New Charity Launches with a Mission to Protect Local Nature, Wildlife and Heritage

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Habitats & Heritage, a new charity dedicated to looking after the natural and historic environment in south and west London was launched on the 5th November. The charity is the result of the merger of Environment Trust and South West London Environment Network (SWLEN) and is now the leading environmental and heritage charity in the area.

Habitats & Heritage combines the expertise, experience, resources and work of both charities to deliver greater impact in conserving the natural environment and built heritage. The launch coincides with England entering another lockdown today, which is a chance for people to connect with their natural and heritage environment and really enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits this affords.

The charity is also promoting volunteering opportunities, events and resources that will enable all ages to explore, enjoy and preserve nature and heritage and it is calling on everyone who lives or works in south and west London to support them and get involved. Find out more on the Habitats & Heritage website or join their Supporter Scheme for just £10 per year, which allows people to become further engaged in projects and find meaningful opportunities tailored to their interests.

Colin Cooper, CEO, Habitats & Heritage said, “Habitats & Heritage has opened its doors today. We are the leading environment charity in south and west London and our mission is to protect and restore our threatened local rivers, green spaces and parks and historic built environment for this and future generations.

Lockdown renewed our appreciation of nature and wildlife and its benefits for our wellbeing and mental health. As we go into another lockdown, we will have the chance to explore the local green spaces and parks, look after the wildlife in our gardens and discover hidden historical gems right on the doorstep.

Habitats & Heritage is hosting some exciting online events for the public. These include a Richmond Literacy Festival online talk with author Diana Darke on Sunday 8th November, a ‘Marble Hill Remembers’ online talk in partnership with English Heritage on Monday 9th November and a children’s workshop with the world famous and hugely popular Gruffalo illustrator, Axel Scheffler on 5th December.

When lockdown is lifted, there will be many opportunities for people to get involved with local conservation and heritage projects, from creating new green hubs to developing wildlife corridors and working on river projects or restoring iconic local buildings.

Everyone can take pride in their local environment and make south and west London a haven for nature, wildlife, and heritage. We hope to attract many new supporters and feel this an exciting and critical time to be part of the bigger and brighter future of the charity.”

People can get involved with the charity in several ways:

  • Green Hub Spots for Nature – tell us about the forgotten patches and small spaces near you and help us turn them into wildlife green hubs for nature
  • Volunteer for Habitats & Heritage – we offer many different volunteering opportunities for all ages
  • Become a supporter by signing up to our Supporter Scheme
  • Attending events

5th December, World famous Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler will be hosting our popular children’s workshop event online this year – tickets available soon.

8th November, book your online tickets for Richmond’s Literacy Festival, where local author Diana Darke will be discussing her new book Stealing from the Saracens, a history of Islamic architectural influence on some of Europe’s most famous buildings, from Notre-Dame Cathedral to the Houses of Parliament. This talk is part of Habitat & Heritage’s project ‘Burton: Exploring Without Boundaries’, which marks the bicentenary of Victorian explorer, Sir Richard Burton, whose spectacular mausoleum is in Mortlake.

9th November, book your online tickets for ‘Marble Hill Remembers: Feeding Richmond and Twickenham in the wartime,’ Join Marble Hill Head Gardener Kate Slack who will discuss the role the allotments played in the wartime effort, the growth of food locally for sustenance and the allotments and heritage veg we produce on site today.

For more information about Habitats & Heritage see here.

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