About us Our Team Environment Trust has a small dedicated team of staff who are working hard to conserve our green spaces and heritage sites in Richmond, Hounslow and Kingston boroughs. We couldn't operate without the help of a number of invaluable volunteers who support us in many areas of our work. We asked the team what they love about their work. Francesca Batt - Nature Conservation Manager Why do you work for Environment Trust? I am passionate about protecting our environment and working to improve nature and habitats. One of the most important areas of this, I feel, is engaging with and educating people to help them make a difference to our environment at a local level to impact on the global scale. Environment Trust’s ethos is all about connecting people to their local environment, which really resonated with me. What are you most looking forward to in 2020? As a fairly new team I feel the we are really starting to build momentum and are working on some fantastic projects which can really make a difference to our environment. In particular, I’m looking forward to developing our green hubs project aiming to offer hotspots to biodiversity connecting green spaces across South West London. I am also excited for this year’s focus on exploring local places, inspired by Sir Richard Burton. Favourite story, spot or surprise of SW London? The River Thames: As an Iconic focal point, vital habitat and as an ever changing landscape, although possibly cliché, the Thames is my favourite part about South West London. Whether it’s spending time on a paddle board, walking along a towpath or working to improve and preserve the banks for wildlife; I have countless positive memories of it. Emily Lunn - Heritage Project Manager Why do you work for Environment Trust? South West London is a unique setting – it is both an urban and rural landscape that has been shaped over the centuries by the people who have lived and worked in the area, from Henry VIII to the soldiers billeted in Richmond Park in WW2. Working for the Trust I have the opportunity to explore the history of the area, help preserve it for future generations and make it come alive for the current residents. I also love being outside and out and about, and with so many special public places, it is a fantastic place to work. What are you most looking forward to in 2020? We’re celebrating the prolific explorer, Sir Richard Burton’s, bicentenary over the next year, and I’m looking forward to bringing his story to a new audience. He is buried in Mortlake in an eccentric tent-shaped mausoleum but given the reach of his expeditions, we’ll be working with a range of partners at a national and international level. Favourite story, spot or surprise of SW London? My favourite spot is the Grade I Listed Richmond Bridge on a sunny day. Nothing beats the views over the river! Lucia Pekarova - Events Officer Why do you work for Environment Trust? It’s great! I started as a volunteer four years ago and now I deliver a whole host of events that aim to inspire many different people. We get to interact with our diverse community at our events and it’s never boring, overcoming challenges as we seek to engage more and more people. Most of all, I love doing something meaningful and knowing the money we raise will help the local nature and heritage I enjoy so much. What are you most looking forward to in 2020? Our plant sale this year will be over twice the size and with even more variety! I’m really excited to combine it with last year’s Wild Neighbours event and bring in local hedgehog, beekeeping and heritage experts to help explore how you can bring more wildlife to your patch, however big or small. It’s a great day out for families and all, and the cake stall is always fantastic! Favourite story, spot or surprise of SW London? All the parks! I'm a keen cyclist and it's a treat to be able to loop around them, spotting deer, ancient oaks and plenty more wildlife! Sophie Norden - Fundraising and Partnership Manager Why do you work for Environment Trust? Growing up locally, it’s a privilege to work for the people, parks, rivers and rich heritage that surrounds us. I love strengthening stories and experiences that protect and celebrate our environment, and it’s important to show how our work locally is part of the bigger picture. I love thinking about scale, context and impact, and we have a great team who do just that! What are you most looking forward to in 2020? Growing and doing more! We want to reach everyone through our ability to connect with nature and each other. I’m excited to work with an ever growing number of community groups and partners, especially through our Green Hubs and exploration themed projects. Dare I say I’m also excited to run the London marathon for the Trust, with my training hours dedicated to the connection and green corridors needed for people and planet. Favourite story, spot or surprise of SW London? It's got to be the water, whether river, stream, puddle or pond. It reminds me of our fundamental link to others and the world around us. Stephen James - Operations Manager Why do you work for Environment Trust? I was recruited to the Jam Yesterday Jam Tomorrow project about local market gardens in history and growing food in the present day. I love nature conservation and the fascinating historic buildings that the Trust cares about. I am continually amazed by the inspiration and commitment from all the people whose work and ideas sustain the Trust. What are you most looking forward to in 2020? This year we have a renewed focus on Sir Richard Burton and ideas about exploring and I’m really keen to join in and make new discoveries for myself! Favourite story, spot or surprise of SW London? There is so much, it is hard to choose a favourite. I love the grandeur of the view to the West from King Henry’s Mound in Richmond Park and winter dawn through the Great Conservatory at Syon Park. I will always have a special affection for the Kitchen Garden in Marble Hill Park where I have worked with such great volunteer gardeners.