At first look, the https://helenilus.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/greenground-map-v3.pdf looks like an intricate transport network of a large city. Several lines with a variety of colours, criss crossing, colliding and expanding out. Circles and dashes show the numerous stops. 300 to be exact! Now that's a really big map!
But then you take a closer look. You begin to see that there are locations which sound very familiar: Crystal Palace Park, Hackney Downs, Wormwood Scrubs, Regents Park. So, this is London...but not as you know it.
As described by the Kantar, Information is Beautiful site, Helen Ilus created a beautiful new London map whereby "tube lines are replaced by creative green lines and stations by parks. The current version includes 12 green and blue lines and over 300 parks. The map also suggests viewpoints, kayaking and outdoor swimming places and birdwatching spots."
At the moment is it just a concept, an idea and not necessarily a totally practical map. Whilst some of the 'lines' are part of connected trails, it doesn't manage to do this for all locations. It doesn't tell you anything about the areas either: how to get there, what can be found there, whether you can get from one area to another. It also doesn't tell you relative size, with some being reserves and others, perhaps smaller parks.
However it's an absolutely wonderful starting point. I love getting out and discovering new places and even better, l love seeing Londoners, big and small, outside, interacting with nature and having fun.
So, I have a great idea to get people interacting with all 300 locations.
The London #GreenGround Challenge
Being the clever little fox that I am, I thought long and hard about a great way of encouraging Londoners to get out and walk, using this wonderful map as a base.
Whatever the weather, every Sunday at 11am, people get outside to a location from the map of their choosing.
· Choose a location from one of the 300 on the map.
· Get to the area for 10.30am on Sunday morning.
· Go on your own, take friends or go as a family.
· Explore the area for at least 1 hour. Take your time and interact in a different way. Walk more slowly, look at the plants, trees and animals you see. Stop and listen. What do you hear, cars, buses, birds?
· Take pictures, comment and tweet/instagram* your experience quoting #GreenGround Challenge and the location you chose, including:
· how easy it was to get to (what transport you used)
· what you discovered there (animals, plants, trees, rubbish, friends, history)
· whether you liked it
· who you went with
· what you suggest for other visitors
· Go home and think about where you will explore the following week.
· Tell your friends about it and encourage them to take up the challenge.
· let people know where you will be before Sunday so that you might be able to gather other people to explore with.
· If there are locations that aren't on the map, tweet about that too (but still find somewhere you haven't been to and explore that!).
So, I'll be there at 11am every Sunday, will you?!?