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RSPB unveils vision for Trafalgar Square naturepark

Last modified: 01 April 2011

Trafalgar naturepark

Image: Russell Barnett

Leading nature conservation charity the RSPB plans to create a giant nature park in Trafalgar Square, to mark the UN target of reversing declines in wildlife across the world by 2020.

The proposals for Trafalgar Square see Nelson’s column as the central pillar of a giant rainforest biome, surrounded by extensive wildlife gardens and wildflower meadows.  The open spaces of the square will be designated as nature recreation areas, dotted with giant screens relaying 3D wildlife spectacles.

These will consist of dramatic live wildlife footage from the RSPB’s UK network of over 200 nature reserves and its flagship overseas projects, including rainforest restoration schemes in Sumatra and Sierra Leone, plus its projects to save endangered wildlife in Kazakhstan and albatrosses in the southern oceans.  

RSPB spokesman Paul Lewis said: “We all have to step up if we are meet the 2020 targets for saving nature.  A healthy natural environment is crucial to our physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing and also has significant, well documented economic benefits.

“To mark our ambitions for 2020, we want visitors to Trafalgar Square to enjoy parrots, penguins and polar bears, as opposed to pigeons. It’s going to be an inspiring, interactive experience with a mix of digital, hands on and real life components.

“We’ve held very positive talks with both the Government and the Mayor’s office  and our backers are ready with a multi-million pound funding package.”

The RSPB led consortium has plans for further ‘nature experience zones’ in nine city centre locations across the UK, including Birmingham’s Bullring and Princess Street Gardens in Edinburgh.

“For far too long our city centres have turned a blind eye to the value of inspiring a close relationship with nature,“ said Mr Lewis. “Young people living in urban areas are increasingly isolated from opportunities to enjoy nature. Our natureparks aim to redress the balance by putting nature at the heart of city centre life.”

The project backers include a businessman, a rock star, a computer entrepreneur, a high street retailer and a leading leisure experience provider. Full details will be revealed at the launch of an exhibition showcasing the project later this year.  

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