We're delighted to announce that Axel Scheffler, Patron of Environment Trust, and illustrator of the Gruffalo, is launching Environment Trust's emergency appeal.

The pandemic has impacted everyone and changed the way many of us live our lives. We know this period is incredibly tough and uncertain. As a result, like many charities, Environment Trust faces significant financial challenges - events, like our annual Plant Sale for Wildlife, have been postponed or cancelled, we've paused Duke of Edinburgh volunteering session, and school visits to the WW2 air raid shelter have been cancelled.

Nonetheless, the team at Environment Trust continue to work hard behind-the-scenes to ensure that both nature and heritage can continue to be accessed and treasured safely during Lockdown, and that, when this is over, together we continue to protect what makes South West London so special. 

The funds raised through this appeal will allow us to continue developing educational resources while on Lockdown, and open up some of the area's unique heritage for all to explore, actively experience and feel part of when measures ease.

Thanks to the generosity of Axel Scheffler, we hosted an online auction of two original signed artworks, and two limited edition signed prints, with the funds raised contributing to the appeal.

We've spoken to Axel Scheffler about why he supports the work of the Trust

Why do you support Environment Trust?

The Trust asked me to be their patron some time ago, and I agreed because I think it's important to look after nature and history in one's immediate surroundings as much as possible, as well as raising awareness about local conservation issues.

What do you do to care for the local environment?

I suppose my main contribution at the moment is to do fund raising events for the Environment Trust

Do you have a favourite historic building in South West London?
I like Ham House.

Lots of your illustrations feature the great outdoors. Does the local area inspire you?

It is nice to have the great open space of Richmond Park nearby and to see animals there - but they never appear directly in my work. When I have to draw a deer I would still look in a reference book or at google rather than go to sketch one in the park.

Have you ever spotted the Gruffalo in Richmond Park?

Somehow I doubt there are any. The woods in the park are lovely, but I don't think they are deep or dark enough for a Gruffalo habitat.