Embracing Nature within a Megalopolis
Few cities in the world can boast about balancing urban atmosphere with wildlife refuge. London seems far from being one of the ‘greenest’ cities in Europe, but it has aimed to preserve natural habitats that have existed long before its civilization was ever born. London’s parks are more than mere green spaces that break up the city, rather they seem to inhabit it. Parks such as Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park play a vital role in providing the ingredients (such as oxygen!) necessary for life to thrive in this dark, brooding, yet fragile and delightful social organism known as London.
As I hiked through Wimbledon Common I could feel its microclimate envelope me. The trees seemed like old friends or even grandparents. I thought to myself, ‘why is it that plants, animals or even sun light and water seems so distant from how we define ourselves’? ‘Must we always define humans as something other then what appears in front of us?’ I looked down to see mushrooms at my feet and looked up to see birds flying through the intricate patterns of the forest. ‘No, of course not,’ I said to myself, ‘perhaps it is because people forget too easily.’ My journey continued to Richmond Park, one of the most beautiful and peaceful areas of London.
Richmond Park is the largest Royal Park of Greater London. At nearly 1,000 hectaces, it is practically a naturalist’s paradise. Ricmond Park is zoned as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Indeed, as I weaved in and out of the trails, the flora and fauna above and below me were too many to recognise at mere glance. Closer investigation reveals much more than what first impressions provide. The deer of course are the most attractive creatures for people visiting Richmond Park. They seem perfectly at peace here, for it is their home. I have yet to find many human animals who appear this tranquil at home. What is it that we’re missing out on? Perhaps you should find out for yourself.