical and mental health benefits of our outdoor spaces, as well as the great opportunities our urban landscape offers to wildlife of all kinds. So why not create our own National Park City to ensure that nature is included in every aspect of living in Southampton?

Climate change & COP26 have highlighted the urgency of action by us all. Southampton’s pollution, poor green and blue environment and the current and future health of our city make action urgent. That is why a group of concerned citizens have come together to map out a way in which our community can transform Southampton into a place where people, places and nature are better connected:

  • A city which is greener and cleaner in the long-term than it is today.
  • A city which protects and improves its core network of parks, rivers and green spaces and where buildings and public spaces aren’t defined only by stone, brick, concrete, glass and steel
  • A city that is rich with wildlife
  • A city where everyone, especially children, benefit from better health and opportunities for exploring, playing and learning

A National Park City (NPC) is a timely cultural choice, a collective ambition, responsibility, and commitment to deliver on making Southampton a place where people, culture, and nature work together. By supporting this vision, we can help galvanise programmes that will make this city far more pleasant and safe and better able to cope with climate change including flooding and heat waves. In practice this means a large-scale rollout of river restoration, tree planting, urban greening of concrete surfaces and a reversal of paved-over front gardens.
We already have a head start; a wonderful group pf Estonians who tirelessly devote their time & effort to making our city greener, cleaner & healthier; on allotments, farms and parks.
These groups stepped up with amazing enthusiasm opening and demonstrating their work for COP26 when the Southampton NPC group called, creating the first Green City Festival. They deserve our gratitude and greater support.
Transition Southampton as ever has stepped up helping to start new green groups such as Front Gardens Plus in St Denys & Bitterne Park.

If you have the same commitment and want to make this happen in your community then sign up to the Charter on our Website, Consider becoming a part of our steering group, setting up a green group in your area, volunteering to clean up our city, helping create green walls, adopt unloved areas to grow plant, veg or trees, create wildlife areas, etc.
Get every business or group you are involved with taking action to achieve this aim and together we can create the most important legacy for our city: to make Southampton a National City Park.

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