FAQs - Merger: Your Questions Answered

18th September 2020

Earlier this year Environment Trust and South West London Environment Network (SWLEN) agreed to merge in order to create a single, combined charity with the capacity and skills to achieve greater impact for natural and built heritage in southwest London.

We are delighted to announce that our new charity Habitats & Heritage will be launched at the end of October 2020.

Scroll down this page of frequently asked questions to find out more. If you don’t find the answers you are looking for here, please drop us a line at [email protected]


What is the name of the new organisation?
When will the merger happen?
Why are you merging?
What is the vision of the newly merged charity? How and where will it work?
How will the newly merged charity be run?
Will there be any job losses as a result of the merger?
How will the merger affect my membership?
How will Environment Trust projects be affected by the merger?
When is the Secret Art Sale this year?


What is the name of the new organisation?

The new charity will be known as Habitats & Heritage.

It is a name chosen in consultation with our volunteers and partners to reflect our vision of a restored and extensive natural and historical heritage for local people and communities in South West London.

When will the merger happen?

The new charity will be launched in October 2020. Look out for more details of our forth coming launch coming soon!

Why are you merging?

The wonderful natural assets and rich heritage of South West London are under threat. Our rivers, green spaces, parks and the historic fabric of our built environment are suffering from the impact of climate change, habitat destruction, commercial development and declining public sector budgets. We believe that by joining forces we can achieve more than the sum of our parts, increasing our impact in protecting our natural and built environment.

Habitats & Heritage brings together SWLEN’s strong network of local environmental groups and Environment Trust’s operational capacity in natural and built heritage.  The combined organisation will build on the work of both charities to collaborate effectively with local people and groups across organisational and local authority boundaries for the good of all communities.

What is the vision of the newly merged charity? How and where will it work?

We will work to reshape the environmental and heritage voluntary sector in South West London. We will foster a strong sense of place, embracing built and natural heritage for the long-term sustainability of our shared assets, and work to put these at the heart of our community by engaging and empowering local people for the well-being of all.

We will work in all the London boroughs in which Environment Trusts and SWLEN currently operate, namely; Richmond, Kingston, Hounslow, and Ealing. We hope to expand to neighbouring areas in the future as opportunity arises. We will collaborate across organisational and local authority boundaries and systems. We will measurably increase our impact for people and their heritage by increasing our effectiveness, organisational sustainability and the use of our resources to deliver on this vision and mission.

How will the newly merged charity be run?

Colin Cooper, currently CEO, SWLEN will head up Habitats & Heritage. The Board of Trustees  includes Trustees from the existing Environment Trust and SWLEN Boards.

Will there be any job losses as a result of the merger?

No. All staff will be retained on current conditions of service. There will be no redundancies as a result of the merger.

How will the merger affect my membership?

We are very grateful for all the support we have received from our Members as we have grown and changed over the years and we very much hope that you will continue to support us as we continue to evolve. Look out for details coming soon of how to transition your Membership to becoming a supporter of Habitats & Heritage.

We are not accepting any new members into the current Membership scheme, which will effectively close when we merge. We will write to all our members to let you know how to can sign up as a supporter of the newly merged organisation. All member benefits, including free entry to our Plant Sale in April will continue to be honoured for a full 12 months from joining.

How will Environment Trust projects be affected by the merger?

There will be no change to our current project programme as a result of the merger. In time, we hope to expand the reach and the impact of our work. Our current projects include:

Green Hubs- Connecting The Green Spaces of South West London

We are working with residents, councils, businesses and community groups to create thriving habitats in small currently underutilised spaces. From roadside verges, to areas outside of houses, community centres, offices and schools; all of these spaces can have a positive impact on biodiversity, expanding the green corridor of South West London. The Hubs created will act as ‘stepping-stones’ between large green spaces combating the effects of fragmentation (the breakdown of continuous habitats) due to urban development.

Burton: Exploring Without Boundaries

To mark the bicentenary of Sir Richard Burton, the famous Victorian explorer buried in Mortlake, we are hosting a whole year of events designed to get us all out and to explore the hidden historic sites and green spaces in South West London.

How will forthcoming events be affected by the merger?

No changes are planned to our events as a result of the merger. However, the coronavirus situation is affecting us, quite aside from anything to do with the merger. Please see our events page for more information.

When is the Secret Art Sale this year?

Our popular Secret Art Sale now in its fifth year, will take place online  Sat 26th – Wed 30th September 2020. For tickets and details click HERE

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