Chris Packham calls for wild flowers across 10 percent of London's parks

Celebrity naturalist Chris Packham today called for wild flowers to be planted across 10 per cent of central London’s parks to encourage wildlife.

The TV presenter also unveiled plans for a “not ranty or shouty” parade in the capital calling on the Government to implement proven solutions to the destruction of animal habitats- writes

He said: “We need someone to stand up and say ‘we are losing this battle, we are losing all of these creatures, but we don’t have to, we can conserve them — let’s get on with it’. A lot of the municipal parks in London are given over to just lawn — there could be wild flowers. Why haven’t we got wild flower strips in our municipal parks? It would be so easy… Ultimately we have recognised that these species [insects] are in trouble, so let’s give a little back. I think it would be great if Hyde Park, St James’s Park, Green Park, all of these, had just 10 per cent wild flowers. People would love to look at it and it would offer resources to insects.”

Packham, 57, also praised the Mayor’s new Ultra Low Emission Zone — which will bring in an additional charge next April for particulate-emitting diesel vehicles in the Congestion Zone, on top of the congestion charge — and the Low Emission Zone charge launched last year. He said: “In our cities we are producing byproducts in our cars which are stopping flowers smelling [for bees] as effectively. There are species [of flower] bees could smell from 100 metres away 100 years ago, now they have to be 20 metres away.”

The presenter, who is taking “anatomically correct” giant bug sculptures on a tour around the UK to help children learn to love the “essential” insects, also praised the rise in Forest Schools for nursery-age children, where they spend all day outside.

His first People’s Walk for Wildlife will take place on September 22. Big Bugs on Tour’s 12 giant bugs will be situated at the Intu shopping centres over the next 18 months.

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