Surely London doesn’t need yet another website about itself – there are already plenty enough. Well, perhaps there’s room for just one more, one that focuses purely on new nature writing about the city. That site, to launch in the summer, is called The New Nature, and it's looking for contributors.
London is not synonymous with nature by any means – as much as it ever has been, this is a city of thrusting tower blocks, clipped lawns, concrete and glass. But still a fantastic range of wild creatures of the non-human kind survive and even thrive in this heaving, seething city of ours.
London is wonderful for many reasons, one of which is the fact that two thirds of it is natural space (land and water), according to Natural England. And even the manmade landscape can offer important (and quirky) habitats. Whether it’s a butterfly dancing about some rogue buddleia that’s sprouting out of a bridge; a bird of prey perched on the Houses of Parliament eating a pigeon; the dawn chorus echoing down Holloway Road; or the rolling beauty and bunny rabbits of Hampstead Heath – London offers plenty when it comes to wildlife.
Urban nature can be a ripe subject for a writer, both of fiction and non-fiction. It’s a subject full of contrasts and wonder, astounding against-the-odds stories and ones of deep loss. It’s a strangely beautiful topic populated by eccentric characters. It also allows you to range over all kinds of issues including education, art and design, environmental justice, science, politics, economics and technology.
So ‘The New Nature’ is being developed, an online home for writing about wild London. It will be home to creative and journalistic writing, fiction and non-fiction, prose and poetry, inspired by the city’s wild places.
Contributions of 1,000 words or less are now invited for a summer launch. Get in touch if you’d like to find out more, pitch an idea or submit a piece of written work. Email Helen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: the author of this article is not just an occasional and unbiased Londonist writer coincidentally also called Helen – she’s the brains behind The New Nature and the person you’ll be emailing if you’d like to get involved!