Charter of the Southampton National Park City

OUR VISION IS TO MAKE SOUTHAMPTON A CITY WHERE PEOPLE, PLACES AND NATURE ARE BETTER CONNECTED

Let’s make Southampton a National Park City that is rich with nature and where everyone benefits from exploring, playing and learning outdoors

A city where we all enjoy high quality public and green spaces, where the air is clean to breathe and it’s a pleasure to swim in its waters

WE ARE WORKING TOGETHER FOR BETTER:

Lives, health and wellbeing

Wildlife, trees and flowers

Places, habitats, air, water, sea and land

Time outdoors, culture, art, playing, walking, cycling and eating

Locally grown food and responsible consumption

Decisions, sharing, learning and working together

Relationships with nature and with each other

THIS CHARTER CONFIRMS THAT WE COLLECTIVELY SHARE THE AMBITION and RESPONSIBILITY AND POWER TO DELIVER THESE THINGS AND MORE

What if we restored nature wherever we can? 

What if everybody could lose themselves in nature without leaving the city? 

What if we shared more knowledge, ideas, tools and experiences? 

What if there were more beautiful sights, smells, sounds and colours in the city? 

What if we thought more about those who will be living in the city seven generations from now? 

What if there was more celebration and spontaneity? 

What if we did more things to care for the people, places and nature we are interdependent with? 

What if everyone who lived here could feel that they belonged and feel connected to a vibrant community? 

This Charter draws from the principles and aspirations of the Universal Charter for National Park Cities which aims to inspire others to follow London’s lead

By signing this document I/we pledge to play an active role in making the Southampton National Park City a success. 

SIGNATORIES

1. Milo Maguire, Freemantle, Initiator and nature enthusiast

2. Dr Christelle Blunden, GP and coordinator for Southampton National Park City

Southampton should be a National Park City because what that means is people in the city living their best lives and feeling connected to the place and to their communities. The re are so many potential benefits for health and also to the wellbeing of our non-human neighbours who support our lives in so many ways 

3. Helen Burdfield, Highfield, fundraising and marketing coordinator

Greening spaces within the city, connecting green areas with wildlife corridors, and promoting a better local ecosystem will benefit residents, business and wildlife.

4. Margaret Booker, coordinator, Front gardens plus St Denys

5. Alex Ivancevic, Weston, Southampton Community Connect

Because I wish to see Southampton a greener, healthier, and more pleasant city for all.

6. Michelle Smith, Theatre for life

The breadth of open parks and green spaces in Southampton allows communities to enjoy the benefits of nature with a focus on environmental sustainability. Greener living is at the forefront of the City with dedicated organisations working towards net zero by 2050. The areas of conservation allow communities to enjoy nature in an urban setting, helping to promote healthier lifestyle choices and outdoor activities.

7. Parvin Damani, Chair of the Muslim Council of Southampton and former mayor

8. Luke Blunden, hirley, University of Southampton Sustainable Energy Research group

For more high quality public spaces, using pockets of land creatively, for community benefit

9. Simon James, Transition Southampton

Becoming a National Park City would help frame and inform local decisions to help us all create a healthy livable city.

10. Pat Hawkins, Peartree church

11. Louise Meek, STAMP

Because the green areas in the city are so inviting and looked after. In the spring and summer it’s wonderful to see the new flowers and designs that have been put in place.

12. Elizabeth Terraz, Eco schools coordinator, Swaythling primary school

For the health benefits, both mental & physical for everyone in our city and to play our part in helping to fix the environmental crises we are in.

13. Matt Wegner, St Denys boat club

14. Helen Fisher, Energise me

To enable Southampton to be a place where we all feel safe and are encouraged to be active

15. Irene MacWilliam, Friends of Town Quay Park

To celebrate & protect our amazing parks, Common & green spaces particularly as the city grows in size; to increase & develop more joined up green space for the benefit of wildlife and the health & wellbeing of all of Southampton’s human population.

16. Chloe Forbes, Ropewalk community gardens, St Marys

17. Zsofia Bujaki

The greener the better 🙂 More trees and green places can improve not only the condition of air, but our mental well being too.

18. Tony Bunday, Friends of Riverside Park, Bitterne Park

It is the most wooded City in Europe. Has great water access and great bio-diversity. That should be celebrated, preserved, protected and enhanced.

19. Robin Wilson, GIS engineer, Coxford

20. Ruth Pitts

There are many children in our city who do not get the chance very often to leave it. Having more green spaces that are natural and where nature thrives is important for our children’s well being and to help instil a love of nature so they are enriched but will want to protect it too.

21. Andy Barker, Butterfly Conservation (Hants&IOW)

It probably has the most butterfly species of any UK city.

22. Louise Owen, Kingfisher swimmers and Southampton woodcraft folk

23. Charlotte Webb

To take care of our Environment is the sign of a civilised society and a healthy environment enriches the quality of our daily lives.

24. Stephen Edwards

For a healthier, more sustainable city and a more attractive environment in which to live

25. Kathi Iason, Millbrook matters

26. Liz Batten, Bitterne Park Growing places

To honour the green and blue spaces; to give everyone beauty in their lives and space to walk, run, cycle and play; to give plant life and wildlife more connected corridors so that they too can flourish and thrive, just like us!

27. John Sanders, Southampton Heritage Foundation

Would recognise Southampton as the “Green City” that it is

28. Hilde Gronsberg, Friends of St James Park

29. Sarah Bogle, ward councillor for Bargate

It already has amazing green spaces but also struggles with air quality – a great opportunity to put the city on the map

30. Peter Griffiths

The natural heritage of the city in its parks and green spaces is already fantastic- this should be acknowledged and further cultivated

31. Jack Wilson, See Southampton

32. Cllr Lisa Mitchell, shadow cabinet member for green city

A better future for all and to maximise our fortunate geographical position in terms of parks and water access

33. Dr Yaso Browne, Clinical Lead, Homeless Healthcare Southampton

I support the proposers beliefs in the human need for nature

34. John Wood, Hedge End

Southampton has an abundance of parks and open areas available for its citizens to enjoy.

35. Chris Zardis, shop local Southampton

36. Gordon Cooper, Cllr for Portswood

To extend the concept of creating and maintaining green spaces for a city population.

37. Rev Dr Sarah Hall, Avenue St Andrew’s United Reformed Church

Every community needs its green spaces, and the rest of creation needs its habitats too.

38. Yusuf Khan

Southampton is a green city and place of outstanding beauty.

39. Clare Diaper, October books

40. Cllr Christopher Hammond, Midanbury

41. Sally Cosstick

Such beautiful parks throughout the City – today I walked around the autumnal 🍂🍂 Common.. we’re so lucky..

42. Jim Halliday

To promote nature

43. Romana Syed, Ropewalk community garden

44. Christiane Charlton, local resident, West End

I prefer Natural landscapes to concrete jungles

45. Cllr Matt Renyard, Coxford

Southampton has some amazing open spaces and parks it is right that we recognise their importance to our city and protect them for future generations.

46. Jo Bailey

To acknowledge the importance of existing great parks, make them even bigger and better, and safeguard them for the future. We also need to improve our air quality.

47. Salma Sabour, seed bomb creator, Portswood

48. Cllr Barrie Margetts, Shirley

We have a great range of parks already and building more green spaces in our city will be a big boost for the health and well-being of our residents

49. Alison Spottiswoode, Southampton Quaker meeting

I think access to nature is good for mental health and an awareness of the natural world encourages us to take care of it.

50. Steve Johnson

Southampton’s green spaces are a treasure and the unique green corridors combine to make a city that is green at heart. If this can be grown, nurtured and cherished it will be a natural resource of immense benefit, depth and value to nature, residents and visitors and add to the broad landscape that is the City of Southampton

51. Alex Winning, Swaythling

A better future for all and to maximise our fortunate geographical position in terms of parks and water access

52. Angela Cotton, Transition Southampton and Southampton and District Green Party

53. Diana Barnes

To preserve the lovely parks we have, so good for our physical and mental health 

54. Peter Davis

The city should maximise every opportunity for wildlife to establish itself and thrive everywhere it can.

55. Pathik Pathak, director, University of Southampton social impact lab

56. Jasmin Crockett, artist

It’s a chance for people to connect with the natural world, which is desperately needed if we want to survive the climate crisis and learn to live in new and less destructive ways. It will make people feel better, mentally and physically and enjoy the public space more. It will be better for air quality and biodiversity. There are so many reasons.

57. Roger Munford, West Solent solar coop

Every city should be a National Park city. Southampton would benefit me the most

58. Isabelle Vergeron, Ropewalk community gardens

59. Cllr Toqueer Kataria, Bevois ward

Healthy lives matter, good for the environment, residents and visitors. Will encourage future generations to do more for a greener Southampton

60. Hannah Cleaver, Children’s mental health nurse

Our own self-worth is embedded in the health, sustainability and worth of our environment.

61. Cllr Matt Bunday, Bitterne Park

It has so many amazing parks and open spaces… and all were a life saver during the pandemic.

62. Philip Budd, Chair of Southampton Natural History Society

I think that Southampton already possesses a wealth of varied open spaces representing most habitat types in southern England, more tree cover than most other cities, over 10% open space altogether and a correspondingly rich flora and fauna.

63. Paul Lewzey, Bitterne

Because it matters that we are in tune with our environment in Southampton.

64. Katherine Barbour, Green party

It will enhance our shift away from car based travel and celebrate our green spaces

65. Tamsin Hill, Nurse practitioner and Green Impact lead, The Old Fire Station surgery

66. Barbara Claridge, Highfield residents’ association

Southampton as a National Park City would mean a better natural environment for residents and visitors alike; it would give communities a feeling of care and responsibility for their place; it would encourage ownership of the of the spaces around us and how they can be improved; it be for children and adults alike.

67. Sean Barton, Sholing

This is a chance to begin to enhance and incorporate the forward thinking green city culture into the wider areas outside of the locality. Working and sharing ideas with other local and national partners to promote current policies to create new and exciting ideas from ‘grass root’ to boardroom level for future generations.

68. Hannah Sillince, Lordswood

To give every person in Southampton the opportunity to live a healthy and happy life with access to greenery and space regardless of where they live.

69. J Wakeling

To become the best version of itself

70. Laura Phlllips

To encourage better use of our green spaces

71. Eamonn Keogh, Veracity Recreation Ground Trust

72. Richard Pitt, Aldermoor Community Farm

I think we should become a National Park City because it is worth working towards a city that is rich with nature, with high quality public and green spaces, with air that is clean to breathe and waters that are a pleasure to swim in.

73. Tony Boyle, local architect

Southampton benefits from a stunning geographical location and is blessed with some wonderful green spaces and a motivated population to further ‘green’ the city.

74. Richard Strange, musician

75. Cllr Lorna Fielker, Flowers Estate

76. Christine Stockton, local resident

Southampton has so many beautiful parks, big and small, which are a credit to our historic city. They range from the more formal beautifully kept parks, to the more wild, natural areas and woods to explore. Our parks attract wildlife, birds, bees and butterflies and provide so much pleasure as well as learning opportunities. There isn’t an area of the city that hasn’t an opportunity for people to find a bit of nature to explore, and becoming a National Park city would enable even more people to enjoy the opportunities around us.

77. Kate Proh, Business South

Southampton is a city bursting with opportunity and full of natural assets. By making it a National Park City we will be amplifying the great things about Southampton and raising awareness to the wonderful culture and parklands the city has to offer. 

78. Maggie O’Connor, sing for Earth choir

79. Cllr Sally Spicer, Redbridge

To really put Southampton on the map to show off our great open spaces across the city.

80. Phine Dahle, Southampton counselling and psychotherapy practice

Because it’ll be focused more on health of people and nature which we need for our survival

81. Jonathan Dellow, Southampton cycling campaign

Improving the natural environment within the city and promoting the use of outdoor space goes hand in hand with promoting cycling as a clean green, economical activity for commuting, leisure and fitness. So Southampton Cycling Campaign are happy to endorse the charter

82. Dr Karen Malone, Woolston and Townhill primary care network

83. Prof Denise Baden, University of Southampton department of sustainable business and local author

It has lots of wonderful parks and green spaces. I live here and would be proud of our participation

84. Richard Summers, urban designer

so that everyone can enjoy nature wherever they live

85. Prof Hazel Inskip, Bassett

86. Alex Templeton

We have a head start and knowledge and experience in the city

87. Sarah Shameti, Regeneration – PEER Youth Service

Green Space is essential for positive wellbeing on so many levels and as a youth service we know that young people engage well when outdoors and surrounded by open space and an environment that represents growth. Parks enable education, activity and overall positive wellbeing, bring this opportunity to those living in the city is a step towards improving health equality.

88. Christopher Gutteridge, website designer

89. Cllr Mike Denness, Bevois

90. Jim Mitchell, New Forest National Park Authority

Healthy place and healthy people

91. Andy Frampton, Bitterne

92. Charlotte Gardner, Highfield

93. Sue Blatchford, Former Mayor, Woodland Trust Life Member, Sholing

As the City continues to grow all our green spaces , whether parks, pocket parks or greenways are essential to everyones’ wellbeing and to nature itself

94. Russell Brewer, surestart gardener

Hugely beneficial in the present and for future generations, and will hopefully provide some involvement and pride in our streets and open spaces.

95. Cllr Vivienne Windle, Freemantle

Southampton is known for its parks and its Common. The Central Parks are a major feature of the City Centre. Visitors say that the parks are one of the reasons that they choose to visit the City of Southampton.

96. Rhiannon Jones, University of Southampton Greenprint project

97. Mac Ince, Sholing Valleys Study Centre

It will bring a focus for several groups that don’t currently partner with each other. We have already seen the benefits of the connections, and hope that it will make our organisation more relevant to the local community.

98. Debbie Chase, Director pf Public Health for Southampton

I wholeheartedly support the National Park City vision because of the huge benefits to health from connecting with nature and the alignment with our public health aim to make Southampton a healthy place to live and work.

99. Sophie Ford, Southampton Hub

100. John Savage, Cllr for St Denys

Improved, healthy habitat and lifestyle for all, to support the planet and individual health and wellbeing.

101. Paul Maple, Global Documentary

Because creating a sustainable city is good for nature and ourselves

102. Carolyn Barnes, cooperative gardening

I believe we need to care for and be proud of our city and being a NPC helps to achieve this

103. Mark Meredith, photographer

104. Denise Long, Friends of Portswood Rec

To ensure that we have a safe, clean, sustainable city which is rich in wildlife and has plenty of healthy outdoor spaces for its citizens

105. Tim Miller, Bouldershack climbing gym

I’m struggling to think of a single reason why we shouldn’t.

106. Hilary Makin, New Forest National Park Authority

107. Keririe Draghi

To tackle pollution

108. Marcus Grace, University of Southampton biohub

To show that people in Southampton really care about our connection and engagement with nature.

109. Jill Doubleday, pollinating peartree

110. Paul Kenney, Labour Candidate for Harefield Ward

I believe that we need to have a greener and cleaner city

111. Ruth Eastwood, Southern Policy Centre

Southern Policy Centre strongly supports the idea that people and nature should be better connected and are delighted to support the campaign to make Southampton a National Park City.

112. Joanne Hooker, Solent University

Southampton prides itself on its green spaces and this project allows our community to come together and develop the concept into the wider concept of sustainability, ecology and environmental development. It ties in beautifully with Solent University’s mission to the local community and also with the City of Culture bid. It also gives our students an opportunity to get involved in the local community. It really is a virtuous circle that keeps giving positives to everyone.

113. Jackie Willis, Hardmore Early Years Centre

114. Darren Bray, Studio Bad architects

All urban conditions require urban greening as much as possible, Southampton is one of the most polluted cities in the UK so it desperately needs to become a national park city.

115. Emma Kerrigan-Draper, Headteacher, Mount Pleasant junior school

Living and working in a city does not mean that people should forego the benefits of exposure and access to natural and green areas. Wildlife corridors and green pathways run throughout our city – we could make so much more of them, benefiting everyone and every living thing.

116. Phil Tyler, Positive Money Southampton

117. Tina Lang, Totton College

Better outcomes for all

118. Ian Loynes, SPECTRUM CIL

Makes it a nice place to live & work

119. Holly Jenkins, marine biologist and mentor at SOS UK

120. Graham Gowman, UK Men’s Shed Association Southampton Ambassdor

Enhancing our environment must be one of the most important things we can do in our lives. Enhancing our lives through involvement with our environment and in the company of others must be our life’s aim.

121. Mark Hancock, Transition Southampton

Mental health, air quality and physical health. community. Lower noise. Ease of active travel

122. Cara Headon, Abri housing association

123. Lyn Brayshaw, Friends of the Earth Southampton

Why on earth not?!

124. Michelle Bezant, local resident

We are very lucky too have so many open green spaces, woodlands, parks in Southampton. I would personally like to see more planting of trees, in all neighbourhoods in Southampton.

125. Joseph Cox, Southampton and District Green Party

126. Charlotte Stuart, local resident

Southampton is one of the most air-polluted cities so anything that can make this city healthier and greener is a plus.

127. Jemma Godel, Yarrow Heights school

To develop a city that looks nice with natural beauty, produces a greener environment and supports children and adults to become involved with their local community

128. Angela Chicken, poet

129. Alistair Chaplin, Southampton Street Space

It would help people appreciate and protect our lovely green city that provides the link between southern England’s two major national parks, the South downs and the new forest.

130. Alaa Ahmed, University of Southampton

I believe that it is very important for people to be surrounded by nature in their daily lives as it is not only physically beneficially but also mentally it helps people relax and de-stress, in addition to the environmental merits of caring for green spaces such as helping reduce the effects of pollution and climate change. Southampton is blessed with so much greenery making it more than suitable for such an initiative.

131. Marty Climenhaga, Friends of Freemantle Lake Park

132. Rosie Newey, Southampton Greenpeace

We have beautiful parks already but we also have a severe traffic problem. we need to prioritise parks to push toward a better greener city

133. Stephen Connolly

It would better connect all the commons and parks in Southampton so that ever one can enjoy and feel part of nature

134. Anna Boella, artist

135. Lori Foster, Southampton Coronavirus Mutual Aid Group

To improve the connection between community and space – to ensure there are places for everyone to enjoy to reduce loneliness

136. John Spottiswoode, Southampton & district Green party

We need to make the most of our green spaces and develop a city that is in tune with nature making it a much more pleasant place to live and work.

137. Rebecca Kinge, Southampton collective

138. Lynsey Watt, senior lecturer, Solent University

To benefit everyone in their physical and mental wellbeing

139. Pippa Grey, Community Gardener TWICS & Big Local SO18

During lockdown, cycling into city was a pleasure, clean air, less traffic & birdsong – Southampton has the potential to be a greener city with cleaner air and waterways, wildlife corridors, a network of mini meadows & orchards, urban growing spaces

140. Ziggy Woodward, Friends of Bitterne Station

141. Christabel Watts, Environment centre

I was drawn to move to and study in Southampton because of all of the green spaces, I would love for these to be developed and celebrated further.

142. Ivelina Paldemova

With the airport, we need more environment in the city

143. Russell Farley, manager, Southampton City Farm

144. Colin Barnett, Polygon growing spaces

Southampton was devastated during the war leaving the quality of the built environment wanting. Waterfront access is marginal. The reason to be proud of this city is neither its built environment nor its waterside location… the parks and green spaces however… that’s a different story. This is something to be proud of and unifying these under the moniker of National Park City is something to make a reality

145. Manthan Pathak, coordinator

Becoming a National Park City asks of us all an essential question that has not yet been asked: would you buy a ticket to visit the city you live and work in? If the answer is no, then let’s change that. I believe it is possible

146. Claudia Murg, We Make Southampton

147. Alan Gibson, Urbane Forager

To celebrate our proud city’s green heritage and to better engage our residents with nature as a way to help improve mental/physical health and help to gradually turn the tide of unnecessary car driving.

148. Jo Proctor, SO18 Big Local

Wildlife and people alike all need green and blue spaces to enjoy, to benefit from and to thrive in.

149. Mike Weeks, Marlhill Copse

150. Dr Roberta Comunian, Friends of Bitterne Park Station

Because it is important that we start valuing the amazing spaces we have and practice tender loving care on the ones that need our support as a community

151. Jack Pinkney, student at solent University

For everyone to enjoy nature on their doorstep.

152. Ros Cassy, Old Town Community Forum

153. Cheryl Kirsten

Population growth will force us to live closer together – this could be a high stress volatile situation, but with plenty urban nature, green spaces, wildlife and clean air, urban living could be delightful and restorative, leaving large areas of wild corridors for nature to recover and biodiversity to strengthen.

154. Ulrike Munford, Highfield

It has relatively more green spaces than any other city I know, including the best park (Common) I have ever seen.

155. Rob Trent, AccessAdvisr

156. Manisha Gurung, Campus Collective (Southampton University)

Greater impact on wellbeing than others might think. Beneficial for children education and interest. Helpful to biodiversity and wildlife around the city.

157. Councillor Warwick Payne

Southampton’s green spaces are a jewel in the crown, and this would provide an opportunity to bridge the gap between the New Forest and South Downs National Parks.

158. Gavin Millar, St Denys

To become a greener, safer, more ecologically sustainable, and welcoming shared space which fully supports the entire community, active travel, and biodiversity.

159. Katy Daley-Yates, Freelance arts producer

160. Ceri Dunn, Highfield

So that everyone, no matter which part of the city they live in, can enjoy all the benefits of natural spaces, including cleaner air.

161. Barbara Claridge, Highfield

To make Southampton a better place – to live, work and grow

162. Cath Watkins, SO14

To recognise the our existing parks and commons and encourage development of new public open spaces

163. Tracey Scallan, SO17

To celebrate and maintain all the many open spaces in Southampton

164. Hannah Coombs, Cllr for Shirley

To improve its already brilliant green spaces and the routes to get to them.

165. Jan Plumb, Millbrook

The delicate ecosystem of the myriad of green spaces in Southampton needs protection so we can all enjoy them – humans, animals and insects alike. Let the legacy we leave our children and grandchildren be one to make them proud.

166. Claudia Murg, Bitterne Park, We Make Southampton CIC

Because it can and it should! We have so many under-used green spaces and so much isolation and loneliness in the city.

167. Cllr Darren Paffey, Bitterne Park

168. Sue, Bitterne Park

This would bring together all the various council and community run initiatives into one place, and work towards a better, greener, more coordinated city

169. Helen Cooper, Freemantle

Because Nature and Wild spaces help our physical, mental , emotional and spiritual wellbeing, they are essential for helping us reclaim our sense of proportion in the web of life against a backdrop of social unease and fear and loss of faith in the future. National park city status shows that enough people want to take actions to redress the balance and work towards a common goal that will deliver an environment that having access to should be a basic human right. It is nature that will rehumanise us, in contrast to the systems that tend to dehumanise us.

170. Cllr J Rayment, Bevois

171. Jacqueline Rolls, Willow and Crafts, Mansbridge

It’s a amazing space full of wildlife and. It’s so good for people’s wellbeing.

172. Kim Emery, Friends of Shirley Pond Park

173. Nick Lohinski, Shirley

It has an abundance of wild spaces sadly neglected

174. Steve Leggett, Councillor for Freemantle

It is an important part of the cities green city agenda and climate emergency

175. Jo Scallan, Highfield

176. Andri Christodoulou, University of Southampton wilder citizens project, Central Southampton

Southampton has so many green spaces that could be used to maximise children’s exposure to nature and the outdoors, and becoming a National Park city would provide a strong basis for expanding, and exploring further how green spaces can be used to support children’s and adults’ development of pro-environmental behaviours and to support their mental wellbeing.

177. Steve George, Highfield

If we are honest, Southampton lacks an architectural heritage. Many old buildings have been knocked down to build flats (e.g. Winn Rd) or destroyed in the war, so let’s make Southampton famous for its green spaces!

178. Carol Thomas, Portswood

It has beautiful green spaces which have such a positive effect on everyone using them

 

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