South West London Environment Network

Where have you travelled so far this year? Minibreak in Paris? Bank holiday weekend in Cornwall? Villa in Spain?

Get On Board event on June 21st 2019 which was a mass participation community clean up event that SWLEN helped in organising (with Be Richmond and Active360) to highlight the problem of plastic pollution in our waterway.

Unless you’ve been exceptionally lucky it’s more likely Bushey or Home Park, Hampton Common, Kneller Gardens or perhaps for the more adventurous a walk up the Thames Path or River Crane.

At the turn of the year few of us could have predicted how quickly the way in which we live, work, socialise and engage with our local environment would change so dramatically. As many sought to access greenspace and nature on their doorstep to counteract the effect of lockdown- measures the importance and impact of safe, accessible and well-connected parks and green- spaces on people’s health and wellbeing has never been more recognised or acknowledged.

As the panic, fear and confusion of the initial stages of the pandemic subsides and we start to look ahead to what is being dubbed as ‘the new normal’ we realise that the rulebook has been torn up. The ‘new normal’ doesn’t just have to be a reformatting of what has happened before, but can be an ambitious, bold and co-created vision for our built and natural environment which has greater positive outcomes for people, wildlife, nature and place.

South West London Environment Network is a charity that has been actively supporting community-led environmental action in Richmond upon Thames for the last decade. Our work focuses on preserving and protecting parks and greenspaces, supporting biodiversity and encouraging sustainability and energy efficiency through empowering residents, communities and voluntary groups to take action.

Put it simply, we help people make good things happen in their local community.

Nature in Richmond Borough photo from the competition we ran last year.

If you have been inspired or empowered to get more involved with the environment on your doorstep get in contact and see how we can help.

There are a number of ways in which we can support. From bringing people together to form friends of parks groups to enhance local greenspaces and promoting and signposting resources from the many environmental groups that already exist across the Borough to supporting with project management and training to help make environmental projects happen.

Additionally, if you already have an idea for an environmental project but need the funding, we can also help with finding funding sources and even enable you to raise money from your local community using our in-house crowdfunding platform.

Being named one of the Mayor of Richmond’s charity partners for 2020/21 is a huge honour and we look forward to using this platform to help make more things happen for more communities across the borough going forward – especially as we embark upon an ambitious merger with fellow Richmond based nature conservation and heritage preservation charity Environment Trust.

For more details, and to find out how you can get involved visit: www.swlen.org.uk, get in contact with us at hello@swlen.org.uk, follow us on social media and join our Nature in Richmond Borough Facebook page.