South West London Environment Network (SWLEN) is a charity dedicated to helping people and organisations protect and enhance the environment. We work in the London Boroughs of Richmond upon Thames, Kingston upon Thames and Hounslow. Our work focuses on preserving and protecting green spaces and biodiversity, promoting sustainability and community development and supporting environmental groups achieve their goals.
SWLEN also chairs and acts as the secretariat of the Richmond Biodiversity Partnership.
Vision & Values
- Local empowerment – we passionately believe the best way to protect and enhance the environment is through empowering local people to take an interest, become involved and to take action themselves.
- Collaboration and partnership – we know that by working together we achieve more, and in sharing best practices we are strong together. This approach brings wider benefits to the community, charitable organisations and local authorities.
- Environmental protection and enhancement– we exist to ensure South West London maintains a thriving and sustainable environment.
History & Governance
SWLEN is a registered charity (no. 1140872) and registered in England and Wales as a company limited by guarantee (no. 7469024). SWLEN began as the Richmond Environment Network (REN) in August 2004, set up by three local environmental organisations: Environment Trust, Thames Landscape Strategy and Richmond office of The Conservations Volunteers.
We were established as the charity SWLEN in April 2011, and continue to work closely with our founding partners. In 2015 we established a wholly owned social enterprise Community Current Ltd to work on issues outside SWLEN’s charitable objects.
SWLEN is governed by a board of trustees, and is managed by Chief Executive Colin Cooper.
Our financial information can be found on the Charity Commission’s website with our most recent annual accounts here:
The charity secures funding to deliver its aims. The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames’ Parks and Open Spaces Department funds most of our support work to friends of parks groups in this Borough and the London Borough of Hounslow’s Parks Department funds us to organise the Hounslow Friends of Parks Group Forum.
We also, when opportunities arise, bid for contract work within our areas of expertise. Any surpluses from this work is put back into the charity to deliver more charitable work. We have also established a trading arm of the charity, Community Current, which allows us to bid for, or undertake, work that doesn’t fall within our charitable objectives, but within the competencies of the charity’s staff and volunteer team.