Sowing the Seeds: Reconnecting London's Children with Nature

Sowing the Seeds

London is known as a green city - approximately 2/3 of its area is defined as green space and many sites are rich in wildlife.  Much work is underway to protect and develop this, most notably through the Mayor's Great Outdoors Strategy, the London Plan which seeks to address deficiencies in line with the Mayor's Biodiversity Strategy,  and through partnerships such as the Green Grid, that seek to increase green space provision, and quality, at a local level.  Through these, the provision of the resource has been the primary focus. More recently, for example through the Health Inequalities Strategy, the focus has shifted to the benefits of increasing the level and type of use.

Previous research has suggested that a child's contact with nature is particularly important for social development and can influence future physical, mental and social wellbeing as an adult.  Maximising young people's contact, and the quality of that contact, with nature in the city is therefore fundamental. 

The purposes of the research, commissioned from writer and researcher Tim Gill, are to:

  • Summarise the benefits experienced by society from increasing the opportunity for young people to experience nature;
  • Identify the most successful interventions to encourage regular access to nature amongst young people, and make policy recommendations to facilitate this in the mainstream;
  • Support the move of current thinking beyond provision of natural spaces, to focus on actual use of natural spaces;
  • Develop alternative metrics that may accurately measure access to nature amongst young people.

The LSDC would like to hear your thoughts on the draft recommendations.  Please see links below to the Summary Report, and the Response Sheet, which can be returned to LSDC up to 1 September.  The Full Report is available by agreement after 20 July from

Sowing the Seeds Summary [PDF 219Kb]
Sowing the Seeds - Recommendations Response Sheet [RTF 104Kb]