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October 2, 2022

British Ambassador Noble: Nature is Romania’s gift to Europe, Vacaresti Park is an ecological success

Nature is Romania’s gift to Europe, said British ambassador in Bucharest, Andrew Noble, who visited Vacaresti Park, which he considers “an ecological success”.

In an interview with the Vacaresti Natural Park Association, Noble stated that this area is not talked about as often as it should be.

“It was a surprise, because I had heard about Vacaresti in the past, but I didn’t expect something so developed and so wild, right in the center of the city. So it was a big surprise, a pleasant surprise. If you ignore the dam around you, it looks as if it could be as wild as some parts of the Danube Delta. I was impressed by the large number of species that live in Vacaresti, and even though I arrived at an inappropriate time to see most of them, I still encountered butterflies and a impressive number of birds. (…) It seems to me that it should be like a kind of badge. Bucharest people should be proud to talk about Vacaresti, given that it is an ecological success,” said Andrew Noble.

According to him, Romania has a “fabulous” biodiversity, and nature represents its “gift” to Europe.

“Romania has a fabulous biodiversity, whether we’re talking about bears, wolves or lynxes. I don’t know how many Europeans have the opportunity to walk through flower meadows like you can in Romania or to see such a large number of butterflies. In any case, many more than in the UK. My advice is to love the nature that Romania has. Be proud of it and allocate the resources it needs to be accessible to as many people as possible, but at the same time to be protected. Nature is, if you like, Romania’s gift to Europe,” said Andrew Noble.

He emphasized that the presence of nature in cities means better air and water quality and, implicitly, more health for the inhabitants.

“It is already accepted that if we manage to bring wild nature back into the cities, then the cities are healthier for their inhabitants as well. We are talking about water quality, air quality. Wild nature in cities has the role of the canary that the miners took underground. When the canary fell from its cage, the miners knew they had to get out of the mine as quickly as possible because of the toxic gases. Nature is doing the same now in urban areas. If we protect the species in these areas and increase their numbers, we are also doing something good for people,” highlighted the British ambassador.

In his opinion, Bucharest is a “fairly green” city. Noble also noted a deep emotional connection of Romanians with nature.

“We need beauty and nature also in the places where people live. Therefore, people who live in cities also have the right to the best living conditions. Bucharest is a fairly green city. Even in the most congested areas there are enough trees. In many British cities, in the most densely populated areas, you don’t really find anything like that anymore. And I believe that, often, Romanians don’t realize that they are still quite well off from this point of view. I find the Romanians’ attachment to trees extraordinary, for example, to linden trees, like Eminescu’s linden tree. I think the British don’t have this deep emotional connection with nature. By the way, hedgehogs live in Herastrau Park, which disappeared from most London parks, many years ago,” added the ambassador.

Vacaresti Park is a reservoir of biodiversity and has an important educational role, he mentioned, adding that, from a certain point of view, it represents a model for many European cities.

“From a certain point of view, I think that Vacaresti represents a model for many European cities. London’s problem is that it is a huge city, with areas with a huge population density and there are very few animals in the downtown parks. In fact, there are some former gardens. Instead, major efforts are being made to rewild nature in Regent’s Park and target habitats for butterflies, amphibians, birds and mammals. There are also historic parks, such as Richmond Park, which is famous for a herd of deer .(…) It seems to me that Vacaresti is not really visited that much and that preserves its wildness, although more people should see it, because, besides being a reservoir of biodiversity, it has an important role educational,” said Andrew Noble, according to Agerpres.

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