Below are some key facts and figures from GiGL data holdings. Please credit them to “Greenspace Information for Greater London CIC, 2015”.
How green is London?
Roughly 47% of Greater London is ‘green’; 33% of London is natural habitats within open space according to surveyed habitat information (1) and an additional 14% is estimated to be vegetated private, domestic garden land (2).
How much of London is water?
Over 2% of Greater London’s area is blue space (3), such as rivers, canals and reservoirs.
How much of London is garden land?
It has been calculated that 24% of Greater London is private, domestic garden land (4). 14% of this is estimated to be vegetated garden green space (5).
How much of London is open?
More than 60% of Greater London is open (i.e. undeveloped) land. 39% of this is land that has an amenity value or potential amenity value (6). The rest of the open land is domestic gardens.
What is London’s open space used for?
London’s open spaces are multifunctional, both in terms of their ecosystem services and their amenity value for London’s residents. 39% of Greater London can be classified as open space (7). This can be divided into the following categories:
|Land Use||Area (ha)||Percentage|
|Parks And Gardens||9207||5.77%|
|Natural And Semi-natural Urban Greenspace||8859||5.56%|
|Outdoor Sports Facilities||10718||6.72%|
|Children And Teenagers||72||0.05%|
|Allotments, Community Gardens And City Farms||995||0.62%|
|Cemeteries And Churchyards||1390||0.87%|
|Other Urban Fringe||12893||8.09%|
How much of London is designated as Public Open Space?
The London Boroughs can choose to designate specific sites as Public Open Space. These sites account for 17.88% of Greater London (8). It is divided into a hierarchy according to The London Plan (Table 7.2):
|Public Open Space||Area (ha)||Percentage of Greater London|
|Local Parks and Open Spaces||5668||3.55%|
|Small Open Spaces||804||0.5%|
|Linear Open Spaces||2689||1.69%|
*does not currently include Wandle Valley and Colne Valley
How much of London is designated for its value for nature conservation?
Important wildlife sites in Greater London are designated as Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs). These cover 19.24% of Greater London (9). There are three tiers, of which the middle is usually divided into two Grades:
|Grade||Area (ha)||Percentage of Greater London|
|Borough Grade 1||7368||4.62%|
|Borough Grade 2||5151||3.23%|
|Borough (no grade distinction)||185||0.12%|
How many wildlife sites in London have statutory protection?
Greater London has the following statutory protected areas (10):
• Two Special Protection Areas (SPAs)
• Three Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)
• Two National Nature Reserves (NNRs)
• 37 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs): seven are designated for their geology.
• 143 Local Nature Reserves (LNRs)
How much of London is Green Belt?
There are 35,109 hectares of designated Green Belt within Greater London (11). This equates to 22% of London’s area.