Watch the moment Trafalgar Square went ‘wild’ – and became an overgrown garden

Trafalgar Square turns green as part of 'Big Rewild' campaign

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A team of top gardeners and horticulturists worked through the night to turn the 30m x 20m space into a green paradise – complete with a replica lion statue covered in live foliage, turf and meadow.

The installation was developed by innocent drinks, as part of the launch of its Big Rewild campaign – a commitment to protecting and preserving two million hectares of land.

It will also see three million seeds, via plantable seed papers, given away today, while visitors to the site will be invited to rehome one of the plants.

The installation comes after a poll of 2,000 adults by the drinks brand found 43 percent have no idea what rewilding is.

Nearly one in 20 believed it to be simply letting your wild side free, while two percent thought it was another name for people who grow their own vegetables.

Conservationist and wilderness expert, Ray Mears, was pictured at the temporary installation, which aims to “reconnect” people with the natural world, and encourage passers-by to consider the benefits of rewilding and restoring nature in the UK.

He said: “It’s wild that in the UK there has been a rapid urbanisation, with spaces greyer and more industrial than ever before.

“So much so, that people are going days without seeing nature, especially in the cities.

People are going days without seeing nature, especially in the cities

Ray Mears, conservationist

“For city dwellers especially, spending time with nature can be tricky – so that’s why I’m supporting innocent today in their mission to educate on the importance of nature, by bringing back the beautiful trees, plants, and flowers in one of the UK’s treasured landmarks.

“Rewilding has a multitude of benefits for the ecosystem; from drawing down carbon from the atmosphere, helping wildlife adapt to climate change, and reversing biodiversity loss – and not forgetting the positive impact to your physical and mental health.

“It’s time we all embrace a bit of the outdoors.”

The study also found the average adult spends time outdoors surrounded by nature four times a week, for 50 minutes each time.

However, when immersed in nature outdoors, six in ten said it makes them feel calm and happy, while 48 percent feel healthy.

But nearly half (48 percent) of adults think most cities and rural areas have become too sterile and concrete, with four in ten concerned there will be no green spaces left.

As a result, the study, carried out via OnePoll, found over three-quarters (76 percent) would like to see rewilding become more prominent in the UK.

And 73 percent think the government should be doing more to improve biodiversity and preserve natural ecosystems.

It also emerged Brits believe returning land to nature should be a priority in order to restore wildlife (61 percent), tackle climate change (50 percent), and support biodiversity (48 percent).

Sam Akinluyi , managing director at innocent drinks, said: “Our Big Rewild campaign aims to show how we can use the power of nature for positive impact, all while making urban communities and the planet healthier places to be.

“Today’s installation marks the announcement of our pledge to help combat climate change.

“From making our orange juice fully carbon neutral, to rewilding two million hectares of land by 2025, and growing and protecting 300 orchards around the UK.

“We hope that this move inspires the nation to kickstart their own rewilding project, and we welcome those not in London today to come down to one of our regional events over the summer.”

As part of the Big Rewild, innocent drinks is working with nature-based charities across Europe to protect and preserve land.

In the UK they are working with The Orchard Project, the only national charity dedicated solely to creation, restoration, and celebration of community orchards.

Together, they are running series of regional events in London, Swansea, Manchester and Glasgow.

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