Habitats & Heritage is a new local charity that cares for the natural and historic environment in South and West London. It launched in October following the merger of two long established charities, Environment Trust and South West London Environment Network.
The charity’s mission is to protect and conserve our threatened rivers, green spaces, parks, and historic built and it aims to create a better and more sustainable environment for the people who live and work in the area today and for future generations too.
Habitats & Heritage has several exciting projects underway, including ‘Green Hubs’, which sees us working with local residents, councils, business and community groups to create thriving habitats in small, underutilised spaces.
From roadside verges to areas outside offices and schools, we are supporting local communities to improve sites such as these to provide food sources and shelter to pollinators, birds, and hedgehogs. Look out for a Green Hub popping up near you!
The charity has also launched a photography competition and is asking people to get out and explore our local area and take photos that showcase and celebrate the unique and diverse natural and historic wonders in south and west London. Everyone can enter free of charge, submit their best local snaps, and discover new places on their doorstep. Entrants might find their photo used on Habitats & Heritage new website or have the chance to win a prize!
Another exciting project Habitats & Heritage is working on is called ‘Burton: Exploring Without Boundaries’ and this project commemorates the bicentenary of Sir Richard Burton, the famous Victorian explorer buried in Mortlake. Inspired by Burton, the charity’s theme for the year is exploring and it wants to encouraging everyone to explore their local area and discover something new, be it a park that they haven’t visited before or one of the countless fantastic museums we have on our doorstep.
Habitats & Heritage builds on almost 35 years of experience caring for the local environment and ensuring the preservation of its rich heritage. We have welcomed over 1,000 school children to St Leonards Air Raid Shelter, constructed a traditional kitchen garden at Marble Hill Park, restored two buildings on Historic England’s at-risk register, and helped to create a five hectare nature reserve in the heart of Surbiton.
Our work promoting sustainability in schools, community centres and households had led to a reduction in emissions across Richmond Borough and will remain central to the new charity going forward as it works to ensure that everyone can enjoy and benefit from our built and natural heritage.
We hope you will follow Habitats & Heritage as it embarks on its exciting new chapter, and will consider supporting us at this critical time or volunteering to work with us as we strive to protect the rich and varied habitats and heritage we are so fortunate to have in South and West London.
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