Species of the Greater London National Park

A city becoming a national park? What sounds almost like a contradiction is a very real idea. As the website of the Greater London National Park Campaign explains: “Uniquely combining a biodiverse landscape with nature reserves, parks and gardens, [London] covers an area of over 1,500 km2 and is home to more than 8 million people. Recognised as one of the world’s most important urban habitats, green, blue and open spaces occupy over 60% of London. Over 1,300 Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation cover 19% of [London]. Londonwide the capital is home to more than 1,500 species of flowering plants. More than 300 species of bird have been recorded in the city. With over 300 languages spoken, 170 museums, four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one of Britain’s National Trails the Greater London National Park* is open for you to explore.”
Pioneered by Guerrilla Geographer Dan Raven-Ellison who convinced an ever growing number of people to support him in his endeavour to turn London into the first National Park City. I was amongst those people making a little contribution by mapping out species counts from the database of Greenspace Information for Greater London. The maps were also included in the environment section of the Londonmapper project which I am working on, and they depict the distribution of each species in a cartogram-style map distorting the shapes of the London boroughs according to how many of each species have been sighted in an area. The following maps are from that series (of which I hope to get a few more mapped in future – are there any red squirrels in London?), and especially the hedgehogs came to fame during the launch of the Londonmapper website last year:

London Species Map: Hedgehogs
(click for larger version)

Muntjac Deer
London Species Map: Muntjac Deer
(click for larger version)

Peregrine Falcon
London Species Map: Peregrine Falcons
(click for larger version)

Red Admiral
London Species Map: Red Admirals
(click for larger version)

Stag Beetle
London Species Map: Stag Beetles
(click for larger version)

Black Redstart
London Species Map: Black Redstarts
(click for larger version)

The style of these cartograms is using the Londonmapper Project colour scheme, meaning that the colours used in the above maps have a distinct colour for each of the London Boroughs, with the inner boroughs having the darker shades, while the outer boroughs are in the corresponding lighter colours. A full explanation of how the maps on Londonmapper are designed and what they mean is described on the project’s website. The following map gives a ‘conventional’ view, showing a land-area reference map of the London boroughs:

London Basemap

Finally, to make the idea of London becoming the first National Park City in the world, it needs YOU to help. The team around the campaign is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to get one step closer to make the Greater London National Park reality. The campaign runs for another 20 days into mid-June, so don’t wait any longer and give any amount of money that you can afford – every little helps! The crowdfunding campaign can be found at Crowdfunder. More details are also outlined on the GLNP website.

The content on this page has been created by Benjamin Hennig for the Londonmapper Project and the Greater London National Park using data kindly provided by Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC. Please contact me for further details on the terms of use.

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