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The Wood That Built London: Lambeth

In Lambeth, three out of five people describe their ethnicity as other than white British; 50.7 per cent of Croydon’s population identify as ‘Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic’; while a quarter of Southwark’s population are Black and a third are Asian or of other minority ethnicities.

This huge section of the population is not reflected in the city’s wild spaces. The London Wildlife Trust acknowledges that ‘there is work to be done on improving representation . . . particularly with regards to ethnic and racial diversity across our volunteer base, staff body and board of trustees.’ The imbalance in representation is not just a matter of perception; there are economic factors at play. Environmentalism, like other industries that draw on people’s interest and enthusiasm such as publishing and the arts, has become reliant on volunteers and unpaid internships, discouraging those from less well-off backgrounds for whom financial security cannot be taken for granted. To help to redress this situation, the LWT’s Heritage Lottery-funded Keeping It Wild Traineeships offer young people aged between sixteen and twenty-five, from backgrounds under-represented in natural heritage, full-time, paid, three month vocational traineeships at one of the Trust’s reserves; several trainees have subsequently found permanent jobs with the Trust.

From The Wood That Built London by C.J. Schüler

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C.J. Schüler

C.J. Schüler