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New ‘green corridor’ launched in capital’s West End

Words: Laura Edgar

The Crown State unveils the ‘Wild West End’ project – aimed at promoting green infrastructure in London.

The ecology project by the joint forces of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, Shaftesbury Avenue, the Howard de Walden Estate and The Portland Estate, is supported by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, and the London Wildlife Trust, which will promote and advise on the project.

The first phase will see The Crown Estate create a green corridor across its holdings in Regent Street, linking to St James’s Park.

It will create more than a hectare of new green space across this commercial area.

The Crown Estate partners are also working on masterplans to expand the project.

It is hoped that Wild West End will create an extensive network of green stepping stones, forming connections between the large areas of parkland in the West End.

The mayor said that although new homes need building and infrastructure improving, “quality green spaces” are also vital.

He said: “There is absolutely no doubt that parks and green spaces in urban areas improve people’s wellbeing and quality of life. Through the Wild West End we look forward to transforming a part of the city for thousands of residents, workers and tourists to enjoy even more.”

James Cooksey, head of central London at The Crown Estate, explained the reasoning behind the project.

“With the trend towards urbanisation continuing across the world, it’s important for big property owners, businesses, government and charities to consider carefully their impact on plants, habitats and wildlife in major cities.

“Along with our partners, we’re seeking to ensure that the millions of shoppers, workers and tourists that come to the West End’s densely packed urban environment each week benefit from greater biodiversity by making space for the plants, birds and bees that form a crucial part of the ecosystem in London.”

Engineering consultancy Arup is providing technical advice and support to all the partners.

Image courtesy of James Hawkes