Active environment nature conservationIn 2016, the Environment Trust ran the Active Environment Program to engage and inspire people with disabilities about their local environment.

The aim was to provide environment-related activities for everyone in the local community.  The Active Environment program offered a range of local walks and activities for people with disabilities and their carers throughout the year. 

All the walks and activities were in response to people's requests. The program was based on feedback about their experiences so there was a mixture of favourite and new things to do.

The Program

The Active Environment Program enabled people with disabilities to ‘learn by doing’ and have fun experiences whilst being out and about in the environment.

We brought together people who could share their expertise and knowledge of the local environment to engage and inspire people with disabilities  in a range of walks and other activities right through from January to December…. whatever the weather!

Active environment Funding

We are grateful to following organisations for their help in funding the Active Environment Program:

  • Teddington Hospital Memorial Trust
  • Normansfeld and Richmond Foundation
  • Newby Trust
  • Heathrow Communities.

Walks & Activities

There was a range of short and longer routes to make the Trust’s walks accessible for people with varying levels of fitness and mobility, in all weathers and of course always with refreshments along the way. There were over 35 separate walks and activities in 2016.

Walks were guided by Environment Trust’s experienced leaders who enabled people to learn about the local environment throughout the seasons. These walks and activities included:Active Environment charity

  • An evening bat walk
  • Visit to Twickenham Bees
  • Walks in the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park
  • Walks on the Crane Way.
  • Walks on Barnes Common
  • Rowing on the Jubilant on the Thames
  • Trips to and working in the Model Market Garden, Marble Hill Park
  • Mini Beast Hunt & pond dipping at York House Gardens
  • London Wetlands Centre
  • Richmond Riverside Walks
  • Walks in Kew Gardens throughout the seasons
  • Workshops:
  • Making bird feeders
  • Creating felted items
  • Making Badges, Magnets and Mirrors.
  • Making environmentally themed cards made from the photographs taken on the walks. These were sold at the Art Auction and other events to raise funds
  • The Big Draw - participation for 2 years. This is a national event which encourages local organisations to host community art projects.


The following partners contributed hugely to the success of this program:

Richmond Homes & Lifestyle Trust

Monthly ‘Keep Active’ walks along the tow path from Richmond Bridge were provided In conjunction with Richmond Homes and Lifestyle Trust


Workshops were held with RUILS (Together as One Group) who also led a trip to Kew Gardens for people with mental health issues. One activity saw a group of people with various disabilities potting up spring bulbs with at Barnes Green Day Centre.

Activity Station

Working with this organisation based in Barnes, enabled the Trust to offer rambles across the borough.

The cornerHOUSE Community Arts Centre

We are grateful to the cornerHOUSE Community Arts Centre for hosting the photographic exhibition and workshops for the Big Draw competition and the creation of a stream mural.

Richmond Aid

The Trust worked with Richmond Aid to provide Riverside walks. 


The Trust worked with SPEAR to break down the barriers for homeless people to explore the local environment. Trips to favourite local sights and sites were provided