Ramblers urge London Mayor candidates to back A More Natural Capital

Canal walk

Ahead of May’s London mayoral election, the Ramblers have joined environmental and sustainable travel groups in calling for the next Mayor to back ‘A More Natural Capital’.

The coalition is backing the Ramblers plan for six new green walking routes across London so that more people are able to walk in nature. They are also calling for mayoral candidates to commit to focus on four main areas to make London more natural: reducing pollution and waste; securing nature’s recovery; mitigating and increasing resilience to climate change; and improving health and wellbeing for all.

Kate Conto, Senior Policy Officer for the Ramblers, said: “The Ramblers is proud to have partnered with other environmental groups to set out the steps the next Mayor needs to take to make a London greener city. Making London a better place for walkers is a key part of our shared vision, so we’re very pleased that the Manifesto calls on the next Mayor to create at least six new green walking routes in London and to develop a strategic plan to improve all existing green routes – like the Thames Path and Capital Ring -  so that more people can experience nature every day.“

A More Natural Capital Manifesto Cover

London Mayoral Environment Debate

London is one of the world’s greenest cities, but it could be so much greener – and the ‘More Natural Capital’ manifesto sets out a number in ways this could be achieved. Leading candidates to be London’s next Mayor have been invited to attend a debate to discuss these issues.

The London Mayoral Environment Debate will be chaired by TV presenter and nature enthusiast Julia Bradbury, and will take place online between 7-9pm on Monday 12 April ahead of the elections on 6 May.

Londoners who are interested in viewing the debate can register to watch here, there is also the opportunity to suggest questions to be put to the candidates.

The event is being organised by environment groups within the ‘More Natural Capital Coalition’ such as the Ramblers but also sustainable travel groups including: CPRE London, the Woodland Trust, London Wildlife Trust, RSPB, London Living Streets, London National Park City, and Wildlife and Countryside Link.

Candidates from the five parties that received the most votes in the last Mayoral election in 2016 have been invited to speak. Sian Berry (Green), Peter Gammons (UKIP) & Luisa Porritt (Lib Dem) have all confirmed their participation in the debate. Attendance from Shaun Bailey (Conservative) and Sadiq Khan (Labour), or their representatives, is also expected. 

Neil Sinden, convenor of the More Natural Capital Coalition and Director of CPRE London, said:Our interlinked nature, climate and public health crises must be at the top of the agenda for the next Mayor of London. Nature has become even more important to Londoners during successive lockdowns in the pandemic. Yet lockdown has also starkly highlighted the inequalities in access to green space, and the health benefits this brings, across the capital.

“This debate will allow the public hear from the candidates on the environmental issues that matter to them. It is a landmark moment in ensuring that the next Mayor of London will deliver the greener, healthier, more resilient capital that Londoners need.”

Chair of the London Mayoral Environment Debate, Julia Bradbury, said: “I am delighted to be chairing this vital event.  London's green spaces have become even more vital lungs for us all over the last year, and the need for action to tackle climate change and air quality is even more urgent.  These issues deserve attention in the run up to the elections so that voters have a good idea where the candidates stand.  This debate will be essential and informative and I'm really looking forward to it.”

The More Natural Capital Coalition is a group of over twenty environmental charities who share a common vision for a greener London. Organisations supporting the More Natural Capital agenda include: RSPB, Open Spaces Society, The Orchard Project, CPRE London, Woodland Trust, Butterfly Conservation, London Friends of Greenspaces Network, WWT, Wildlife and Countryside Link, London Gardens Trust, Ramblers, Trees for Cities, London National Park City, Living Streets Group, London Wildlife Trust, Sustain, TCV, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, A Rocha UK, Badger Trust, Born Free Foundation, British Mountaineering Council, Institute of Fisheries Management, Four Paws UK, Tranquil City, Wildlife Gardening Forum, London Greenpeace groups, London Friends of the Earth Groups, Haringey Clear Air Group.