National Park City Festival: Living Symphonies announced

Published Fri 31 May 19 by Caroline

This week, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced plans for hundreds of events, activities and seminars looking at climate change solutions, promoting green business development and investment, and highlighting London’s much-loved green spaces, wildlife and waterways.

From 19 July, the National Park City Festival launches with 10 days of free fun events in celebration of London’s green spaces, wildlife habitats, green rooftops and waterways. Working with the independent National Park City Foundation and partners including the National Theatre and London Wildlife Trust, the events aim to get all Londoners to enjoy the outdoors, highlighting the importance, beauty and breadth of London’s green spaces. 

In collaboration with National Park City Festival, Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture has produced a unique audio installation in Epping Forest. Living Symphonies is a musical composition that grows in the same way as a forest ecosystem. It portrays the thriving activity of the forest’s wildlife, plants and atmospheric conditions, creating an ever-changing symphony heard from a network of speakers hidden throughout the forest itself. It is also a welcome addition to The People's Forest programme.

The installation will take place in an area of Epping Forest near to Chingford Plain, where pollarded trees are the legacy of centuries in which the woodland was managed by local people, creating a unique, biodiverse ecosystem. This ancient relationship will be reflected in Living Symphonies as local musicians represent each species of Epping Forest through a unique set of melodic and rhythmic motifs that portray their changing behaviour over the course of the day and night.  

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “Our National Park City Festival shows just how important it is to protect our environment, including our wildlife, and reconnects Londoners with the outdoors with lots of free events for everyone to enjoy across London’s beautiful green spaces, rooftops and waterways. After recent UN reports revealed that nature and biodiversity is being lost at an unprecedented rate, I am committed to helping make London the world’s first National Park City and protecting our green and blue spaces and wildlife’.