Charter of the Southampton National Park City


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

It is a large-scale and long-term vision that is achievable through many actions. Lots of these things are already happening in Southampton, but by working, learning, sharing and acting together, we can achieve even 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. 


Milo Maguire, Initiator and nature enthusiast

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 

Helen Burdfield, 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.

Margaret Booker, coordinator, Front gardens plus St Denys

Alex Ivancevic, Southampton Community Connect

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

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.

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

Luke Blunden, University of Southampton Sustainable Energy Research group

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

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.

Pat Hawkins, Peartree church

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.

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.

Matt Wegner, St Denys boat club

Helen Fisher, Energise me

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

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.

Chloe Forbes, Ropewalk community gardens

Zsofia Bujaki, local resident

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

Tony Bunday, Friends of Riverside 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.

Robin Wilson, GIS engineer

Ruth Pitts, local resident

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.

Andy Barker, Butterfly Conservation (Hants&IOW)

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

Louise Owen, Kingfisher swimmers and Southampton woodcraft folk

Charlotte Webb, local resident

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

Stephen Edwards, local resident

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

Kathi Iason, Millbrook matters

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!

John Sanders, Southampton Heritage Foundation

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

Hilde Gronsberg, Friends of St James Park

Sarah Bogle, ward councillor for Bargate and vice-chair of the Health Overview an Scrutiny panel

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

Peter Griffiths, local resident

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

Jack Wilson, See Southampton

Dr Yaso Browne, Clinical Lead, Homeless Healthcare Southampton

I support the proposers beliefs in the human need for nature

John Wood, local resident

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

Chris Zardis, shop local Southampton

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.

Yusuf Khan, local resident

Southampton is a green city and place of outstanding beauty.

Clare Diaper, October books

Sally Cosstick, local resident

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

Jim Halliday, local resident

To promote nature

Romana Syed, Ropewalk community garden

Christiane Charlton, local resident

I prefer Natural landscapes to concrete jungles

Jo Bailey, local resident

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.

Salma Sabour, seed bomb creator

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.

Steve Johnson, local resident

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

Angela Cotton, Transition Southampton and Southampton and District Green Party

Diana Barnes, local resident

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

Peter Davis, local resident

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

Pathik Pathak, University of Southampton social impact lab

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.

Roger Munford, West Solent solar coop

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

Isabelle Vergeron, Ropewalk community gardens

Hannah Cleaver, Children’s mental health nurse

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

Katherine Barbour, Green party

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

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

J Wakeling, local resident

To become the best version of itself

Laura Phlllips, local resident

To encourage better use of our green spaces

Eamonn Keogh, Veracity Recreation Ground Trust

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.

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.

Richard Strange, musician

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.

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. 

Maggie O’Connor, sing for Earth choir

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

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

Dr Karen Malone, Woolston and Townhill primary care network

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

Richard Summers, urban designer

so that everyone can enjoy nature wherever they live

Prof Hazel Inskip, local resident and former Statistical Epidemiologist

Alex Templeton, local resident

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

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.

Christopher Gutteridge, website designer

Helen Cooper, local resident

Because it is an important University City that has many green spaces that are used by many ethnic groups and a diversity of nationalities with sustainable community aspirations. All these groups can come together to provide valuable experience based data that could benefit many other cities in the UK 

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.

Rhiannon Jones, University of Southampton Greenprint project

Mac Ince, Sholing Valleys Study Centre

It will bring a focus for several groups that don’t currenly 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.

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.

Sophie Ford, Southampton Hub

Paul Maple, Global Documentary

Because creating a sustainable city is good for nature and ourselves

Mark Meredith, photographer

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

Hilary Makin, New Forest National Park Authority

Keririe Draghi, local resident

To tackle pollution

Jill Doubleday, pollinating peartree

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.

Jackie Willis, Hardmore Early Years Centre

Darren Bray, Studio Bad architects


Phil Tyler, Positive Money Southampton

Tina Lang, Totton College

Better outcomes for all

Holly Jenkins, marine biologist and mentor at SOS UK

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.

Cara Headon, abri housing association

Lyn Brayshaw, Friends of the Earth Southampton

Why on earth not?!

Joseph Cox, Southampton and District Green Party

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.

Angela Chicken, poet

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.

Marty Climenhaga, Friends of Freemantle Lake Park

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

Anna Boella, artist

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

Rebecca Kinge, Southampton collective

Ziggy Woodward, Friends of Bitterne Station


Russell Farley, Southampton City Farm

Manthan Pathak, service user

Because mental health and that

Claudia Murg, We Make Southampton

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.

Mike Weeks, Marlhill Copse

Dr Roberta Comunian, Southampton Real Nappy Network

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

Ros Cassy, Old Town Community Forum

Cheryl Kirsten, local resident

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.

Rob Trent, AccessAdvisr

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.














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