SWLEN facilitates the preservation of local biodiversity, and promoting the conservation and improvement of the natural environment. SWLEN oversees and is the secretariat of the Richmond Biodiversity Partnership, which brings together organisations and individuals to conserve and enhance biodiversity in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. SWLEN’s Chief Executive also acts as the chair of the Partnership. The Partnership set up in 1997 as a subgroup of Richmond’s LA21 Group, to identify and protect wildlife habitats and species through the creation and overseeing the implementation of a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP).
The Partnership launched its first BAP in 2005 with 11 habitats and species action plans. A revised BAP was published in 2011 with 14 habitats and species action plans and work is nearing completion of a BAP to launch in Spring 2019 with 18 habitats and species action plans. The BAP is the strategy document, which through its implementation, protects and manages habitats for species of national, regional or local significance, or those that are on the Red Data Books and Red Lists. The BAP is also used by Richmond Council’s Planning Department to ensure the impact of new developments and changes to existing developments are minimised to the species and habitats featured in the BAP.
Other activities have included tours to biodiversity-rich green spaces in the borough to share best practice, habitat management and projects; leaflets on the importance of certain species, and garden surveys to encourage local residents to take an interest in their gardens.
Members represent a range of local interests concerned with wildlife and biodiversity, including:
- English Heritage (Marble Hill Park)
- Environment Trust for Richmond upon Thames
- Friends of Barnes Common
- Friends of the River Crane Environment
- Historic Royal Palaces (Hampton Court Palace & Kew Palace)
- LBRuT Parks and Open Spaces Department
- London Natural History Society
- London Wildlife Trust
- Nature’s Gym (Glendale)
- Richmond Park Beetle Group
- Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
- Royal Parks (Richmond and Bushy Parks)
- South West London Environment Network
- Strawberry Hill House Trust
- TCV Richmond
- Thames Landscape Strategy
- WWT London Wetland Centre, Barnes
The Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) is made up of fourteen Action Plans, each looked after by a working group which reports updates at the Partnership meetings. The Action Plans are downloadable in PDF format and are currently being updated for Autumn 2017 launch.
The BAP can be download Richmond (upon Thames) Biodiversity Action Plan.
Habitat Action Plans (HAPs)
Species Action Plans (SAPs)
Action Plans are in development for; Hedgehogs, Neutral Grassland, Rivers and Streams, Swifts, White-Letter Hairstreak Butterfly and House Sparrows, the latter being a project of SWLEN’s collecting data about their population and distribution across Richmond upon Thames.
Information on honey bees (an extremely important part of food production) can be found on the Twickenham and Thames Valley Beekeepers website.
Can you help?
We need volunteers to help the Partnership and its working groups to protect, conserve and increase biological diversity. If you are interested in particular species or habitats, can spare time to collect wildlife data or are interested in monitoring local planning then please contact Colin Cooper.
- Richmond upon Thames Biodiversity Action Plan Leaflet
- Dead wood leaflet
- Mistletoe leaflet
- Black Poplar leaflet
- Light Pollution leaflet